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shimmy

Dwight Hottle!!!!!

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So here is a different type of fishing trip thread. I will not hint towards who it is about or who is being called out to give some great advice. I realize that i am not the most confident jerkbait fisherman but feel like my archives of knowledge are in need of professional wisdom on this manner. I have done some reading but i would rather have someone with the brown in his veins give a tutorial...

DWIGHT! I know you are reading this. You know it, i know it, and everyone else does. You are trapped. You can not run away.

So, i love to read many of the conventional wisdom on this site and realized that Dwight should write a really detailed write up for jerkbait fishing so i can keep just an inkling of this knowledge with me.

So, Dwight, when you get the time, you will reply. If not, i will do nothing about it. And i will continue to fish the same way i do with a jerkbait and it will be your fault. I want details. Details about how you choose a spot to jerkbait fish, and the whole shabang. Don't you dare run from this.

Troy

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I agree Shimmy, I wanna know even if I don't throw jerkbaits anymore... That way if I'm around those waters someday, I'll understand the SECRETS to Dwight's SLOBBIN SMALLIE success!!!

Pressure's ON Dwight... but if you choose not to divulge your secrets, I too will understand... NOT ;)

www.ragetail.com

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Though I spent a week with the man, I am in no position to provide any info here.

I have been sworn to secrecy or suffer a fate of a thousand deaths.

The bass proved it ~ It's all in the Jerk !

A-Jay

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Though I spent a week with the man, I am in no position to provide any info here.

I have been sworn to secrecy or suffer a fate of a thousand deaths.

The bass proved it ~ It's all in the Jerk !

A-Jay

Awww... Come on A-Jay, you were our second source man!! ;)

www.ragetail.com

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Alright Shimmy I'll share a little bit about jerkbaits. First of all my jerkbait fishing evolved around pike fishing. Big predators. My favorite jerkbaits were made out of wood or plastic & weighed about an ounce to 2.5 oz. . I would practice jerk bait strokes along side the boat to see what kind of action I could delvelop with each bait. Some baits would dart 90 degrees to either side like a walk the dog motion but under water. Other baits would glide forward or sideways & some rare baits would almost turn around like in your face mr pike. Hard violent jerks or strokes would elevate the motions. Then you have to incorporate a pause period or let the bait rest. Usually the baits will get eaten while your pausing or just as you start your next movement. Remember jerk baits work on all species.

Now to jerkbaits for smallies. Typically when you first start fishing you use a search bait until you find fish unless you know exactly where they are. Then once you find fish you switch to your favorite presentation. I fish big water with lots of suspended fish spread over lots of rock structure. I seldom find lots of big fish in a small area. So my approach is to cover water with a jerkbait as my search bait until I find some big girls. Once we find them we work over the area. We put in waypoints when we get bit so we can revist each spot. When drifting on lake erie the waves cause the boat to surge & pause just like a jerked bait does when you are working it. Boat motion adds motion to your baits. I always prefer to drift downwind with the wind hitting my stern. I work one rod while i dead stick a second rod in a rod holder. When my forward progress is between .3 to 1.0 mile an hour drifting with the wind at my back it all works. Most of the time my worked rod out fishes the dead stick 3 to 1. But sometimes the dead stick rod is extremely effective all by its self because the boat is working the bait. This tells me to slow down the worked rod. This approach also allows you to run a deep diver suspending jerkbait while you are running a shallow suspending bait. Then you can decide to use all deep or all shallow baits depending upon the conditions. My prespawn smallie fishing is between upper 30 degrees to 65 degrrees surface temps. The colder the water the more subtle the action. As the water warms I use more erratic movements. I also select baits with more subtle action for cold water & more erratic action for warming water. You have to learn the action of each style bait you use and develop an understanding of what works best for the conditions you are facing. Colder water with poor visibility finds me using loud colors with subtle action & loud rattles. Warmer water with good visibility finds me using subtle natural colors with more erratic action and softer rattles. Smallmouth bass are extremely curious about noise & erratic action. Remember that statement. Your jerkbait represents a dying bait fish to a smallie if properly worked. Smallies will come up thru the water column to hit a jerkbait. How far they will travel depends upon water visibility & sound. When I can see the bottom in 15 feet of water I will not hesitate to work jerkbaits out to 30 feet. I try to use a bait that will get down to the depth I want to fish based on overall water depth & visibility. If your marking fish or marking bait you can key into that depth. My jerkbait inventory covers baits that run from 2 feet down to baits that run 20-22 feet down. Now I can fish jerkbaits effectively in forty feet of water with good visibility. Since i'm fishing relatively open waters I use ten pound braid with a leader on spinning tackle. And I use ten or twenty pound braid with a leader on casting tackle. The thin braid adds up to five feet of extra depth on the baits. Now when casting jerkbaits your depth is based on the bait, line diameter & the length of your cast. Maximum depth on most baits is increased by letting out more line up to around 200 some feet with diving bills. So I run my baits back from the boat about two to three cast lengths to achieve more depth when needed. This also allows you a more stealthy approach. I find that smallies move during the day between deeper water to shallower water based upon changing conditions. So I try to target different depths until I can observe a pattern of where they will be.

I do not limit myself to just one manufacture of jerkbaits. I find that on some days a particular bait from one manufcture will out preform all others. Especially on a tough bite day. So I carry about four different manufactures jerkbaits. Now within just one manufactures line of jerkbaits there can be five or six completely different baits by action, size, depth, sound, suspending, floating or slow sink & tilt. They can all shine based on changing conditions. Generally I prefer suspending jerkbaits with rattles. Then I look for level suspenders, nose down or tail down attitudes. Lucky craft probably covers the most diverse offerings of all jerkbaits manufactures in my experience.

Just remember when fishing a jerkbait that you are trying to excite a neutral fish into striking it because it mimics a dying baitfish. The more action you can impart to the bait the more fired up that big smallie gets. It is very similar to teasing a cat with a mouse on a string. :laugh5: Some times they want it barely moving and other times they want it fast and erratic.

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And there you have it - now all we need is a huge body of water loaded with 4 - 5 - 6 - and 7lb plus smallies -

:eyebrows:

A-Jay

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Thanks for the response Dwight, it's good to see the request answered and in a very timely fashion.

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Perfect explaination Dwight and THANKS! The details mentioned hint of the amount of time spent to get your technique to the level that it is... WTG

www.ragetail.com

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Thanks Dwight for that informative tutorial....I'm gonna alter my presentation next time I go out(if the water is still in the 50's......I always like learning how to fish better and I've been doing it for 40 years plus....Thanks again!!!

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Dwight, you are the man. Plain and simple. Everyone would benefit from just copying and pasting this. I'd take this conventional wisdom over any pro, any day.

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Great !!! thanks tons as I am slated to vacation at Erie for the first time May 5-12. In a couple weeks! I usually go houseboating the first of May on Dale Hollow but been flooded out down there the last 2 years in a row so we are trying Erie for the first time this year instead. Should be a good opportunity to reel in my PB! Will post pics....

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Thanks Dwight, extremely generous of you to share your experience with the group!

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Thanks Dwight, I'm always eager to gleen knowledge from those that have consistently been successful at a technique. This helps!!

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Most of the time my worked rod out fishes the dead stick 3 to 1. But sometimes the dead stick rod is extremely effective all by its self because the boat is working the bait. This tells me to slow down the worked rod.

That's a gigantic nugget right there.

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Good stuff, Dwight! I definitely consider you the master at this.

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Thanks for reading. Had a buddy up for two days over the weekend & he caught a pb smallie 5-6lb on a jerk bait. He also caught a 10.5 lb walleye while working the jerk bait. Sometimes it works post spawn too as the walleye was already spawned out.

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Alright Shimmy I'll share a little bit about jerkbaits. First of all my jerkbait fishing evolved around pike fishing. Big predators. My favorite jerkbaits were made out of wood or plastic & weighed about an ounce to 2.5 oz. . I would practice jerk bait strokes along side the boat to see what kind of action I could delvelop with each bait. Some baits would dart 90 degrees to either side like a walk the dog motion but under water. Other baits would glide forward or sideways & some rare baits would almost turn around like in your face mr pike. Hard violent jerks or strokes would elevate the motions. Then you have to incorporate a pause period or let the bait rest. Usually the baits will get eaten while your pausing or just as you start your next movement. Remember jerk baits work on all species.

Now to jerkbaits for smallies. Typically when you first start fishing you use a search bait until you find fish unless you know exactly where they are. Then once you find fish you switch to your favorite presentation. I fish big water with lots of suspended fish spread over lots of rock structure. I seldom find lots of big fish in a small area. So my approach is to cover water with a jerkbait as my search bait until I find some big girls. Once we find them we work over the area. We put in waypoints when we get bit so we can revist each spot. When drifting on lake erie the waves cause the boat to surge & pause just like a jerked bait does when you are working it. Boat motion adds motion to your baits. I always prefer to drift downwind with the wind hitting my stern. I work one rod while i dead stick a second rod in a rod holder. When my forward progress is between .3 to 1.0 mile an hour drifting with the wind at my back it all works. Most of the time my worked rod out fishes the dead stick 3 to 1. But sometimes the dead stick rod is extremely effective all by its self because the boat is working the bait. This tells me to slow down the worked rod. This approach also allows you to run a deep diver suspending jerkbait while you are running a shallow suspending bait. Then you can decide to use all deep or all shallow baits depending upon the conditions. My prespawn smallie fishing is between upper 30 degrees to 65 degrrees surface temps. The colder the water the more subtle the action. As the water warms I use more erratic movements. I also select baits with more subtle action for cold water & more erratic action for warming water. You have to learn the action of each style bait you use and develop an understanding of what works best for the conditions you are facing. Colder water with poor visibility finds me using loud colors with subtle action & loud rattles. Warmer water with good visibility finds me using subtle natural colors with more erratic action and softer rattles. Smallmouth bass are extremely curious about noise & erratic action. Remember that statement. Your jerkbait represents a dying bait fish to a smallie if properly worked. Smallies will come up thru the water column to hit a jerkbait. How far they will travel depends upon water visibility & sound. When I can see the bottom in 15 feet of water I will not hesitate to work jerkbaits out to 30 feet. I try to use a bait that will get down to the depth I want to fish based on overall water depth & visibility. If your marking fish or marking bait you can key into that depth. My jerkbait inventory covers baits that run from 2 feet down to baits that run 20-22 feet down. Now I can fish jerkbaits effectively in forty feet of water with good visibility. Since i'm fishing relatively open waters I use ten pound braid with a leader on spinning tackle. And I use ten or twenty pound braid with a leader on casting tackle. The thin braid adds up to five feet of extra depth on the baits. Now when casting jerkbaits your depth is based on the bait, line diameter & the length of your cast. Maximum depth on most baits is increased by letting out more line up to around 200 some feet with diving bills. So I run my baits back from the boat about two to three cast lengths to achieve more depth when needed. This also allows you a more stealthy approach. I find that smallies move during the day between deeper water to shallower water based upon changing conditions. So I try to target different depths until I can observe a pattern of where they will be.

I do not limit myself to just one manufacture of jerkbaits. I find that on some days a particular bait from one manufcture will out preform all others. Especially on a tough bite day. So I carry about four different manufactures jerkbaits. Now within just one manufactures line of jerkbaits there can be five or six completely different baits by action, size, depth, sound, suspending, floating or slow sink & tilt. They can all shine based on changing conditions. Generally I prefer suspending jerkbaits with rattles. Then I look for level suspenders, nose down or tail down attitudes. Lucky craft probably covers the most diverse offerings of all jerkbaits manufactures in my experience.

Just remember when fishing a jerkbait that you are trying to excite a neutral fish into striking it because it mimics a dying baitfish. The more action you can impart to the bait the more fired up that big smallie gets. It is very similar to teasing a cat with a mouse on a string. :laugh5: Some times they want it barely moving and other times they want it fast and erratic.

>>>>>thanks Dwight!!!!!! very helpful

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WOW!

:respect-059: :respect-059: :respect-059:

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Very good info. I think something just clicked. Thanks for taking the time.

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Hmmmm........jerkbait weekend is around the corner!

Jeff

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That's a gigantic nugget right there.

For sure.

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