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Jerkbaiting during Prespawn and Fall Transitions for MN Largies


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Hi all! 

 

Back again with more noob questions! I'm trying to improve on my jerkbait game this year. I picked up a Revo MGXHS and paired it with the 6'8 MXF Victory rod and this is the one combo in my arsenal I'm most excited to put to use this year. During prespawn period, what kind of structure do you recommend targeting for largemouth? I'm trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can, through forums and YouTube, etc. One common thing I hear is secondary points leading up to spawning flats. How would you tackle these areas? As well, what structure do you recommend targeting during the fall transition? 

 

Really sorry if these are noob questions. Jerkbaits was one of the techniques I was lacking in last year so one of my biggest goals fishing this year is to get really good at it.

 

Appreciate your expertise!!!

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5 hours ago, larrymarketfishing said:

Hi all! 

 

Back again with more noob questions! I'm trying to improve on my jerkbait game this year. I picked up a Revo MGXHS and paired it with the 6'8 MXF Victory rod and this is the one combo in my arsenal I'm most excited to put to use this year. During prespawn period, what kind of structure do you recommend targeting for largemouth? I'm trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can, through forums and YouTube, etc. One common thing I hear is secondary points leading up to spawning flats. How would you tackle these areas? As well, what structure do you recommend targeting during the fall transition? 

 

Really sorry if these are noob questions. Jerkbaits was one of the techniques I was lacking in last year so one of my biggest goals fishing this year is to get really good at it.

 

Appreciate your expertise!!!

 

One thing that's confusing for those located in the upper midwest is that for the most part, we fish natural lakes.  Most bass pros and articles talk reservoirs.  Secondary points in creeks or channel swings are examples of structure we rarely encounter.  But the info behind it is similar across the country.  For me, locating spawning locations is the most important thing because you can work in either direction in time from that spot.  In general, I look for flats in protected water that are 12' or less.  Bottom composition and transitions are important as well.  

 

So once I locate what I think will be a spawning flat, I like to check the first set of breaks leading up to that flat.  I look for sharp and or irregular breaks located nearby that lead to deep water.  I also search out the gradual slopes closest to that sharp or irregular break and the spawning flat.  The closer all these features are to each other, the more promising the spot.  Usually, this triangle holds fish in some capacity throughout the non ice season.  Jerkbaits do best for me above the bass, which part of the water column needs experimentation.  So in this case, I'd fish parallel or slight angle to the sharp irregular breaks and fish the gradual breaks either uphill or downhill until I determine which depth I'm getting bites from. If I think the bass are feeding on the flat and the flat is shallow, I'd probably switch baits to a 3-5" swimbait.

 

The running depth, flash level, and jerk/pause cadence require constant tinkering in my opinion.  In general, water in the 40's means deeper and longer pause between groups of jerks.  Warmer water is generally faster and shallower.  I like ghost colors for clear water and sun and holographic colors for clear water and overcast.  I don't have much experience with water clarity under 6' so I can't offer much there.  

 

Hopefully, this helps your prespawn fishing in some way.  This link will help you search for the spots on your water.

https://webapp.navionics.com/#boating

 

scott

 

Here's what the breaks look like on my water....

 

flat:break.jpeg

flat:break 2.jpeg

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12 minutes ago, softwateronly said:

 

One thing that's confusing for those located in the upper midwest is that for the most part, we fish natural lakes.  Most bass pros and articles talk reservoirs.  Secondary points in creeks or channel swings are examples of structure we rarely encounter.  But the info behind it is similar across the country.  For me, locating spawning locations is the most important thing because you can work in either direction in time from that spot.  In general, I look for flats in protected water that are 12' or less.  Bottom composition and transitions are important as well.  

 

So once I locate what I think will be a spawning flat, I like to check the first set of breaks leading up to that flat.  I look for sharp and or irregular breaks located nearby that lead to deep water.  I also search out the gradual slopes closest to that sharp or irregular break and the spawning flat.  The closer all these features are to each other, the more promising the spot.  Usually, this triangle holds fish in some capacity throughout the non ice season.  Jerkbaits do best for me above the bass, which part of the water column needs experimentation.  So in this case, I'd fish parallel or slight angle to the sharp irregular breaks and fish the gradual breaks either uphill or downhill until I determine which depth I'm getting bites from. If I think the bass are feeding on the flat and the flat is shallow, I'd probably switch baits to a 3-5" swimbait.

 

The running depth, flash level, and jerk/pause cadence require constant tinkering in my opinion.  In general, water in the 40's means deeper and longer pause between groups of jerks.  Warmer water is generally faster and shallower.  I like ghost colors for clear water and sun and holographic colors for clear water and overcast.  I don't have much experience with water clarity under 6' so I can't offer much there.  

 

Hopefully, this helps your prespawn fishing in some way.  This link will help you search for the spots on your water.

https://webapp.navionics.com/#boating

 

scott

 

Here's what the breaks look like on my water....

 

flat:break.jpeg

flat:break 2.jpeg

 

:clap: Great explanation. A lot of the information out there is not geared towards natural lakes. Working backwards from spawning areas is a great way to find fish no matter the time of year. 

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We may have one of our few/first ever abilities to fish pre-spawn bass in Minnesota this year because of the late Spring. Most years the pre-spawn is well over by the time our limited season allows even catch/release bass fishing.

 

Most years I fish pre-spawn jerkbaits in South Dakota where its legal. Much of the pattern will be similar here maybe by the mid-May season opener this year. I target flats between points that are also adjacent to deeper water (where the fish are migrating in from wintering spots).  Best flats IMO are on the North side since they face South towards the sun and warm slightly quicker on that side of the lake.

 

There really aren't many emerging weeds yet, so cover water quickly/efficiently but don't jerk too fast. The water is still cold and a fast moving jerk bait looks unnatural to the fish. I also don't recommend using braid because there is no give/stretch and the lure action snaps too much, again not looking as natural to the fish early in the year when the water is at its coldest.

 

Experiment with cadence, but likely 2-4 moderate action jerks followed by a pause, then repeat. Sometimes the pause is momentary, sometimes painfully long (15-20 seconds). Speed up or don't pause in between as much once you figure out the cadence. Better to start a little slower and speed up if you can. 

 

Good luck ~

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On 4/25/2022 at 10:34 AM, FryDog62 said:

We may have one of our few/first ever abilities to fish pre-spawn bass in Minnesota this year because of the late Spring. Most years the pre-spawn is well over by the time our limited season allows even catch/release bass fishing.

Very rarely does this occur here.  I am looking forward to the chance at some heavy pre-spawn fish.

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