Jerkbaits are minnow-shaped lures with one or more hooks that deliver a horizontal presentation in the water. And although jerkbaits resemble many other lures, they are fished quite differently.
Much like a topwater popper, a jerkbait relies more on the twitching action produced by the angler’s fishing rod rather than the reel itself. Some jerkbaits glide from side-to-side during the retrieve, while others move in a dive-and-rise pattern.
Jerkbaits from angler-trusted brands like Reaction Strike, Backstabber Lures and Castaic feature lifelike color patterns and swimming action that realistically mimic baitfish. Whether it’s fishing in freshwater or saltwater, we’ve got the top-quality jerkbait lures you need!
And although jerkbaits work best in cooler water temperatures (45 degrees to 65 degrees F), when fished with the right technique they’ll put monster fish in your boat from mid-spring to ice up- even during the lazy, hazy dog days of summer!
Choose from Hardbody or Soft body Jerkbaits
Jerkbaits come in soft body and hardbody versions. Hardbody jerkbaits are made from rigid plastic or polymers and are typically favored by anglers who like to cast long. Success with any hardbody jerkbait is all about the flash, wiggle and rattle it delivers in the water. There are also three different types of hard jerkbaits: floating, sinking or suspending.
Your average hard jerkbait is a long, slender lure that’s fitted with a lip and two or three treble hooks. Although some come with jointed bodies, most jerkbaits feature a one-piece design so they can be fished close to the surface while floating in the water.
On the other hand, soft body jerkbaits are usually lipless, which allows them to be fished deeper in the water column. They are made from softer plastics and contain very realistic features- giving you a more natural look and feel in the water. Soft jerkbaits will also move around more easily in an unpredictable pattern by simply twitching your fishing rod.
Most Popular Freshwater Jerkbaits
Manufactured with razor sharp Kitana hooks for holding bass, Northern Pike, trout or other freshwater species these jerkbaits will put more trophy worthy fish in your live well when fishing lakes, streams and ponds:
Most Popular Saltwater Jerkbaits
Whether you’re looking for a medium diver or neutrally buoyant lure, these jerkbaits will generate more violent strikes when going after saltwater species like sea bass, Zander and others:
How to Fish with a Jerkbait
Although jerkbait fishing requires more skill and effort than with other baits, they can be one of the most exciting and effective lures for catching monster fish. In simple terms, jerkbait angling is all about the twitch and pause.
But first, you’ll need a durable lightweight fishing rod and reel paired with a 10 lb. to 20 lb. fluorocarbon or monofilament line. Most experienced anglers opt for a 6’ to 7’ bait caster when using hardbody jerkbaits, while a 6’ spinning rod works best with soft jerkbaits.
In general, shorter rods- like a 6 1/2’ medium or medium heavy option from the Bulldawg Rods Trophy Series- are preferable when using a jerkbait fishing technique. And although you’ll be sacrificing a little casting distance, you’ll have more control over the rod- giving you lots of energy to stay out all day on the water!
When fishing any jerkbait the retrieve cadence should be twitch, twitch, pause. During the pause, reel in the slack and watch for a strike. Vary your pause interval until you’ve had a chance to see what’s working on a given day.
Adjust your cadence for water temperature using either a slow, steady action or a quick action. A slow action works best fishing in cooler water, while a quick action is ideal for fishing in warm, tropical waters when most species are active.