Jerkbaits for Every Season: Summer

If you’ve been keeping up with the series on year-round jerkbaits, then hopefully you’ve gleaned a little insight on how to use the little wonders during winter and spring. Today, we’ll continue our seasonal stroll by highlighting the ways you can use jerkbaits to fill the live well in the hot summer months.

Normally, summer is when diving deeper or investigating thick vegetation will help you get to where the fish are. To do this effectively, most anglers will throw jigs, crankbaits, or Carolina rigs, not jerkbaits. However, even in the summer there are times when jerkbaits will get the job done.

Early or late in the day, you can usually find some actively feeding fish on the flats and shoals of a lake. You can also use jerkbaits with great results in the headwater or creek areas. In these feeding tributaries you will often encounter not only cooler water, but also current. In these areas, fish will hold in predictable locations, particularly in current breaks and eddies. Casting a jerkbait upstream working it back naturally with the current will yield great results.

Two key jerkbait color patterns for the summer are pearl with a blue back and clown. Work the lures faster during the summer months, since you’ll want it to float slightly, rather than sink. Another way to keep the jerkbait closer to the surface is to use heavier line. For instance, you’d most likely normally use 12 or 14-pound line, but in to keep the jerkbait higher in the water, you’d use a heavier 16-pound fluorocarbon, depending on what depth the fish really want the lure. Summer jerkbait fishing is often a sight fishing situation because you are fishing for schools of bass, which is another reason to work the lure fast.  You want good visibility so bass can see the jerkbait, but you don’t want them to see it so well they realize it’s not alive. The bait’s erratic action, paired with a quick retrieve, will entice the bass to strike without giving them a good look at it.

Jerkbaits can do a great job of riling up schools of fish in the summer. When you find bass suspended in large schools over deep water and close to baitfish, they can really imitate those baitfish well and make the bass start biting when the warmer temperatures have them reluctant to venture out from deeper waters. While you may be accustomed to throwing deeper, more weedless baits in the summer months, don’t count out jerkbaits when the temperatures climb high. You just might be surprised at the results.