Downsized jerkbaits are growing in popularity thanks to their ability to generate bites when larger-profiled hard baits fail to produce. Jerkbait fishing expert, Chris Zaldain, puts on a clinic on a heavily pressured Texas lake using the ultra-realistic Megabass Oneten +1 Jr. to work a deeper water column on main lake points. He shares 6 pointers that will help you catch bass others have been missing:
- Target bass on large tapering windblown points. Prominent main lake points are bass magnets, especially with the added complexion of cover like scattered brush piles. Wind activates the food chain and bass activity while reducing spookiness at the same time.
- Use small deep-diving jerkbaits to mimic smaller forage species better. Additionally, a smaller profile reduces water displacement, which is often a better trigger for bass disrupted by boating traffic or angling pressure. Think of them as the Ned rig of jerkbait fishing, albeit with the seductive darting action of their bigger cousins.
- Use a short spinning rod and reel setup. A short spinning combo and light line pairing increases casting distance, casting accuracy, and allows you to get the most action from the bait (without slapping the rod tip against the water).
- Adjust cadence based on water temperature. As a general rule of thumb, Zaldain fishes jerkbaits faster and more erratic the warmer the water. Conversely, he slows his cadence, retrieve speed, and uses longer pauses the colder the water.
- Use opaque and solid-colored jerkbaits in stained or dirty water while opting for clear baits in clear water (transparent finishes). This is Zaldain's preference based on experience fishing wide-ranging habitats throughout the country.
- Avoid graphing spots before fishing them. We found it interesting and instructive that Zaldain often bypasses driving these spots and graphing them first. Instead, he uses jerkbaits to locates the bass. This strategy minimizes spooking bass while long casts present the jerkbait as natural forage. Zaldain advises Spot-Locking upwind and thoroughly fan casting the area before moving on.
FISHING TACKLE USED
- Megabass Oneten +1 Jr., French Pearl OB
- Megabass Orochi XX Spinning Rod Ronin 6'8"
- Shimano Twin Power FD Spinning Reel, 3000XGFD
- Seaguar Smackdown Braided Line, 15lb Flash Green
- Seaguar Gold Label Fluorocarbon Leader Line, 8lb