Legendary Angler David Mullins shows off a big bass caught on a jerbait

Jerkbait Fishing for Bass in Colder Waters

David Mullins 4.10.2018

Cold water in the winter can be an awesome time to bust out the jerkbaits for bass fishing. For much of the country, water temps are ranging from the 40’s to the 60’s and a great choice to lure bass into biting are the erratic moving jerkbaits. Below, Legendary Angler, David Mullins, shares a few tips on how to fish, where to fish, and what colors to toss when using jerkbaits for bass in the early spring.

How to fish with jerkbaits

During this timeframe you never know what type of presentation will perform better than the others. During the retrieve, switch it up from a super erratic presentation all the way down to a slower, smoother one. Any cadence may work on any given day and by experimenting you can figure out which style the bass prefer. I usually start with a couple of jerks and a 5-second pause. If that doesn’t work, I will either slow down or speed up my cadence to determine what the fish want. Start with your rod tip pointed at the lure and sharply jerk with your wrist downward, returning the rod back to where it is pointing at the bait. This causes slack in the line that will result in the bait erratically darting from side to side.

Where to fish with jerbaits

My favorite places to start fishing jerkbaits are on main channel points. These points are the first places fish will move up on during their migration from deep water to shallow water spawning grounds. Generally, the deeper side of the points are where fish will position first, and then eventually move on top to the shallower areas. Other areas to look are creek channel swings and deeper sided banks where the last bit of deep water exists.

Jerkbait fishing setup

For my rod setup, I usually use lighter line (8-14 lb. test Sunline Sniper) and a softer tip 6’10” Doomsday Tackle 47 series rod. I prefer a shorter rod to prevent the rod from slapping the water while working the rod tip downward. As for the jerk baits themselves, I prefer to use painted baits on cloudy days and flashy baits on sunny days.


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