Lure Profile: Soft-Plastic Jerkbaits

Tom Redington

You know a bunch of bass will be caught on Zoom Flukes this week, probably on the back of Fish Head Spins.

The soft-plastic jerkbait is a staple for bass fishermen. Small twitches make it dart erratically to attract fish, and a slow, dying fall triggers bass when the bite is super tough. This bait is a must-have for every bass fisherman’s tackle box. 

Why it works: It looks like a fleeing baitfish if worked fast, but looks like an easy meal when worked slowly. It can be worked on the surface or deeper. No matter the mood of the bass, if they are feeding on minnows or shad, they’ll eat a soft-plastic jerkbait. 

Best ways to rig: A weightless Texas rig with an extra-wide-gap hook is the classic rig. Small twitches produce wild action. Let it fall on slack line, and it’ll glide down like a dying shad. Start with a lot of twitches. If you don’t get bit, add more and longer pauses until the fish start to bite. Shove a nail weight into the body for a quicker fall. Or rig it on a Carolina rig to get it deep quickly. 

Peak times: A soft jerk works best up shallow, so spring and fall are prime times, as are early and late parts of the day in the summer. For ponds, it works year-round. 

Where to throw it: Since a soft jerkbait is pretty weedless and bass love cover, throw this bait near any target in the water and let it fall near logs, stumps or weeds to increase the odds of a bite. Banks with a lot of baitfish are likely spots, too. If you see a lot of minnows or shad in an area, the odds are high that bass are nearby. 

Tom’s go-to bait: Berkley’s PowerBait Jerk Shad. It has classic action on the twitch and pause with PowerBait’s taste baked in so fish hold on longer. Small slots on the top allow you to barely keep the hook point in to prevent snags, but to still easily pop free for a high hook-up percentage. 

Best colors: When in doubt, go with green pumpkin. Shad or minnow colors with lots of white or silver are good options, too. Try shades of watermelon with red or purple metal flake in clear water or on sunny days. Use a chartreuse dye marker to brighten the tails in muddy water. 

You can follow Tom’s fishing tips and updates on FacebookYouTube and Instagram

Tags: jerkbait  -tips  -how-to  -soft-plastic  -kids-club  fishing-tips-beginner  tom-redington 


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