Jerkbait Fishing Smallmouth Bass Using Extreme Action and Color

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):

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.


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.   

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