This is the time of year bass will start moving to the surface to feed. They will bust shad on the surface and feed up for winter.
When looking for top water bait to imitate a shad it is hard to beat the jerk bait. Jerk baits come in solid and jointed baits. The jointed baits are mostly used when bass are more aggressive or when fishing in stained water and the bass will use sound and vibration given off by bait to locate it. Shad-colored bait work well as do chartreuse and silver. Some baits have rattles and some don’t.
Most jerk baits come in small or regular size. You can fish jerk baits on a spinning reel or a bait caster. Use a long medium action rod with a limber tip and a strong backbone. The limber tip will spring when a fish is hooked and keep pressure on the fish making it harder to throw the hooks. The strong backbone will allow for good, solid hook sets.
Jerk baits are best fished on a10- to 14-pound test line. Look for areas with shad or fish breaking the water and fish close to those areas. Make a long cast and let the rings go out and let the bait sit for a few seconds. Sometimes a bass will hit the bait as soon as it hits the water. Start your retrieve with a series of twitches and jerks, changing the retrieve to the best action.
If you see a bass blow up on your bait try to wait until you feel the bass pull some before you set the hook. You can fish jerk baits in and around just about any form of cover.
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