Jerkbait fishing for bass in the winter can often be one of the most puzzling tactics for anglers no matter where you live. Sure, it seems straightforward, but without the proper knowledge it can be nearly impossible to catch a winter-time bass even if you think you’re doing it right. Today we will be taking a deep dive into winter jerkbait fishing for largemouth bass and giving out 4 of our best tips that will help you stick a stud next time you hit the water!
Winter Jerkbait Fishing Tip #1: Mimic What You See
Our first tip for jerkbait fishing is simple: mimic what you see in your waters. More often than not, we see anglers tossing bright-colored jerkbaits in the winter to, “try and catch the fish's eye.” What they don’t know is that this is the wrong approach. Sometimes throwing something different is good and gets bites, but a majority of the time this is far from the case. If you are fishing and see dead shad or bluegill on the bank, throw a jerkbait that resembles those fish. The jerkbait is meant to mimic dying baitfish or game fish with its sporadic suspending action. If you can identify what type of bait is dying in your waters and match the hatch, there’s a very good chance you’ll get a higher volume of bites!
Winter Jerkbait Fishing Tip #2: Experiment with Retrieval
During the winter months, bass will often stray away from their summer habits and enter a lethargic state where they don’t eat much, or at the very least react differently to baits. Because of this, how the bass react varies in each body of water which is why it’s key to experiment with your retrieval when fishing with the jerkbait. Typically, anglers tend to get more bites when retrieving the jerkbait very slowly, but if that doesn’t work for you, switch it up! There are times in which pressure or fronts make the bass a lot more active despite the cold water temperature, so always experiment even if it may seem unorthodox.
Winter Jerkbait Fishing Tip #3: Find Structure
The jerkbait is capable of catching bass in the flats, but during the winter months, bass are often hugging structure very closely whether in somewhat shallow waters or deep in the water column. If you’re fishing out of a boat, using graphs to look for cover can be one of the best ways to increase your catch rate with the jerkbait. We recommend going out to deep waters and just scanning for any type of cover whether it’s rocks, a brush pile, or something else similar. Once you find something like this, throw the jerkbait all around it a few times–if nothing happens, try experimenting by adding in the two tips we already mentioned above!
Winter Jerkbait Fishing Tip #4: Use Light Line
A common misconception from new anglers is that with a bigger lure like the jerkbait heavier line is the best, but this is far from the truth. Fluorocarbon line is by far the best for jerkbait fishing because it stretches less than mono, but what some people don’t know is that it sinks. If you go too heavy with fluorocarbon line it can end up sinking your jerkbait especially if you are fishing slow as we recommend. Due to this, our ideal line for jerkbait fishing is 8-10lb fluorocarbon. It’s heavy enough so you don’t break off on big bass all the time, but light enough so the performance of your jerkbait isn’t hindered because of sinking.
All in all, the jerkbait is by far one of the most productive lures for anglers when they have the knowledge we gave today. We hope that next time you hit the water to jerkbait fish you apply these tips and catch yourself a trophy bass! Shop our jerkbait sale today by clicking here.