Wakebait fishing is addictive. This style of bass fishing offers a great alternative to traditional topwater fishing, especially when the bass don’t quite want to break the surface. By reeling a bait just below the surface, you’re still able to catch a bass’s attention with the disturbance of the water but the fish doesn’t have to completely expose itself by breaking through the water’s surface to attack the bait.
There are a few key features that make up a good wakebait. First, the bait needs to have a good action at variable speeds and not blow out to one side or the other when reeled quickly. Second, it needs the right buoyancy and bill design so it will stay just beneath the surface and push water to create a wake. Lastly, the bait needs to be solid, made of strong and quality components since this is a technique known for creating big bites.
Today, we’re going to hold the Jenko Wake N’ Bait Wakebait up against this gold standard and see how it measures up.
The Wake N’ Bait doesn’t disappoint when it comes to action. There are two different line ties at the front the bait. The top eye allows the bait to be fished up to a foot below the surface, where the bottom line tie keeps the bait up closer to the surface to create a wake. The second is my preferred way to fish the bait.
With the bait attached using the bottom line tie, you can fish this lure just below the surface at varying speeds. Many wakebaits blow out to one side or the other when you try to fish them fast to cover more water. The Wake N’ Bait stays true though, tracking well and tightening up the action as the lure is reeled faster.
This wakebait is comprised of two sections that are held together in the middle by a heavy-duty wire. This contact point serves as a hinge between the two halves of the bait and allows the tail-end of the lure to kick out hard as the nose of the bait wobbles back and forth. This exaggerates the action of the bait and gives it a pretty wide wobble for a bait that’s only 4 1/2 inches long.
The tail material Jenko used is top notch. They went with a soft-plastic material tail for this bait, which makes for a more realistic look. But the problem with soft tails on a bait like this is that they can be bitten in two and then the bait doesn’t have the same look. To prevent this from happening, Jenko went with a super stretchy material that is almost impossible to tear.
One tip on the tail
In the event that the tail does get damaged, you can replace it by simply sliding it up and out of the notch at the back-end of the bait. To prevent losing the tail, it’s a good idea to pull it out initially and go ahead and add a drop or two of super glue to this notch then quickly slide the tail back in. This will help keep fish or cover from pulling the tail out while you’re fishing with the bait.
Good set of hooks
Jenko went with a set of VMC Round Bend Treble Hooks for the Wake N’ Bait—a solid choice. These hooks are strong and will hold up to most anything that bites this bait as long as you have your drag set properly. The round bend is also the right selection for a bait like this since it offers the greatest chance of hooking up with a swiping bass.
Often with a lure like this, the bass will take a swing at it but not try to eat the whole bait on the initial swipe. Round-bend hooks have the greatest distance between the point and the shaft of the hook for their size and thus create the best opportunity for hooking a swiping bass.
Available in 8 colors, there’s something in the Wake N’ Bait lineup to represent a wide variety of baitfish in all water clarities. The Golden Tiger and Bone colors will work well if you’re looking for something to throw in muddy water. There are the more natural Perch and Gill colors if you want to mimic a bream in clearer water. Then there are Tennessee Shad and Silver Shad, which give you a couple of good shad representations for several water clarities. The Wake N’ Bait is even available in a Crappie and a Trout color scheme if you’re fishing around bass targeting those species.
The Jenko Wake N’ Bait holds up to the test of a good wakebait. With solid components and a good action, this bait will lure fish to the surface and then haul them right into the boat. I really like the innovative thinking with the tail design and the wide range of color choices which offer something for everyone regardless of the particular prey you’re trying to mimic.
At 4 1/2 inches and weighing 3/4 ounce, the Wake N’ Bait casts really well and gives the angler a profile that’s large enough to draw massive strikes, but not so big that the keepers won’t attack it too. It’s certainly worth a look if you’re in the market for a quality wakebait that gets bit.