When it comes down to a realistic action for finicky fish in the summer time, a jerkbait is hard to beat. Two of my favorites are the Rapala Ultra-Light 06 Minnow, and the Rebel Jerkbait, both of which are pictured above. Although these two lures look and feel very similar, they are quite different as one floats and one sinks. I prefer the sinking version, the Rapala, but I had quite a miraculous occasion with the Rebel Jerkbait. Just a few summers ago I was fishing at what was at the time my local water - Pecan Bayou. I was just about to load up to go home but decided on a few more casts. Of course, I had on the Rebel Jerkbait. As I made one of my last casts of the day, I suddenly got hooked into a fish weighing approximately three pounds. All of a sudden the drag started screaming like crazy and the fish felt much heavier. I saw a flash in the water from the fish and soon realized I had hooked a monster. Once I finally got my fish to the boat I large surprise arose. I did not hook a large two or three pound bass, but two Largemouth Bass all on the same lure in one cast. One fish was around two pounds, and the other around three. It was quite an amazing experience, and one that I can only imagine happens extremely rare. I have seen some similar occasions on the internet, but I have a feeling that most are staged, but I can truly testify that I did catch two fish on one lure; the Rebel Jerkbait. Although the Rebel hooked two fish at once, this doesn't mean it is the world's best jerkbait, but I'd certainly say it is a good one.
What I particularly like about the Rapala 06 Ultra-Light Minnow is the way the lure slowly falls in the water. This slow falling action can be devastating to Largemouth Bass making it irresistible for them to pass up. The Rebel Jerkbait does not sink, however, this can be an advantage if you are fishing over the top of timber.
I like to use a medium action spinning rod with 10 lb. test, usually braid. For the Rapala, I typically will make long casts towards a barrier (the bank, some rocks, a drop off, etc.), and let it set for a couple of seconds. Allowing your lure to sit lets it descend and gain a little depth. You will most definitely want to have most of you slack reeled in though as it falls, as bass will often bite a lure on the descending motion. Once I've waited a while, I like to jerk the lure with a quick motion of my rod. A lot of people will use the reel to achieve the jerking action, but neither the power now effective jerk can be achieved quite like the rod. After each jerk, I let the lure sit again and reel in the slack line. I like to vary the length of the jerks, and also the pauses between each jerk. For instance, sometimes I will do three quick little jerks to equal one large jerk, or sometimes I will do one little twitch and a short pause followed by a couple of little twitches. Varying your retrieval seems to be the ticket. If you’re in clear water, you will probably want to switch to fluorocarbon, but other than that, there's not much more to fish a jerk bait.
Be sure to check back next week for the next top lure reveal and for more fishing articles and media, until then stay out on the water.