Best Jerkbait For Bass

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How do you fish for bass – let me count the way! Bass fish species can be found in all 50 states of the U.S. Bass can also be found in foreign countries like Africa, South America, and Japan. Bass fish are available in hundreds of different species.

Anglers can find them in abundance in ponds, streams, lakes, and in fresh as well as saltwater. Not to mention that they are a popular and delicious fish to cook and eat.

Bass Species

Just to name a few of the common U.S. bass species is identified below:

> Black Bass – freshwater fish in the eastern shore areas
> Guadalupe Bass – freshwater fish and Texas state fish
> Largemouth Bass – freshwater fish found nearly everywhere
> Redeye Bass – freshwater fish found in southern states
> Shoal Bass – freshwater species found in tropical waters
> Smallmouth Bass – freshwater fish found nearly everywhere
> Spotted Bass – freshwater species found almost anywhere
> Striped Bass – freshwater fish found in Atlantic seacoast area
> Suwannee Bass – freshwater species found mainly in Georgia and Florida
> Temperate Bass – freshwater, marine, and brackish water
> White Bass – freshwater fish and Oklahoma state species

Bass Are Lured to a Jerkbait

When you are looking to land that 6′ or more bass, a jerkbait bass lure is a must have in your tackle box. Jerkbait lures can be used from January to December.

The cooler the water, like fall and spring, the better your jerkbait will work. These seasons are also spawning periods and they can be bedding or cruising around.

Bass move slower in cooler water that is around 50° to 60°. When you let a jerkbait lure deadstick at the bottom of the water, just move it slowly then stop and wait.

This movement fools the bass into thinking it is an injured baitfish. When the bass goes after your lure, yank it up, you got a big boy!

Just one of the many benefits of using a jerkbait is that you can use them in any water environment like in deep or shallow waters. Jerkbait lures are available in many different styles and colors.

You can use these features to your bass fish advantage. As an angler, you have control over how a jerkbait lure reacts. When you give you line a quick jerk the bait moves off in different directions that is attractive to fish in general.

Jerkbait Features

A unique feature of a jerkbait is its design. A jerkbait is a lengthy aerodynamic shaped lure that looks like a fish (shad or minnow). It has a lip to resemble a crankbait when you are reeling in and testing to see what technique the fish are attracted to.

This amazing lure has fish eyes, bait design patterns, a shine that is attractive to bass under water. Jerkbaits are designed with specific colors that represent the color of the forage where you are fishing. Depending on the fishing environment where you live, popular color sections include silvers, whites, firetiger, and gold.

Speaking of lips, there are lipless jerkbait models. Lipless jerkbait lures don’t have a lip or other appendages that help anglers to make its actions more fish-like. Lipless lures require anglers to be more imaginative in the bass catches.

Do you like sound with your catch? Many anglers purchase jerkbait lures with a little jingle in the form of rattles. Rattles work best in non-clear waters.

The sound attracts bass because water is a great sound conductor. Bass misstake a lure rattle as a distress signal of their favorite meals and will curiously investigate. But a rattle is still a fishing debate, it is up to each angler as to what works for them.

This is just a few of the features why anglers are successful bass catchers. Fishing for bass with a jerkbait works because of what is in this lure’s name – ‘jerk.’

When you jerk and pause, the bait looks like an easy meal. At the pause, a bass will come closer to the bait, then when you suddenly jerk your line away, the bass instinctively reacts to catch it.

Types of Jerkbaits

Jerkbait lures are available in two different body styles – hard and soft:

A. Hard

Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure
Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure

Hard means that a jerkbait is manufactured in hard but durable plastic, wood, or other types of synthetic materials. Hard lures include 2 or 3 treble hooks with a single body and lip.

There are other hard lures that have two body sections connected by an eyelet. Hard bodied jerkbaits have three types – suspending, floating and sinking.

i. suspending – a jerkbait lure simply sits suspended close to the surface of the water.
ii. floating – a jerkbait can sit on the surface of the water.
iii. sinking – a jerkbait that can be plunged deep into the water. A sinking jerkbait works very well if your fishing landscape contains rocks, dock piles, fallen trees, thick brush, or thick grass. You can also weight down your jerkbait.

All three hard body types can be used at a depth that an angler needs depending on your fishing style.

B. Soft

Zoom Bait Salty Super Fluke Bait-Pack of 10
Zoom Bait Salty Super Fluke Bait

Soft jerkbait lures are pliable and malleable to taste in order to fool the bass when it bites your bait. They are made from soft plastic but they can be weighted to be dropped down into deeper water. Of course, there is a specific downside to their use.

The downside is that their use is limited. You can only use them a few times before they disintegrate due to the biting of the bass.

Despite this limitation, many anglers use them when they are fishing in clear waters to watch and see how fish react to their varying techniques.

Also, a soft-plastic jerkbait must be rigged properly or it will not jerk or snap evenly in a side-by-side motion which is what triggers the bass to bite.

Let’s Talk Jerkbait Fishing Gear

When you use jerkbait lures, anglers have an option of a spinning reel or a baitcasting reel. A medium or heavier rod gives anglers the right jerk or whipping motion need to get the bait to dive down against the water’s resistance.

Anglers do not need a long rod when using a jerkbait. A shorter rod is quicker and easier to use when anglers use that downward motion toward the water without hitting the surface.

As a typical jerkbait standard the most popular rods can range from about 6′ by 8” inches; 7′ by 2” long. Medium to slightly heavier fishing rod blanks is good and a moderate to fast rod taper is even better.

Speed is a factor when bass fishing with a jerkbait. If you are fishing in warmer waters, you need a quick retrieval motion for that perfect bite.

Let’s talk about spools and the use of jerkbait performance. A monofilament line is great for floating and a fluorocarbon line is good to sink.

For example: using an 8 lb monofilament with a jerkbait, it will drop down deeper in a faster time with less of a line for water resistance. Leisure anglers don’t always travel with varied lines so know what and how you want to fish using a jerkbait line.

Another feature depending on the angler is whether you want to use a large or small jerkbait. Larger jerkbait has extra hooks to improve a better catch. Smaller or standard jerkbait lures are good in shallow water or in areas where there is grass.

The right size jerkbait is an important feature for catching bass along with water clarity, temperature, and other water environments. Smaller jerkbait lures do not require a lot of jerk or snap for the depth an angler needs.

It is a good idea to use a standard jerkbait in addition to smaller jerkbait lures because it always makes a difference in the number of bass in your catch for leisure fishing or in competitions.


A jerkbait is a great novice lure and it works very well for professionals. They are available in varied shapes and sizes to catch bass that swims at different depths depending on the calendar. For example, during the Fall the bass species know to feed before the colder winter days.

They instinctively migrate back to many of the same areas they used during their spawn cycle. Key feeding areas are what the bass are seeking.

Experienced anglers know all about bass cycles and what jerkbait to use. No matter where the bass are, an angler’s main goal is the use the jerkbait to act like a weakend fish so that the bass will bite.

A jerkbait works best in clear water which why the upcoming Fall season is a great smallmouth bass fishing time of year.

Jerkbait lures are great in and out of fishing seasons. They are comfortable to use, their design is quite simple, and they can work in many different water environments.

Jerkbaits can be used in top water environments and deepwater environments. Anglers agree that to be a better bass fisherman, a jerkbait is your ideal tool.

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Hi! I’m Steven!

I am an avid life long fisherman, having caught over 25,000 fish over the years. My life-long passion for fishing began when my father taught me how to fish at the age of ten. I started to share my extensive knowledge of all things fishing.

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