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Suspending vs. Floating Jerkbait?

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I've always used suspending jerkbaits in colder water and floaters in warmer water, but today I had great success with a floater when paused long enough for it to start rising.  The water temp was 62-64. I switched to a suspending version and the bite all but died.  I didn't have time to switch back to the floater, but I gotta believe that they just prefer a floater in the fall.  For those of you that fish jerkbaits a lot, do you agree?

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I'm sure this will one of those "let the fish tell you" threads.

The fish told you they liked a floater today, keep throwing it until they tell you they don't like it and maybe they'll hit a suspender again.

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I rarely fish a floater but I've had good success letting them rise like that when I do fish them. I think it looks like a baitfish hurrying to the surface to try to escape a fish and triggers a reaction strike. 

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I do the same thing, suspending jerkbaits in cold water, floaters in warm water. That said, I use floating style baits with great success with water temps down to 60 - 62 degrees, once the water falls into the upper 50s I'll begin using suspending baits. The only exception to that for me right now are baits that I call "slow floaters", these are baits that rise a little too fast to be suspending but too slow to be floaters, these include my old Berkley Frenzy Minnow, the new Rapala Shadow Rap Shad, and the Bomber Long A, and not the suspending long A either.  Those slow risers I will use when the water is in the upper 50s if the fish are active, and I usually go with one of these when the morning water temps are in the upper 50s but rise to 60 or so in the afternoon, right at this time of year. Sometimes I have to use a suspending bait early and go to the slow floater in the afternoon but most of the time I can use them pretty much throughout the day, these are very effective but if water temps are above 60 I'll be using a floating jerkbait.

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For me it depends where I'm fishing. If I'm able to get out on a decent sized lake I always have liked using that jointed shad rap 07 . It rattles and suspends and I normally do really well with this bait in the fall. If I just go to a pond though, I still can nab them on an original floater. Which is really fun to fish. 

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My water's really aren't considered cold by everyone else's standards but when it cools the only  jerk type bait that I throw is the Bomber Long A. The action of that thing with a hard pull and then letting it back up as it rises is the trigger for me. 

 

 

Mike 

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I don't think of 60-62 degrees as being cold. I have better success with floaters when the fish are chasing bait and better with suspending when they need to take a long look at it and decide whether to eat it. But I really haven't had much success with suspending. Only the X Rap.

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i've had success on suspending mainly most of the bites coming in the high 50's and low 60's caught a couple 3 pounders the other day on a kvd deep then proceeded to lose it the next cast 

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While it's not a lock, I generally start with suspending jerks during the spring, and floaters during the fall if I'm in deeper water.  If it's shallow, then I almost always use floaters.  My thinking is the bass are more active in early fall, into late fall thus will be triggered more often by the rise.  In the spring, I feel they are a little more lethargic and will more often go ahead and eat that lil fish which just keeps setting there ringing the dinner bell.  I know all things equal, they should react the same --- but to me, it seems to work out that way.  *Could just be me falling victim to confidence and missing more fish though...

 

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Neither and I'm about to ask rapala for a refund on their shadow raps because I haven't even caught a stinkin' pike on them all season

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20 minutes ago, gimruis said:

Neither and I'm about to ask rapala for a refund on their shadow raps because I haven't even caught a stinkin' pike on them all season

Dang. Ive caught a few decent largemouth on the one that I bought. I wasnt sold on it and never bought another. But got my money out of it for sure ! That's unfortunate to hear. There isn't a single rapala model I own that hasnt caught a fish. I have got a couple that didn't run great out of the box but all of their designs are fish catchers IMO. 

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"Cold, Clear Waters" = "Suspending Jerkbaits"..The bait needs to be perfectly neutral in the water column. "Warmer Waters" = "Floating Jerkbaits"..

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I have never gone fishing any time of the year and not tried a floating Jerkbait.....I have had days in winter when the top layer of water warms and the sun is out, slightly stained so it is even warmer, when a Floating Jerkbait barely moved works well. I also fish mostly shallow water so saying I did well in January can be deceiving but I feel a dying baitfish is always in play any day of the year. 

I also like to use the smaller sized Flat Rap on 6lb test Mono in winter and barely move it or fish it like a shad rap....but The Flat Rap on top is good all year in Florida if conditions are right....I fish alot of stained water/Structure as much as possible and if I see any swirls or bait near the surface I always go to a floating minnow. When it works it works, or use a very shallow suspender/Slow Floater....

 

 

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I really havent used either one much in the fall . Years ago I use to use the Storm Thin Fin  twitching it on top   during autumn For some reason I  have forgot how well it worked . I'll have to see if I still have one and give it a go again . .

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I for whatever reason have always had more confidence in suspending jerkbaits vs floating. I'll use floating more if I'm fishing really shallow or on something like the river. 

On 10/12/2016 at 6:48 PM, gimruis said:

Neither and I'm about to ask rapala for a refund on their shadow raps because I haven't even caught a stinkin' pike on them all season

If you want you can send them to me and I'll make sure they're disposed of properly haha. Don't give up on them yet, they can put some decent fish in the boat for you in short order. 

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On 10/12/2016 at 6:48 PM, gimruis said:

 I haven't even caught a stinkin' pike on them all season

That's a good thing, right?:unsure:  Dunno about anyone else but that would make me very happy and they would be extra special to me.  I would send Rapala a thank you card!:D

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6 minutes ago, Yeajray231 said:

Lol you guys are nuts ! A mature pike is a blast. 

I don't deny the "blast". 

Won't tolerate nor allow the stinky slime in my boat though.:naughty:

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I haven't ever really done well with the floating jerkbaits, but I suppose they might work on shallower more active bass in warmer water.  I've always just switched to a shallower running suspending jerkbait with an erratic action in those conditions, lately I've been doing well with a small x-rap fished fast over shallow water.

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6 minutes ago, Jeff H said:

I don't deny the "blast". 

Won't tolerate nor allow the stinky slime in my boat though.:naughty:

So what do you do when one is hooked? Cut the line?

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4 minutes ago, Scott F said:

So what do you do when one is hooked? Cut the line?

Lots of times they do that for me, which does nothing towards making me appreciate them.  The ones we do get to boat-side are unhooked without lifting them from the water.

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1 hour ago, Jeff H said:

That's a good thing, right?:unsure:  Dunno about anyone else but that would make me very happy and they would be extra special to me.  I would send Rapala a thank you card!:D

Good point!  Ya that's probably a positive but it would sure be nice to catch something on them.

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Pike and musky are one of the most impressive freshwater predators in the world IMO. And holding something that runs the underwater world that we all love so much is an awesome experience for me. Even if they do crunch my 8 dollar crank . 

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