Jerkbait Fishing Ditches for Early Prespawn Bass

Major League Fishing pro, Stephen Browning, provides a detailed lesson in jerkbait fishing winter bass relating to deep water ditches that connect to spawning flats. Ditches are to bass what highways are to people — a means of congregating and routing traffic. On otherwise featureless lakes, a ditch is a defined structural corridor that gathers and routes bass between wintering and spawning flats. Looking for fat prespawners? Find a ditch.


Browning defines what ditches look like on 2D sonar and where active bass position so you can make high-percentage casts. Browning uses jerkbaits to mimic baitfish in appearance and action. On this day, mid-40-degree water temps exposed a winter pattern, with bass eating on the pause. Browning discusses the importance of adjusting your cadence to the fish’s mood and using pauses to trigger bites.

His go-to rod setup is built around a short and sensitive medium-heavy casting rod, high-speed reel, and light fluorocarbon fishing line. A casting reel in the 7.5:1 range supports quick line pickup, a must for getting tight on fish on long casts, and the light 10-pound fluorocarbon fostering the best jerkbait action.

As an Amazon Associate, we may earn income when you click on an Amazon link. We also earn affiliate commissions off of other partner links. For a list of our affiliate partners, visit our retail partners page. Your link clicks help us fund the work we do for the fishing community.