Jerkbaits for saltwater are not quite as popular as some other classic techniques but the slicing action from these baits represent a wide range baitfish. Instead of living and dying on spoons, sinking baits (such as crabs or shrimp), or soft plastics, saltwater anglers should give jerkbaits a try, especially in the shallows!
Locating Fish With Jerkbaits
When you can locate redfish, speckled trout, or any other predator in skinny water such as channels, docks, or flats, jerkbaits are an unmatched choice. Jerkbaits are meant to be jerked (hard to believe, I know), in shallow water, just below the surface. This jerking of the rod tip gives off an erratic action your predator will confuse for an injured, fleeing baitfish. Injured fleeing baitfish equal easy snacks for inshore predators, so imitating this look shouldn’t seem like such a novel concept.
Jerkbaits For Saltwater: Where To Look
Some of the best places to throw jerkbaits for saltwater predators are shallow hideouts, where vegetation creeps up near the surface, or docks provide shade. Where you can find channels to drift your boat, cover tons of water by pitching your jerkbait everywhere that looks “fishy.” Shaded shallows harbor predators waiting for an easy meal to swim by, and you can imitate that perfectly with a jerkbait!
Another great place to look is any water level change. Whether that is the mouth of a bay or a steep drop-off beneath the surface, trout suspend in these spots year round. Pitching along the edge of a drop-off will draw fish in from great distances, especially if you are throwing a noisy jerkbait to cause vibrations in the column.
Jerkbaits For Saltwater: Mix It Up
Violent, erratic jerks of the rod tip at the mouth of a bay will catch the attention of predators swimming in or out as if they are cruising the buffet line. Be sure to mix in pauses between jerks, as this is often when the strikes come. Featuring multiple treble hooks, most jerkbaits allow for a great hookup ratio, where you can let the fish take a full bite before leaning into them.