Jerkbait Spring Fishing: Jerk, Jerk, Pause…

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

The ice is starting to melt in Minnesota and one of the first baits I am itching to reach for is a suspending jerkbait. Early spring jerkbait fishing used to mean wrapping the hook shanks of my Rapala Original Floaters with lead wire or solder to get them to suspend “just right” in the water. But these days, there are tons of great options right out of the box from Rapala and many other manufacturers.

In my opinion, the Rapala Husky Jerk was one of the first suspending jerkbaits to really get it right. It has proven successful over time, and is a bait that I still use today. The Husky Jerk is great because it has subdued action when twitched and suspending; plus, there are tons of great colors and sizes for just about any situation.

On the other hand of the spectrum, this is the time to take a look at the newer, high-end rip baits from companies like Jackall. Baits like the Squad Minnow and Squirrel jerkbaits have flashy paint jobs and a great rolling action when worked correctly.

No matter which jerkbait I pull from the box, I throw it on a 10-12lb fluorocarbon line. I like light fluorocarbon for two reasons: its sinking properties helps the bait reach a few extra inches in depth, and the lower stretch of fluorocarbon really makes the bait pop when I work it. I always complete my setup with my rod of choice—a Dobyns Champion 704 CB. This has a great tip for making these types of baits dance underwater and has a soft action for fighting bigger fish on light line.

Suspending jerkbaits are a great tool for pulling bass from coldwater, so give them a try from the moment the ice is out until the waters get into the mid- to upper- 50 degree range. While these baits will work year-round, the prime range for jerkbait fishing is during this cold water spring fishing.

With this successful setup, all you need to do is work on your cadence: jerk, jerk, pause…

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing and Dobyns Rods among others. You can follow him on Twitter (@HellaBass) and like him on Facebook (

Jerkbait Spring Fishing


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