The product recommendations on our site are independently chosen by our editors. When you click through our links, we may earn a commission. Thanks for helping us do what we love.

Jerkbait Fishing Winter Bass | 4 Tips to Dial-in the Bite

Oklahoma bass pro Chad Warren is a big fan of chasing winter bass with Umbrella rigs and jerkbaits but is quick to pivot to the jerkbait when the bass visibly ignore his A-rig. Warren demonstrates how to use live sonar technology (Garmin LiveScope) to selectively target active bass while making on-the-fly cadence and lure changes based on each fish’s temperament (gear links at the bottom). 

Here are Warren’s Top 4 Winter Jerkbait Tips:

  1. Study the mood of each fish. Bass activity level and behavior often change day-to-day, from hour to hour, and even fish to fish. Make cadence and bait tweaks based on what live sonar is telling you.
  2. Target bass higher in the water column. Better yet, target a group of “high riders” for the greatest chance of getting one to bite. While we used to think active bass hovered just below bait schools, LiveScope shows us that active feeding bass will suspend above the bait, high up in the water column. Groups of bass are usually more competitive than singles so prioritize schools of high riders over the rest. 
  3. Get the jerkbait to the fish quickly and naturally before it’s gone. Cast past the bass and work the bait up to it before it swims out of range.
  4. Keep your foot on the trolling motor when you locate fish. You’re not catching if you lose sight of the fish, so Warren advocates keeping your foot glued to the trolling motor pedal and eyes focused on keeping LiveScope trained on the fish.