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deermaster

how to fish hard jerkbaits?

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i was fishing a rapela nockoff hard jerkbait, about 4" long today, just jerking it, letting it flot to the surface, jerking it, letting it float back to the surface.....and on and on, and slammed a nice fat 3 lber right off the bat, but didnt get any other hits after that.  was i fishing it wrong and get lucky?  or is that the right way to fish a hard jerk bait?  should i keep it moving like a shallow crankbait?  or fish it like a popper, jerk wait, jerk wait?  or is it just finding what works for the day and doing it?  thanks for any advice.

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I usually start with a twitch, twitch, pause pattern and then vary the length of the pause until I find out what's working that day.

Some days they want a real long pause (30-60 seconds) other days, they want no pause at all - those are X-rap days.

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I'll let the other guys chime in regarding floating jerkbaits because I fish suspending jerkbaits almost exclusively. As far as suspending jerkbaits go (x-raps and pointers are top notch) your retrieve method changes with the season and conditions. In early spring when the waters still cold, you're going to fish with long pauses in between jerks, sometimes as long as 30-60 seconds so be patient. Also, when the waters cold you use more of a sweeping motion to impart action than an actual "jerk". As the water warms up your going to want to start increasing the retrieve speed of your cadence and using more aggressive jerks. Also, standard LC pointers work extremely well in cold water when the fish want a more subtle action, however, when the water begins to warm up, x-raps and slender pointers, both of which have a more aggressive action, begin to excel. As far as jerkbait size, in early spring and fall, bass often want a bigger offering so you are going to want to use bigger jerkbaits (100s and 128s), in the warmer months you can downsize some to match to forage. As a general rule, jerkbaits are clear water lures, but don't be afraid to fish them in stained or even muddy water as well. Also... if you have smallmouth water near by, look out, big smallies are often suckers for jerkbaits.

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