WHAT INCREDIBLE THOUGHT AND SHING GENIUS WENT INTO THE DESIGN AND APPLICATION OF THIS LURE
“Jerkbaits for Early Season Bass” Jerkbaits, wow. What incredible thought and fishing genius went into the design and application of this lure – Roger Donaldson
Just two weeks ago an old friend made contact on Facebook and hinted that we should take advantage of little early season Bass fishing this year and he asked me to do some research on which dams are fishing best when the season begins. For those of you wondering what “early season” is it’s basically the time just before spring.
The first few thoughts which sprang to mind were; big bass, aggressive bites (almost Quentin Tarantino style), exciting fishing… and jerkbaits. I can immediately recall three overwhelming occasions which imbedded in my mind just how effective jerkbaits are and especially for spring bass.
Bass fishing on Albert Falls Dam can be at its most difficult just coming out of the winter season. The bass are still fairly indecisive with one half holding back before choosing to spawn and the other half venturing inquisitively to the shallows in search of bedding areas.
I arrive on the stretch of bank to the left of West Street and drop the trolling motor when we’re positioned in just 3ft of water. Why we chose that area at that time was mainly because of the flooded vegetation which we were sure would attract feeding bass. It honestly wasn’t the most conducive environment to fish a jerkbait with all its protruding hooks and you had to choose your alley ways between the vegetation ever so carefully. It took only the first cast for us to realise that there was plenty of activity below the water surface and immediately we were landing kilogram sized fish.
This was excellent fun! In fact we were utterly spoilt and eventually we could not make a cast without catching another bass. The jerkbait would hit the relatively clear water and with one positive ‘jerk’ you could see the bass making ‘V-lines’ for your lure fighting each other to be the first one to engulf it!
The following year I’d held the BassAfrica Classic, the first day of which was fished on the Vaal River. After Nic Dubber has achieved his monumental win I asked him to take me out on the river and humour me. I had very little faith in the river at the time. If you were going to land a bass it would be small to medium in size and few and far between. Well this was certainly the farthest thing from the truth.
Rigged up with a jerkbait each we headed out on his new Skeeter bass boat not more than a kilometre from his weekend holiday venue on the river near Stone Haven. He was quite willing to allow me the first cast and which he advised me to aim toward a shallow bank between two
slipways. With my first few rapid ‘jerks’ I was into a sizable fish, larger than what I was accustomed to on the Vaal River. Every cast produced a bass, many of 1,5kg and one of 2kg. All in the same area!
A third fishing experience was only to be witnessed by me and my boat partner at the time. The fishing was excruciatingly tough on Nandoni Dam in later August and we were at a loss for strategies. I did lose one very large fish as it simply pulled my lure into a submerged tree stump and promptly snapped my line. In the background an angler hollered that if I should catch that fish he would like his ‘Purple Ghost’ coloured jerkbait back which the same fish had recently snapped up earlier that same day.
At the end of the fishing day that same young man was the winner of the Nandoni event in which we had partaken and every fish was taken on a jerkbait, bass ranging between 2-4kg and one unfortunately lost which looked in the region of 5kg.
It does take a certain amount of technique to get your jerkbait to behave the way which bass find the most delectable. With a sharp downward jerk of your rod tip your lure produces the most enticing diving, sideward ‘dash and stop’ action. Hold your rid top in an elevated angle and jerk upwards as appose to downwards and you can keep your jerkbait ‘swimming’ shallower. And one thing I’ve really noticed and hope you will try is that sometimes the more aggressively you can jerk the lure the greater the reward!
The Variety of Jerkbaits
Don’t fret. Yes there is a whole bunch to choose from. I am quite a firm believer that this lure is attracts a bite mostly out of the bass reacting to the aggressive movement of the jerkbait and that the colour and size is largely overlooked. Of course there will be times where colour and size make incremental differences, but when you are starting out and making your first purchases begin with the colours that excite YOU!
An assortment of jerkbaits in different sizes, colours and diving depths