As the water begins to cool and baitfish school up together, consider a jerkbait as an excellent choice for fall bass fishing. I know I’ve talked about other ways of catching bass in the fall, but jerkbaits are yet another good way.
Jerkbaits belong to the crankbait family of lures. They are typically slender-bodied and sport two to three treble hooks. The common lip shapes available offer depths between 1-20+ feet and are designed to make the lure swim in an erratic pattern.
As the name implies, these particular crankbaits are meant to be fished in short, jerking patterns with pauses in between. Suspending models will stay put, while floating versions will slowly work their way back up to the surface before the next tug of the rod. This action is meant to mimic a struggling baitfish and when fall bass are chasing schools to fatten up for the winter, a jerkbait can be a deadly choice.
You’ll just have to play with the presentation (speed, number of jerks between pauses, length of pause, etc.) to see what’s working that particular day. Be prepared on those pauses, though, because that’s when bass will zoom in and crush your bait.
As we have officially entered the fall fishing season, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite jerkbaits for hungry fall bass.
Rapala Shadow Rap Jerkbait
The special lip of the Shadow Rap gives it incredible side-to-side action (nearly 180°). This is a suspending jerkbait with a special weighting system that allows the lure to sit in the strike zone for longer. At a running depth of two to four feet, the Shadow Rap is a good choice in depths of eight feet or less.
Bomber Long A Jerkbait
The Bomber Long A has great durability with its molded-in lip. It is also a shallower option with a cranking depth of three feet. I’ve personally had great success with the chartreuse flash orange finish for fall largemouths.
Sebile Stick Shad Jerkbait
A very unconventional jerkbait, the Sebile Stick Shad has no lip at all. Rather than an elongated, stick-like shape, this lure’s body resembles that of a real shad. This gives it a random, unpredictable swimming pattern when it is jerked through the water. This more natural look can be deadly in bodies of water with various species of shad baitfish.
Rapala Deep Down Husky Jerkbait
For bass clinging to deep structure, the Deep Down Husky Jerk can plunge to their level. With a massive lip, you can rip this jerkbait down to depths of 19 feet. Its internal rattle calls the deepest bass up to investigate and the attractive holographic finishes will be sure to seal the deal.
Rapala Deep Tail Dancer Jerkbait
The Deep Tail Dancer also has an irregular shape for a jerkbait. It has a thicker head that tapers off to a thinner tail. This creates an ultra-wide, sweeping swimming motion that is sure to catch a bass’ attention. With a built-in rattle and a large lip to get the Tail Dancer down to 20 feet, you’re sure to entice the big bass on the bottom.
Rapala X-Rap Classic Slashbait Jerkbait
It’s tough to beat the visual attractiveness of the X-Rap Classic Slashbait. The beautifully-textured exterior resembles the fine scales of a baitfish and the tail-end treble hook is accented with a sparkling skirt. Reaching fishing depths of four to eight feet, the Classic Slashbait is a visually-striking choice for mid-depth fishing.
Berkley Skinny Cutter 110+ Jerkbait
The Skinny Cutter has a unique coffin-shaped bill that produces an aggressive darting motion. Its bill is also designed to allow the lure to dive deeper with each jerk, providing plenty of action as it works its way down. Added bonuses are is its slender design and weighted body that allow you to cast this thing mile.
Rapala Jointed Deep Husky Jerkbait
Its double-jointed design gives the this jerkbait an exaggerated wobble that mimics a wounded baitfish. The Jointed Deep Husky Jerk is also a slowly sinking jerkbait, allowing you to keep this lure steady in the deepest waters. I like the golden hue of the yellow perch finish; it’s a great option to complement the dim fall lighting conditions.
Do you fish jerkbaits for bass? Share your favorite lures or fishing technique below.