Sometimes, we bass fisherman can really place limits on baits. We get an idea of when and where you’re supposed to toss a certain lure. I think the case could previously be made for diving jerkbaits, as for the longest time, they were considered an early spring cold water bait. I think the introduction of live imaging technology has opened jerkbaits up to more of a year-round deal as we’ve seen much more success on them in other seasons as well. And it is quite notable that pros have always kept jerkbaits as their little secret bait that gets thrown when it really “shouldn’t”, at least according to the general public. ALL OF THAT TO SAY, do not overlook the jerkbait ESPECIALLY going into fall.
My first case for the jerkbait is we are coming out of primary summertime schools, spots, and patterns and the bass are back to migrating and moving as water temperature and conditions change. So, now instead of milking these waypoints we’ve been counting on for the past several months, it’s time to be able to efficiently cover a lot of water in order to dial in some sort of pattern. A jerkbait may be one of the more effective ways of achieving this!
So, why are these bass leaving their haunts? Because the food is leaving! And, as the bass’ appetite rises and they know that Winter is coming, they’re going to hand tight to these balls of bait and follow them wherever they go! With that in mind, I’m not sure that there is a better baitfish imitator than a jerkbait. The profile IS that of a bait fish, and while crankbaits are also a great option, I truly believe the jerkbait is more versatile in that you can alter its appearance with a variety of retrieves. Whether you need to slow way down or speed way up, when you get your cadence right it is beyond the shadow of a doubt that a jerkbait can trigger plenty of strikes.
Where to target fall fish can vary so much from lake to lake. Yet, this time of year you will rarely catch me without a Strike King KVD Jerkbait tied on. Where I throw this will range from alongside docks, pilings, over brush, riprap banks, vertical banks, creek channels, you name it! I like to pair my jerkbait with 10 lb Fluorocarbon spooled onto a Bruin ELS reel geared in 8.1:1 to help take up a lot of slack when working the bait with my rod tip.