UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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How to Fish Jerkbaits Around Brush

How to Fish Jerkbaits Around Brush

Throwing a jerkbait during cool-water periods for suspended fish isn’t anything new, but FLW Tour pro Braxton Setzer likes to dial it in by fishing two particular jerkbaits around brush piles.

 

The pattern

When the water temperature begins to fall and through the winter, Setzer says that the spotted bass in the reservoirs that line the Coosa River like to get in and around wood cover.

The best spots are brush piles on or near breaks with deep water close by – the edge of a creek channel, a point or anything else that creates a sharp drop. Setzer also likes to target long laydown trees that end in deeper water. You’ll need to plant the brush [where legal] or find it with Lowrance StructureScan or sonar, but you can often spot the trunks or roots of laydown trees on the banks and then fish around the tops out in deeper water.

“Depth doesn’t play as much of a factor as location, and if it’s a brush pile that fish like to use,” says Setzer. “I don’t use a super-deep jerkbait for brush piles, so the deepest top I would want to target is maybe 10 feet. If I can get it within a couple feet of the top of it those fish will come up and get it.”

 

The two-bait approach

When it comes down to fishing the tops of brush, Setzer tunes his approach based on the depth of the cover.

“A lot of times those fish will sit in that brush and the more active fish will sit at the top because they’re looking to feed,” he says. “My selection process is based on how deep that brush pile is. I want to get the jerkbait as close to the brush as possible without hanging up.”

For that, Setzer uses a pair of jerkbaits. One is the shallower running Duel Hardcore Minnow Flat 110SP (bottom rod in above photo), and the other is the deeper running Yo-Zuri 3DB Shad (top rod in above photo). He fishes each bait on a 6-10, medium-light Phenix Maxim with Yo-Zuri TopKnot fluorocarbon and varies his line from 8- to 12-pound test to really dial in the depth range.

“Line plays a factor in how deep you can get the bait,” explains Setzer. “For instance, the Minnow Flat 110, which is the shallow jerkbait I like to go to, may only get down 3 or 4 feet on 12-pound-test line. If you throw it on 10-pound-test line you may get it down to 6 feet. Of course, in the brush pile game the lighter you go the more risk you have of breaking them off if they get down in the brush. If you’re fishing around standing timber or something like that you may need to put a little more heat on them to get them out.”

The 3DB Shad is a hybrid type of bait, but Setzer fishes it just like a jerkbait. He turns to it for deeper tops and says you can easily fish it down to about 8 or 9 feet depending on your setup.

 

Finishing touches

Setzer usually looks to throw a jerkbait around brush anytime the water has fallen down into the lows 60s and into the 50s, and usually uses a regular jerk-jerk-pause retrieve. During a warming trend he likes to fish a little faster, and he’ll sometimes slow down when the water is really cold.

 

One more scenario

It’s winter now, but Setzer says there’s another scenario when a jerkbait fished around brush can be a killer tactic. That’s in the immediate postspawn. He says that occasionally bass will hang on a brush pile en route to the main lake from their spawning pockets, and early in the cycle a jerkbait can get ’em.

“It tends to be more a spotted bass thing,” says Setzer. “We do catch largemouths on it, but it’s predominantly a spotted bass thing. It all depends on what’s in the brush pile at the time. It picks up in the fall and goes through the winter, but anytime the spots are utilizing the brush and keying on shad it can work.”

So, the next time you’re out and looking for a hard-pulling spotted bass, consider finding some brush and picking up a jerkbait.

Tags: braxton-setzer  jerkbait  spotted-bass  jody-white  article 

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