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How do I use a jerk bait???

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How do I use them?? What action do they have? I heard you flick the rod a few times then reel but I don't see how that would make it dive down because it floats?

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There are different types of jerkbaits. The most common for bass is the suspending Jerkbait. It is fished with twitching and pausing of different cadences to create an erratic action that helps trigger suspended or lethargic fish into swatting at it.

Here is a good video about how to work a Jerkbait.

 

 

I would also reference the thread pinned up to, and the one I just recently posted.

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/108594-jerkbait-help-advice/

 

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/166614-duo-realis-jerkbaits/

 

 

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twitch, twitch, pause, twitch, twitch, pause

Vary the intensity of the twitches and lengths of the pauses accordingly until you figure out what the fish want. As a general rule, more aggressive snaps and shorter pauses for warmer water/more aggressive fish, gentle twitches or even slow pulls and long pauses for cold water/inactive fish.

The rod is the only thing that should move the bait. I've helped lots of people learn to fish them and one of the main mistakes I see is reeling the bait instead of twitching it with the rod and just using the reel to take up slack during the pause. 

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5 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

twitch, twitch, pause, twitch, twitch, pause

Vary the intensity of the twitches and lengths of the pauses accordingly until you figure out what the fish want. As a general rule, more aggressive snaps and shorter pauses for warmer water/more aggressive fish, gentle twitches or even slow pulls and long pauses for cold water/inactive fish.

The rod is the only thing that should move the bait. I've helped lots of people learn to fish them and one of the main mistakes I see is reeling the bait instead of twitching it with the rod and just using the reel to take up slack during the pause. 

One big thing that helped me was changing the way I thought about them.  I use to fish jerkbaits like a crankbait.  When I started fishing them like a floating t-rigged plastic my bites went way up.

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Some float , some suspend , some sink.   Some are floaters that are  weighted to suspend . I have wrapped lead solder around the hooks of the Smithwick Rogues to accomplish that , learned that from bassmaster magazine .  I generally use three short , sharp twitches and pause.  

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10 hours ago, Bankbeater said:

One big thing that helped me was changing the way I thought about them.  I use to fish jerkbaits like a crankbait.  When I started fishing them like a floating t-rigged plastic my bites went way up.

You know, sometimes when the water gets warm on the tail end of the spawn season, fishing a Jerkbait like a Crankbait has been very successful for me.

Colder water, suspending bait, longer pauses.

Warmer water quicker/harder jerks, quicker pauses.

Don't for get to "pull" a jerkbait, meaning, pull the rod to the side and down is a very effective way to fish them.

Topwater with a floating jerkbait. Fish it like you would a pooper.

 

Good Luck!

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The part that I struggled with was the take on slack line. By the time I felt it, and changed the next sweep into a hook set they spit it. I don't want to always aggressively pop it in case there is a fish there, because the more subtle retrieve got me the bite, so how do you hook up with those fish?

or do you just expect to lose more fish with this presentation?

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What I noticed that has not been mentioned is you should have slack line during the twitches , this will help it dive, and twitch from side to side if its lipless. If you have tight line you just pull the bait towards you and maybe up. You don't want to have super slack, just enough to have half a hook set worth of movement until the line tightens is the rule of thumb I was taught.

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11 hours ago, Fishinthefish said:

What I noticed that has not been mentioned is you should have slack line during the twitches , this will help it dive, and twitch from side to side if its lipless. If you have tight line you just pull the bait towards you and maybe up. You don't want to have super slack, just enough to have half a hook set worth of movement until the line tightens is the rule of thumb I was taught.

Great point!

I was gonna add line considerations and how it affects the way a jerkbait behaves...probably a different discussion on another thread.

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The secret to working a jerkbait on semi-slack line is to try it boat side where you can observe how the bait reacts to each stroke or input. Try tight line then semi slack then slack line . Watch closely as you try each to get an idea what works best for what you want to accomplish. Try a straight pull then a half pull then a snap. Try a single jerk then two jerks or three. Practice, practice, practice.

Also remember each bait will react differently to the same input. The only way to become proficient at a technique is to practice it. Time on the water becomes your friend. 

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