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Fisherman7793

Jerkbait Help

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I've got a pretty good selection of jerk baits (Luck-E-craft flash minnow 110, RC stx, rapala shad rap, & rapala shadow rap), all in minnow colors, except rc stx which is black and gold, and they all dive about the same depth (3'-6'). Can anyone help me on which one is better in different situations because at the moment each time i tie one on it's a shot in the dark as to weather its the best one. Any feedback is appreciated

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It truly is trial and error, I've had days where a certain bait crushed them and you couldn't by a strike on anything else. The best way is to match the color to the water clarity, the clearer the water, the more translucent the bait and as it gets stained you will want the color to be more opaque. Those are just general rules, you basically have to try different baits but before going to another bait, vary your cadence and retrieve, that plays a big part.

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There are a lot of factors that come into play. If perch is the main forage in your body of water and the water is clear I'd throw a simple perch color. If the water is stained and they want perch, I'd throw a firetiger/clown. To stay pretty generic you should throw translucent colors in clear water and solid's in dirty water.

There is a ton of info on throwing jerkbaits on here, so much that there is no clear answer. What works for me won't be the same as what works for you. I can tell you that for Michigan smallmouth, jerkbaits are my first option.

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Jerkbaits are my favorite bait to throw, and there are no set in stone rules as to what will work at any given time. There are some general guidelines I use when selecting one though.

First is time of year and water temperature. In cold water I use suspending jerkbaits 99% of the time. Most of the time i want it to suspend neutrally, but sometimes I upsize hooks  and/or split ringsto make them sink slowly or downsize to make them slow float. In warmer weather, I use mostly floating jerkbaits as they seem to trigger more bites. Weather and water temperature also plays a part in how I retrieve the bait. In the winter if it's cold or cloudy I usually get more bites moving it slow with longer pauses. If a warm front comes through I retrieve it much more fast and erratic. It pays to experiment though. Sometimes they want it dead sticked on top, sometimes a slow steady retrieve is best. Sometimes they want long pauses and small twitches and sometimes they want it ripped and twitched as fast as you can reel.

Color selection and bait size i choose is based on the size and type of forage and also the target species and water clarity. I like to match the hatch with bait size and color to the time of year and main forage species. If the bait fish are small I use smaller baits. 

 

 

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