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Alternatives To Jerkbaits

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It's cold and I'll be fishing some clear water.  I know the standard advice is to throw a jerkbait, but I have ZERO confidence in them.  I don't know why, but I never get a bite.  I've tried watching people, watching videos, etc.  No luck.

So, rather than bang my head against the wall, what should I be doing as a co-angler when my boater is jerkbaiting and I want to go to Plan B?

TS

 

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Dropshot.

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Jerkbaits don't work unless your working them over fish.

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That would depend on how fast the boater fishes, moving the boat and the type of water; depth, structure, cover, etc.

Tom

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Finesse soft plastic swim bait, Gene Larew sweet swimmer, Keitech easy shiner, swing impact, River Rock Baits RR Striker. All of those are between 3" and 4" and work great on a jig head, the same for hollow bodied swim baits, I prefer the Bass Magic as the come in a 3.5" and a 4.5" which I like to use as 5" seems to work better in warmer water, around the upper 50s. I use a jerkbait but I've had a lot of luck using swim baits when the water gets over 48 degrees, however a friend of mine just sent me pics of smallmouth he caught on a swim bait in 42 degree water . If I wasn't going to throw a jerkbait then I'd go with the swim bait.

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If the bite is shallow, swim jigs, small soft plastic swimbaits, square bills and spinnerbaits

are a few alternatives. However, a proven winner for me has been the Rage Tail Eeliminator

C-rigged. 

 

 

 

 

:party-100:

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I almost forgot the flat sided crank, the KVD 1.5 flat, the Rapala DT Flat 7, and of course the Rapala shad rap #5 and #7, the shad rap #5 is the only crank I throw on a spinning rod and it is a killer in cold water.

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If you are co-angler and your boater is fishing jerk baits fairly fast, you've got a couple of options.  A - if he is catching fish, get with the program, tie on a jerk bait and put your mind on using it the same way he is using his.  B - If he is fishing jerk baits and not doing so well, and kind of back boating you ( as front of boat jerk bait users have been known to do), casting/dragging a heavy football jig is a viable option.  (have several rigged up so that if you get stuck, you just break the  line and tie on another)  Option C might be a drop shot with a fairly heavy weight so that it gets into the strike zone as quick as possible.

 

MY reasoning for options B & C have to do with if the jerk bait bite isn't working, the fish might still be in the area, just not suspending.   The most likely place for them to be then becomes relating to the bottom in some fashion.

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Depending on if your up front poor in the back and the speed of the boat, I often just do something subtle. I will use suspend strips on standard crankbaits to make them suspend at a desired depth, and use that as a modified jerkbait. It uses the overall same technique but offers a significantly diffrent profile. I have found it works when the bite is extremely tough and you need a way to downsize your bait but that is still your preferred presentation.

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Take a look at what the Elite guys did in the Classic last year.  It was very cold and they were still catching good numbers of quality fish, the weekend after the classic there was a new lake record LG Mouth caught on the same lake.  I suspect that the baits they used did not change all that drastically from what they use throughout the year, but I would bet the presentation changed quite a bit.  Might be worth a look.

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Thanks for the replies.  If I decided to "gut it out" and try a jerkbait, is there a good "rookie" one that I should buy?

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If he's catching, throw a Fluke ~

 

If he's not catching, throw a Fluke.

 

Andy

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It's cold and I'll be fishing some clear water.  I know the standard advice is to throw a jerkbait, but I have ZERO confidence in them.  I don't know why, but I never get a bite.  I've tried watching people, watching videos, etc.  No luck.

So, rather than bang my head against the wall, what should I be doing as a co-angler when my boater is jerkbaiting and I want to go to Plan B?

TS

If the boater is catching them beg for one of his and do as he does. Then go buy that Bait.

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If he's catching, throw a Fluke ~

 

If he's not catching, throw a Fluke.

 

Andy

As I'm reading all the posts I'm thinking fluke....

Id try a nail weight in the back to get it down a little quicker if you want if you're in fairly shallow water.

Or put a bullet weight on the nose or peg it about a foot up if youre deeper.

Mike

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In the cold water period around here (water temps less than 50) I usually have the following rigged up and on the deck at all times.

 

Drop shot

Shaky Head

Finesse jig

Lipless crankbait

Suspending jerkbait

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What is "cold" water in Florida? Here in Maryland it means ice is floating down the river and we are using hair jigs.

 

Allen

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Thanks for the replies. If I decided to "gut it out" and try a jerkbait, is there a good "rookie" one that I should buy?

In my opinion, cuz that's all it is. The Smithwick rogue is the most forgiving and a good starting point. They are also very affordable so when you hang a few 10' down in a Bush you don't know was there you don't go broke cutting it off.

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Try a 5" soft, hollow bellied swimbait on a 3/8 - 1/2 oz. jighead. SK Shadalicious is a good example. Glue it to the back of the jig head or use a 4/0 swimbait hook. Slow rolling this bad boy will get you bit. :)

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What is "cold" water in Florida? Here in Maryland it means ice is floating down the river and we are using hair jigs.

 

Allen

 

Nice to see another MD angler on here, I assume you are referencing the Potomac in regards to location?

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Try throwing a crankbait. Give the reel a few cranks and stop. Sometimes a bass will hit the bait as it starts to float up to the surface.

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That's tough question.

Know what baitfish you are trying to replicate or that the bass are feeding on;  figure out what depth those baitfish are holding at, and pick any bait that you can keep in that zone based on speed etc. that you are able to fish it or need to fish it at.

 

Suspending jerkbait is a tool and what makes it a useful tool is that it suspends in a specific depth under whatever cadence you are doing that day.  Other setups can do the same, drop shot, etc.  But that does not do you much good if you need to suspend a bait at 8 feet in 25fow.  etc. etc. 

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Nice to see another MD angler on here, I assume you are referencing the Potomac in regards to location?

 

Yes, the only place that doesn't freeze over.

 

Allen

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