A bright-colored jerkbait fished during the spring prespawn period unlocks the predatory instinct of smallmouth bass like no other lure category. Wired2Fish contributor, Dan Quinn, takes to Minnesota’s famed Mille Lacs lake after ice-out for a lesson in bass location and how to fish extremely erratic and bright-colored jerkbaits to turn smallmouth bass into vicious feeding machines.
TACKLE USED (additional links at the bottom):
- Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait (XR10), color: Hot Head
- Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait (alternate inventory option)
- Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, 10lb
- ARK Randall Tharp Honey Badger Series Casting Rods, “One Eyed Jack” 6’9″ M
- Shimano Curado 200K Casting Reel, 7.4:1
The first shallow push of smallmouth bass usually occurs after a bout of warm weather a week or two after ice-out. At this time, Dan side scans looking for boulder piles or rock-strewn flats adjacent to deeper wintering areas, then reaches for a jerkbait, which fishes fast and draws bass from a distance. Quinn credits Al Lindner with teaching the power of bright, unnatural colors for bass in clear water – patterns like Hot Head (fluorescent orange), Hot Pink, and Clown consistently outperform natural, realistic colors in the clearest of water.
- Ranger Boats Z520L Comanche
- Mercury 250hp Pro XS FourStroke
- Power-Pole Blade Shallow Water Anchor
- Lowrance HDS-12 LIVE Fish Finder
- Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor
- Rapala Hooded Long Sleeve Performance T-Shirt
- Rapala Hat
Lastly, Quinn discusses the basics of fishing jerkbaits, with an emphasis on selecting the right rod and line combo to get the maximum performance out of the bait.