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Why Fish Deep-Diving Jerkbaits in Shallow Water?

Like tools in a carpenter’s apron, lures can have wide-ranging uses beyond the manufacturer’s design intent. Patrick Walters discusses such a situation with his preference for fishing deep-diving jerkbaits over shallow-running models around shallow water cover.


The Rapala Shadow Rap Deep Jerkbait is designed to cover the 4- to 8-foot range, but Patrick prefers using it in the shallowest of water where you’d often throw a flat-sided crankbait. It’s all about deflection – the bill edges are similar in design to a coffin or squarebill crankbait and produce excellent deflection characteristics. This makes it an effective lure around hard cover like wood, rocks, docks and other manmade elements.

Why not just tie on a flat-side or squarebill crankbait? According to Walters, bass are less conditioned to jerkbaits around shallow water cover so it’s part conditioning and part forage representation – a minnow profile is universally appealing to gamefish and sometimes outperforms crankbaits. The ultimate takeaway here is to look at your baits with an open mind – experimentation often leads to successful “sleeper” tactics that can give you an edge.