BassWestUSA - Spring, 2013, Page 69

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late Winter/early Spring

Jerk Baits


By JuStin luCaS

designed. If it stays cloudy but the water is clear, I continue to use the chartreuse shad. On days with a lot of chop on the water or when the water is dirty, I use MS american shad. I occasion- ally use other colors, but those are the colors I stick to about 90 percent of the time. Working the bait with the right action is the key to getting the fish to bite. I know that a well-known technique is to use long pauses, but I prefer short pauses. I pause for a few seconds, at most, between short, fast jerks. I just can’t cover enough water when I make long pauses. When the bite is extremely tough, I may pause a little longer, but I prefer the short pause because it is the best method for covering the most water. I use 8 to 10-pound test Trilene 100 percent fluorocarbon line when I am jerk bait fishing. I select the line strength based on the depth I want the bait to run. With 8-pound line, I can get the bait a full foot—and in some cases, almost two feet—deeper than I can with 10-pound line. On the rare occasions that I am fishing in extremely shallow water, I switch to 12-pound test to keep the bait shallower. The Lamiglas Excel 703C rod is the right rod for me be- cause it has a fast tip yet is a really soft rod for playing the fish back to the boat. The rod might be the most important element in jerk bait fishing. When you are fishing with a bait that has three hooks on low stretch line, something has to give. The rod gives just enough to keep from jerking the hooks out of the fish’s mouth. Yet it has the backbone and strength to get the fish into the boat. I pair the rod with an Abu Garcia high-speed Revo SX reel because it is important to be able to take up the slack line quickly and get to the next jerk. Again, it’s all about covering as much water as I can. One thing I do is change out the stock hooks to Owner hooks. Lucky Craft uses quality hooks, and these hooks do work, but when I am fishing for money, I only rely on Owner hooks. Owner hooks are the strongest on the market, and I know I won’t straighten a #6 Owner, no matter how big of a fish I catch. That little extra peace of mind is some- thing I need to have while I am fight- ing the fish back to the boat. I plan to use a new bait this year called the Lucky Craft Flash Pointer 115. I am excited to see what it can do and I think its going to quickly be- come part of my jerk baiting arsenal. BWU

Spring 2013

no secret that one of the best pre-spawn baits is the Lucky Craft Pointer series jerk bait. It’s a great lure for covering water and catching both lethar- gic fish and fish that are actively feeding. This time of year, bass almost can’t resist a quick jerking action mixed with pauses. There are multiple ways to fish using jerk bait. Many an- glers make quick, short jerks between short pauses while others make longer, slow jerks between long pauses. Each retrieve has its time and place, but I want to go into some of the details that can help you be more successful with the jerk bait. First, we have to decide which Lucky Craft Pointer to tie on. Many sizes work well, but I have a specific way of choosing the best one for me. When fishing a lake that has big largemouth bass, I match the baitfish size. For example, when I fish in Clear Lake, California, where large hitch is a main forage, or in any number of lakes that have large gizzard shad, I use a Pointer 128. When the main forage is threadfin shad or similarly small baitfish, I choose a Pointer 100. On lakes or rivers where the main bass species is either spotted bass or smallmouth bass, I tie on a Slender Pointer 112. For color, I keep it relatively simple. First thing in the morn- ing, I always start with chartreuse shad. If the sun comes out and the water is clear, I switch to ghost minnow color. Ghost min- now is one of the greatest colors ever