Dustin Connell’s Jerkbait Cadence Tips for More Bass

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From repeatedly winning bass fishing tournaments at the highest level to producing impressive bass and multi-species catches for recreational anglers, jerkbaits dominate. No one knows this better than Dustin Connell, who has racked up an impressive pro bass resume in short order. He shares some top-secret jerkbait fishing tips that will improve your success. Ditch the typical jerk-jerk-pause cadence for this more dynamic approach.

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Whether you’re targeting suspended bass with jerkbaits or fish relating to cover, it’s essential to understand the impact of changing your jerkbait retreives. Connell emphasizes the importance of varying your jerkbait’s cadence to match the mood and activity level of the bass. He advises against sticking to a rigid jerk-pause pattern, encouraging anglers to adapt based on the fish’s response. Whether snapping the bait upwards to mimic a fleeing baitfish or maintaining a constant retrieve, Connell stresses observing and reacting to generate the bite.


Effective bass fishing with jerkbaits isn’t just about the lure and its movement; it’s also about mastering your cast and maintaining optimal boat positioning. Connell highlights the significance of making long casts, especially when fishing in clear water where bass are easily spooked. He highlights the casting efficiency of the Rapala PXR Mavrik 110, which features a unique magnetic weight transfer system that shifts the weight to the rear of the jerkbait on the cast. The result? Longer casting distances even into the wind. In addition to reducing the spook factor, long casts help your jerkbait reach its maximum running depth.


  • Reacting to Conditions: Adapt your approach based on water temperature, clarity, and fish activity. Whether the bass are aggressive or lethargic, tweaking your cadence is crucial to success.
  • Mindful Movement: Pay close attention to your lure’s movement. Subtle changes in the jerkbait’s action can provoke a strike from a bass following the bait.
  • Boat Position and Stealth: Keeping a distance from your target and casting into the wind will significantly reduce spooking the fish.

Connell’s expertise in jerkbait fishing is about understanding their behavior and using that knowledge to trigger predatory instincts. Whether targeting smallmouth or largemouth bass, his strategies will help you catch more fish with this dynamic lure category.