July 1

Jerkbaits For Bass

When you have a large selection of jerkbaits to choose from and you just want one for bass what do you do? It can be a hard choice, but there are specific things you will need to think about when you go to choose a specific one. 

To accomplish this goal you will need to think about the following:

  • Matching The Hatch
  • Length
  • Amount Of Hooks
  • Depth 
  • Bill Shape
  • Accessories
  • Shape
jerkbaits for bass

Each one of these things is important when it comes to any kind of fishing. If you want to be a bass fishing pro, you will need to know how bass thinks, what they eat, and where they live. These three things will help you understand why each one of these options is important. Gone are the days where you could just through a shiny stick in the water and get a bite. When a bass ages, it is scientifically proven that they get smarter and their senses get better all the way to death. If only we were so lucky to have an ability like that!

Below, I will talk about each one of these options in specific. These sections will highlight jerkbaits that keenly display why this is important. These will also be high-quality jerkbaits that have been proven to catch a lot of big bass!

Best Jerkbait Colors - Matching The Hatch

If you are a fisherman who has been around you know what this term means “Match The Hatch”. Basically, this means that you need to mimic the forage that your target fish is eating as well as you can. It doesn’t matter what type of lure you have, but it needs to be a replica of it. This is easily done with a jerkbait when it comes to baitfish. It can be a little harder when it comes to a spinnerbait. 

When I say mimic I mean that you have to literally take a picture of the baitfish and print it onto the mold. If you can achieve that level of detail you will definitely find that you are getting more strikes. Tricking fish gets harder as they age and become more knowledgeable. You will find that you are able to trick the bigger and smarter fish because of this reason. 

Below you will find some great bass jerkbaits that truly show what it means to Match the Hatch. If you have jerkbaits that don’t do this that is ok. Just know that your catch rate will diminish unless it is perfect for your area.

Rapala Shadow Rap - Yellow Perch

Go try out a Rapala Shadow Rap!

Rapala Original Floating - Shiner

Jerkbait Size

Along with replicating the baitfish, you need to have the right size. Of course, a baitfish could be at all stages of life, but what size do you see when you look at the water? What size bass do you want to catch? What is the average size of the bass in your body of water? These are all questions worth thinking about because they will determine the size of your jerkbait you should use based on your desires.

Rapala Husky Jerk

Go try out a ​Rapala Husky Jerk!

Small Jerkbaits

If the baitfish you see in your body of water are small and you are more interested in catching a lot of fish instead of big ones then you will want to look into more of these. Bass will expect a certain size baitfish when they start getting hungry. If they do see something big, I am sure they will investigate it and see if that meal would be worth the effort for the reward. 

I personally have had TONS of success on small jerkbaits because there are a lot more smaller bass. They are also not as smart! With those two things in mind, you can rest assured that I will be catching a lot more fish for the amount of time I have allotted. This is key when you are Fishing At Work! If you want the big boys, you will probably need a big bait. However, if you get this lure in the right place at the right time and make it easy to consume a big bass may surprise you!

Rapala Countdown

Go try out a Rapala Countdown!

Large Jerkbaits

Once you get to larger jerkbaits the number of hooks needed to hook a bass change. You may see bigger jerkbaits like this used when there are ocean baitfish runs up the rivers to go spawning. Locally Blueback Herring come in the late Spring. Largemouth Bass and Striped Bass are gobbling them up any way they can. I have gone out with huge jerkbaits for Striped Bass and hooked into personal best Largemouth Bass instead. It is a fantastic surprise!

Most large jerkbaits will have 3 or 4 hooks. This should make you more aware of the cover you are fishing around. It means it is going to be very easy to hook things whether you want to or not! Most people won’t fish these lures for freshwater bass because they are more interested in catching more bass instead of a personal best. After frog fishing for a while, I have discovered that your personal best will find you sooner than you think and much smaller bass have a bigger head than their mouth!

Googan Squad Scout - Native Shad

Go try out a Googan Squad Scout!

Jerkbaits - Treble Hooks

You obviously have noticed that every jerkbait uses treble hooks. The reason for this is because the style of attacks these baits come upon are in all directions. You need the best ability to hook a fish no matter how it comes to you.

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As you know a treble hook has 3 hooks in one so it can cover pretty much any angle. This is simply the best course of action when you don’t know where the fish will logically come from. I am sure in the past there were single hooks and weedless ones, but nowadays its all about the treble hooks.

Jerkbait - Depth

When you are fishing for anything including bass you have to think about where the fish are currently located. If you don’t already know, fish actively look for water that has more oxygen in it. Yes, they like to breathe easy as well. They also look for good ambush points to sneak up on easy prey.

Jerkbaits have a special way to get to certain depths and even stay there. First there is the Rapala Countdown minnow that will go sink a foot in a certain time period. This is calculated based on its weight and the pressure of the water. The deeper you go the heavier you will have to be to fall at the same rate. This is a great feature to help you know what depth your lure is since you can COUNTDOWN with it!

Secondly, there are suspended jerkbaits that will be taken down by the bill of the lure, but stay at one depth when you stop reeling. I have used these before and they are great for fishing open water when you need to figure out what depth the fish are at. You are able to fish every depth easily.

Rapala Shadow Rap Deep

Bill Shape

The shape of the bill determines the action of the lure. Most people only think of the bill as a means to get depth, but that is just a small part of it. Depending on the width, length and even the design you can make the lure wiggle in a certain way.

The more recent design for this is the square bill. It has become famous for being able to bounce off structures and keep you from getting hung up. I personally tried this out and found it to be true! When you go out looking for one, remember to think about how your local forage shake it and try to mimic that action.


When you get a jerkbait you believe that it will work out of the box. Sometimes it will and for certain bass in certain areas it will. However, sometimes a little modification will go a long way when it comes to bass fishing with jerkbaits.

One of the things that you can add is a feathered skirt to the last treble hook. This can either extend the bait or make it look like the jerkbait is wounded, which signals easy prey. You can also add bigger treble hooks. 

True Professionals will do really advanced things. They will take paint and recolor the lure to get a more exact match or add red somewhere to make it look wounded. Some will drill into the lure and add rattles because it is not noisy enough. That was something of the past now. Now when a fisherman needs an adjustment they just go buy the proper lure.

Rapala Ripstop

Go try out a Rapala Ripstop!


The shape of the jerkbait is very important. You obviously need to mimic the bait fish as well as you can. When the jerkbait is nowhere near the shape of the baitfish you want to replicate the bigger fish will be too smart and you will only find the young guys nipping at your line.

This is something that you need to research by learning about your local waters and the fish that move through them. Most people will not take the time to do this. This is the difference between a professional and an amateur fisherman. You will find that they can catch the fish and you can’t. If you are willing to do the work you will get the results!

Best Jerkbait For Bass

I just wanted to quickly highlight the best jerkbait for bass fishing. I actually already wrote about this here (Best Jerkbait). The plain and simple answer is that Rapala lures make the best jerkbaits for bass. They have served me well over the decades. I totally promote their jerkbaits and all of their lures.

A lot of people have their favorite manufacturers and that is ok. I believe given the test of time, performance and results, nobody comes close to Rapala. You will find that once you start catching tons of fish with a brand you will make the switch just like a professional fisherman. They love sponsors because they get paid, but if their fishing gear isn’t helping them win then they will leave them and get something better!

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