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Choosing the Right Jerkbait

Posted by todd on March 12, 2014

If you’re reading this tip, chances are you are a student of the sport and know that “matching the hatch” is one of the most important factors in selecting the right lure and the right color to catch more fish.  Some lures, like buzzbaits, are reaction baits that trigger fish to strike out of reaction without letting the fish actually get a good look at the bait.  In these situations, color is much less important.  Fishing with a suspending jerkbait is one of the times that color is of the utmost importance, because you are letting the fish stare at your lure without moving.  This tip will help you with choosing the right jerkbait color to “match the hatch” and hopefully catch more fish this spring.

First, wherever you are fishing you want to take into consideration the primary forage that the bass feed on.  If you are fishing around the Great Lakes or in the northeastern U.S., perch are a favorite meal for bass in certain times of the year.  Make sure you carry perch colors in your tackle box if that’s the case.  If you are fishing in Florida, the golden shiner is prevalent, so colors like gold/black can be very effective.  For most of us, threadfin and gizzard shad are the predominant forage in fisheries – so shad patterns make up the bulk of the color selections in my tackle box.  I use the Reaction Strike XRM jerkbait line because it gives me all of the color choices and sizes I need to “match the hatch” across the country.

I like to carry two different types of shad patterns.  One is more of an opaque pattern or one that you cannot see through, colors such as shell white, ayu, and sexy shad.  The other is a translucent pattern, one that is much more subtle and allows some light to pass through.  This includes colors such as spring blue, ghost minnow, and ghost pro blue.  I favor the opaque colors in stained water, or on dark, cloudy days.  I favor the translucent colors in clear water, or bright sunny days.  Remember to always experiment with color and know that the best color choice may actually change throughout the day as conditions change.  The fish must see your bait, but not get too good a look at it to realize that it’s not real.