Archive for the ‘Tackle’ Category

Archive for the ‘Tackle’ Category

This is part 2 of a 2 part series( check out part 1 at… )

Lets start with why? Why were soft jerkbaits created?

Well soft jerkbaits were created to go where no other hard jerkbait has successfully gone before, into the WEEDS! They were not created to take the place of hard jerkbaits just an alternative…

So, what sets these lures apart from their hard bait ancestors? …

1.) The fact that their soft is obvious, but there’s more to it then that. Being plastic their way more realistic, from the way they look, to the way they move and feel.

2.) They use a single worm hook, rigged texas style, as oppose to the hard baits that have 2 or 3 big, ugly treble hooks dangling from below.

3.) Last but not least, what also makes these unlike the hard jerkbaits is not the way you work the bait, but the way the bait works in general.

As the hard jerk baits have almost a set “Wiggle” you could call it, where you can repeat the same action over and over. The soft baits are made to be much more erratic and near impossible to duplicate the same action.

…ALRIGHT! Now that you know the difference between hard and soft jerkbaits, we can dig a little bit deeper into when, where, and how to use them…

When to fish soft jerk baits:

Although people fish these baits all year round, they usually tend to be most effective in the spring and fall. Cold to cool water in the 47–70 degree Fahrenheit range is ideal for soft jerkbaits.

Where to fish soft jerk baits:

I’ve caught fish in all kinds of water with these but they were originally created to be fished in clear water, with at least a 2 foot visibility.

They can be fished through thick cover, around any structures or in open water. You’ll often hear that you can fish these anywhere you would fish a floating worm, but you can make that decision for yourself.

My personal favorite places to toss these baits are near docks, and under overhanging trees, I always get great results in these two spots.

How to fish soft plastic jerk baits:

You can fish these baits close to the same way you fish the hard ones. The big change is in the speed you work them. Since these are so realistic looking you can take your time reeling them in. Fish will actually WANT to go after them because of their naturalistic looks.

In clear water I get good results taking advantage of their life-like appearance with MORE, pauses between my jerks, but in stained water I seem to have more luck with LESS pauses, creating a commotion.

When the fish are more on the calm and relaxed side, you should bring your jerks down to around 20-30 a minute. However, if the fish are aggressive, try to work the bait a little bit faster then you might think natural, between 30 & 70 jerks a minute! Although it sounds strange, it works!

However you decide to fish these try to make long casts toavoid spooking any close shallow, clear-water fish.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Soft jerk baits tend to be less effective in warmer waters.

Tackle and rigging for soft jerkbaits:

Soft jerkbaits demand a hard hook set, so if possible using a heavy action rod can prove to be beneficial, but not necessary. In really clear water you can get away with a lighter line like an 8-10lb test, though in normal clear water, 12 to14lb test is a little safer.

As with most baits you’ll have the most luck sticking to the natural colors, but on cloudy days, brighter colors like chartreuse and bubblegum may also bring luck.

By the way when your rigging your soft baits make sure your to center the the hook as much as possible as it will twist your line if its off balance.

so thats pretty much it, like always try it out and let me know how it goes…

if you’d like some help just email me.

Nick Mack

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

I could write books full of tips and techniques on jerkbaits, though It’d probably take forever, it could be done! But for times sake, I’ll keep this short and to the point and cover the basics! Here are a few tips you can put to use right away…

I like to use a jerkbait when i’m looking for “action”! When I can’t seem to get the attention of any near-by fish, a jerkbait with a good technique seems to act sort of like a wake up call. These lures can load your buckets when all else fails!

They’ll catch the attention of any lurking fish, and make enough ruckus to entice the *BIG* fish hanging out down in the weeds to come to the surface!

Unfortunately, these baits are definintely not snag-free (or “weedless”) so its a good idea to stay out of the weeds and away from any heavy cover when your learning to use jerkbaits. However, over the weeds is a different story, as a matter of fact…

“Dangling over weeds in 1-5 feet of water is PERFECT for a jerkbait.”

Here’s what you should do…

1.) Cast your bait to where ever you think there might be fish.

2.) When the lure comes to the surface, give your rod a series of soft to medium strength jerks, and pause after every few jerks for a couple of seconds!

4.) All while *SLOWLY* reeling your lure in. ( remember to keep it looking as natural as possible, immitating an injured fish).

5.) repeat

<strong>THE KEY TO JERKBAITS: </strong>

You’ll get most of your bites when you stop jerking and pause. Their killer instincts kick in and they’ll jump right at your bait. The pause is where your going to catch around 80-90% of your fish on jerkbaits!

…”YES, it’s really that simple!”

QUICK jerks or LONG ones it doesn’t matter, some people suggest you should keep ‘em consistent with one another, but I personally prefer eratic jerks it’s more natural of an injured fish, plus it seems to get me more bites!

“That’s good Nick, but where can I drag these baits?”

Well, the two most ideal situations for a jerkbait are,

1.) Above any WEEDS or structures that are within 10 feet(preferably 1- 6 feet) of the surface, natural or manmade. Both will get the job done, and well.

For example: A tree under water with lots of branches , an old boat that sank, or a dock that’s now underwater, are all perfect for this! Just toss your lure a little past the structure and start jerkin’ it in!

2.) For the days that fish are less active, you can drag your lure parrallel to a shore or reef line where fish might be hiding, and jerk it down a foot or two, so you can get it right in front of them, at eye level.

You’ll catch all kinds of good fish with jerkbaits if you don’t already. Musky, large and smallmouth bass, walleye, striper and hybrid stripers are all common fish to these baits.

So give it a try and let me know how it goes, goodluck!

Nick Mack

How To Fish Soft Jerkbaits - Part 2: