Best 10 Jerkbait Lures for Bass and Trout [2020]

Jerkbait are a popular lure type throughout North America. They can be used to dozens of different fish species, but are particularly popular for bass, trout, and walleye.

Jerkbait lures give you a different option for attracting fish when other techniques aren’t working. I personally think that all anglers should carry a few different sizes and colors of jerkbait with them as a lure variation whenever possible.

I have put together this article to help you skip through all the marketing and make wise purchasing decisions. There are plenty of things to consider such as the shape, size, color, and movement – but all of this comes down to what type of fish species you are targeting.

Let’s go!

Best 10 Jerkbaits of 2020 [This Month]

The marketplace is constantly changing as new and improved jerkbaits are released onto the market. We have put together this list of the most pouplar jerkbaits available this month.

Have a look through this list and our buyer’s guide below to see if there is one that would suit your fishing style.

Bestseller No. 1
Bestseller No. 2
Smithwick Suspending Rattlin' Rogue - Blue Herring - 4 1/2 in
132 Reviews
Smithwick Suspending Rattlin' Rogue - Blue Herring - 4 1/2 in
  • Package length: 15.24 cm
  • Package width: 2.54 cm
  • Package height: 3.81 cm
Bestseller No. 3
Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait Suspending Lure, Prism Silver Black, 3 1/2-Inch
  • Baitfish profile to imitate a variety of forage
  • Suspending for "jerk bait" technique
  • Mylar Tail hook for Flash and Lifelike Fin
Bestseller No. 4
Sougayilang Minnow Fishing Lures Crankbaits Set Fishing Hard Baits Swimbaits Boat Topwater Lures for...
  • The crank fishing lure can swim like a lifelike fish so as to provoke predators to bite
  • Several small metal balls within its body will sound when dragged, which can attract fish's attention. Meanwhile, they can improve the cast distance and postural stability.
  • High definition glossy body patterns with 3D simulated eyeballs can confuse and provoke predators.
Bestseller No. 5
Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait 10 Fishing lure (Silver , Size- 4)
  • The adrenaline-pumping X-rap slashbait has Xtreme attitude with its hard-cutting, aggressive darting action
  • Running depth: 3-8 feet
  • Weighs .4375 Oz
Bestseller No. 6
KVD Jerkbait 3 Hook Walleye,Yellow Perch
  • Kid jerk bait 3 hook walleye
  • Yellow Perch
  • All Strike King hard baits are made with the best components available
Bestseller No. 7
Bestseller No. 8
Lunkerhunt Impact Distress 6F - Jumbo
27 Reviews
Lunkerhunt Impact Distress 6F - Jumbo
  • Dives 0-6. 5 ft.
  • Erratic Action
  • A high-performance jerk bait
Bestseller No. 9
LUCKY CRAFT Lightning Pointer 110SP (052 Aurora Black)
44 Reviews
LUCKY CRAFT Lightning Pointer 110SP (052 Aurora Black)
  • Length: 4-1/2'(110mm)
  • Weight: 1/2oz(14.0g)
  • Depth: 5-6ft(1.8m)
Bestseller No. 10
Lunkerhunt Impact Slash 6S - Sassy
8 Reviews
Lunkerhunt Impact Slash 6S - Sassy
  • Erratic, darting action
  • Great weight transfer for long, smooth casts
  • A tournament-grade ripbait

What is a Jerkbait?

A jerkbait is a hard body lure normally with treble hooks that is used in a stop/go retrieve motion. This motion attracts fish during the movement and then gives opportunity for lazy fish to strike during the stop.

They often resemble bait fish that are behaving in an injured or unusual way that is very interesting for nearby fish.

Jerkbaits also take up more water depth as they are retrieved and can be used to identify where the fish are hiding or hunting.

Jerkbaits have grown in popularity over the last decade and have developed into thousands of different shapes, colors, depths, and motions. Getting some high quality jerkbaits in your tackle box gives you an advantage in putting an enticing bait in front of a hungry fish.

When to use a Jerkbait?

Jerkbaits are often used when fishing for bass in cold water. This imitates the behavior of injured bait fish who have stopped moving in a constant motion.

Giving a trophy bass a highly visible and obviously injured bait is a meal they won’t ignore.

Jerkbaits can also be used in clear water where their motion is visible – they don’t produce the constant rattling of spinnerbaits that are easily found.

Jerkbait for Trout

Jerkbaits are also very succesful for trout. Throwing one into an eddy in a clear water pond near some structure is bound to gain the interest of a local trout.

The fast retrieve of a jerkbait can sometimes scare skittish trout, so there are a few different techniques you can try for trout.

  1. Reduce the speed of your retrieve so the lure is slow enough to attract the interest of a big trout without scaring them. You can even retrieve a jerkbait in a constant motion more like a crankbait.
  2. Cast your jerkbait downstream in a fast flowing river. Instead of jerking on the retrieve you can do the reverse – hold the lure steady, then release some line, hold it steady, release more line, etc.

Jerkbait vs Crankbait

Jerkbaits and crankbaits are very similar in that they are both hard body lures with a nose bib and normally treble hooks. The difference comes in the way they attract fish and the way they are used.

Crankbaits produce an attractive movement or shake in their body as they are retrieved. This means they should be retrieved in a constant motion to give them as much time making this motion as possible.

Jerkbaits move more like a shrimp in a stop/go motion. This mimicks local baitfish and bugs and moves up and down through the water column giving you the ability to cover more ground.

They also spend time motionless which gives lazy fish ample opportunity to take a bite.

Jerkbaits and crankbaits are two sides of the same coin – they can be used together for many similar fish species. When one starts getting strikes then you can focus on them for the rest of your days fishing.

Color Variations

I am a big fan over carrying multiple color variations of the same lure. Fish can be hiding at different depths, be tempted by different movements and colors – you want to be able to change out identical lures with different colors to determine what is the missing ingredient.

Most popular jerkbaits come in 9-12 common colors – and you can look at these to see which colors you are interested in.

There are a few philosophies which boil down to mimicking the local food source as closely as possible with browns and silvers or contrast against local food sources as much as possible with brightly colored lures.

Target Depths

A key consideration is the target depth. Jerkbaits can get to their target depth using a short nose bib. This pulls the lure down as you begin to retrieve it. The amount of line your retrieve then determines how deep the lure goes.

You can also keep your rod tip down to pull the lure deeper into the water due to the direction of the line.

Different fish species live and hunt at different depths. This is also different in the four seasons. For example, bass are caught at different depths in winter compared to summer.

Having a good understanding of your target fish species depth for this season is an easy way of selecting jerkbaits that can achieve that depth and will catch you more fish.

Jerkbait Video

Not everyone learns from reading text, so have a look at this video by Scott Martin explaining jerkbait fishing 101:

Frequently Asked Questions

We get plenty of questions about how to use and how to select different lures for different fish species, so let’s dive into the most common jerkbait questions.

Where do you cast a jerkbait?

This depends on the species of fish you are targeting. Most of the time you will want to cast your jerkbait further past your prime fishing area and retrieve your lure in a stop/go jerking motion.

What line do you use for a jerkbait?

Most anglers prefer using a fluorocarbon leader for a jerkbait as this is almost invisible underwater to wary fish and will increase your likelihood and getting a strike.

How do you retrieve a jerkbait?

As the name implies, you should retrieve the lure in a jerking motion – let the jerkbait sink 2-3 feet down, then retrieve 2-3 feet of line and repeat. This will cause the lure to jerk up and down through your target depth and attract nearby hungry fish.

Conclusion

That brings us to the end of our jerkbait article – I hope you have enjoyed it. New lures are being introduced to the market every month – but not all of them will be big winners. Use your new knowledge to assess every lure you see and whether it will help you catch more fish.

There are plenty of other resources online if you are still looking for more info before making a buying decision.

If you are an experienced jerkbait angler or just have some more questions that need answers, then please leave a comment below. I love to interact with our readers and help to share their wisdom and knowledge.

Happy fishing!

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments