The floating, suspending and sinking jerk baits all have a time and place they are used. Jerk baits are a lure for all the seasons and are productive when the right one is used. The advancements in lure technology over the last thirty years have made jerk baits an even better option. Today’s model comes with various lips affecting the action and depth.
Anglers tend to overlook the advantages of jerk baits. They provide a controlled depth and retrieve rate that other lures cannot achieve. The different models work for the conditions you will face throughout the year including cold fronts, excessive heat, and many of the other conditions.
Floating Jerk Baits
The floating jerk bait is common among anglers. It is likely you have at least a few of these lures. When the retrieve is stopped the lure floats up. This action does trigger strikes in the right circumstances.
In warmer weather, the floating jerk bait is at its best. The fish are active and willing to go after something that moves. The rising action on the lure mimics a minnow fleeing towards the surface. This is why a fish goes after them. At times, the fish will want this action instead of steady moving baits.
Use the floating models in heavier cover such as brush piles, fallen trees, submerged vegetation, and around rocky shorelines. You can work these lures down close to the cover and let it rise. The fish will often take notice and come after it on the rise. That is when the strike happens most of the time.
Suspending Jerk Baits
The suspending jerk baits are another common model of the lures also. These are the ones that just hang motionless when stopped. The suspending models are fished from 5-10 feet of depth and give you an angler a powerful tool in cooler water situations. The fish are less active and usually will not chase a steadily moving bait.
The suspending jerk bait works in lighter cover and along with structure. Fish these models along steep shorelines, ledges, drop-offs, and channels where the fish will be staging in cooler waters. When the waters are cooler fish will be in deeper stable water. The pre-spawn period is an example. You need to adjust and do the same.
At the beginning of the retrieve rip the lure down to depth. Then work it at a slower rate than the floating model. You have to give a fish time to decide to strike as they will be less active. Extend the pause until you hit the right amount of time. It can take 10 seconds or more at times. Vary the cadence several times before switching colors or bait. A small change in the retrieve of the lure can make the difference often over color or lure selection.
Sinking Jerk Baits
The sinking jerk bait is also known as the countdown model by Rapala. Use sinking jerk baits when others will not get deep enough. You simply countdown according to the sink rate to get in the strike zone. The lures specify how fast they sink or you have time them yourself.
Use the sinking models in water over 10 feet although they can be used in shallower if the situation calls for them. Let the lure fall until it reaches the proper depth to start your retrieve. These lures work well for fishing channels and deeper structures. You still use a jerk and pause technique only the lure is deep. This means you cannot see it so practice the technique with a floating jerk bait first.
In winter fish will be in deeper water and a sinking bait gets down deep enough and can be worked slowly. The fish are not going to chase anything too fast or far so adjust the retrieve. It will take patience in these conditions but is worthwhile as another option in winter conditions.
Hopefully, this sheds more light on fishing floating, suspending and sinking jerk baits for you. The retrieve will vary from the above guidelines at times. You need to change up the retrieve and cadence until the fish strike. Jerk baits are another option for when jigs, crankbaits, and other lures do not work. Knowing how to use jerk baits will prepare you for various situations on the water.
Keeping fishing simple for tight lines and bragging rights