How and When Jerkbaits Outperform Swimbaits

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Jerkbaits aka minnow baits are similar to soft swimbaits in many ways. Both closely resemble prey fish on the retrieve, they catch predator fish everywhere and they’re easy to fish. But when bass are in a tentative mood, you need to elicit reaction strikes by manipulating lure action, and well-designed jerkbaits provide endless retrieve options.

As pro angler Mark Fisher points out, real minnows dart around, stop quickly and often hang in suspension. Quality jerkbaits mimic this action while most soft swimbaits sink toward bottom on the pause. A suspending jerkbait remains in the strike zone and creates a collision that often triggers bites. Another benefit is that treble hooks catch nippers or lazy bites whereas they need to eat single hook swimbaits to get pinned.

The beauty of minnow baits is that anyone can cast them out, reel ’em in and be successful. Just remember to experiment with a variety of retrieves until you start getting bit then repeat what’s working.