Bass Fishing Hacks

Simple Hacks and Tips to Help You Catch More Bass

What is the difference between a crankbait and a jerkbait?

There are a few differences between a crankbait and a jerkbait. This first and most obvious difference is the way that the lures are shaped. Crankbaits are short and fat and jerkbaits are usually long and slender. Another difference is the way that you will fish each lure.

A crankbait, as its name implies, is usually cast as far as you can and then cranked back to you at a steady pace. The bill and the wobble of the lure gets the bites for you. A jerkbait as its name implies is cast out and twitched or jerked as it is retrieved back to you. The bill of the jerkbait creates a darting sideways motion to the side. This erratic movement is what gets you the bites from the bass.

I am a Bass Fishing Charter Guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been catching bass in the lakes, ponds and canals all over Florida for more than 40 years. In the article below, I will teach you everything that I know about catching bass with crankbaits and jerkbaits.

Let’s get started.

How do I choose the right crankbait?

Crankbaits are one of the best bass lures that exists. You can use a crankbait to catch bass in any water depth during any time of the year. The versatility of a crankbait is what makes them such a good lure.

If you ever watch a professional bass fishing tournament, then you will notice that every single professional has at least one of their rods rigged up with a crankbait. Why do you think that is?

The answer is because they work in any body of water at any time of the year. Yes, there are times of the year when they work the best but crankbaits will catch bass in the hottest summer day or the coldest winter day.

Crankbaits are designed to run at different water depths. You can get yourself a crankbait that will run in 12 inches of water all the way down to 30 feet of water. The bill size will tell you what your crankbait will do as far as shallow water or deep water diving. The package of the lure will also tell you how deep the lure will dive.

What are the best colors for a crankbait?

It really depends upon the time of the year for choosing the optimal crankbait colors. Bass like to eat crawdads in the spring time. This means that you should get yourself some red crankbaits that look like crawdads for the spring.

Bass can only see reds and greens anyways. Those blue, or purple colors just look like something that is lighter than black to a bass. They can definitely see red.

The same thing goes for your chartreuse lures. Those lures probably look more like off white than the way we see them. We see more of the light spectrum like the blue, indigo and violet but a bass does not.

When the water is crystal clear and the skies are sunny, then you want to get a natural looking bait with some translucence to it. Those crankbaits that look natural are less opaque will be the correct crankbait to use when the bass can get a good look at your lures.

When the water is dirty and the sky is cloudy, then you might want to use something opaque with some brighter colors. The bass will find the lure because of the vibrations that it is throwing off more than by sight. If the water is super dirty and muddy then an all black or dark crankbait can often get you those bites that you want.

A black crankbait is also a good choice if you are fishing at night. The dark shape will give the bass some contrast if there is a moon out. The vibrations will attract the bass but the outline will let the bass see the lure.

How do you use a crankbait?

Crankbaits are one of the easiest lures to use for bass. You just cast it out and reel it back in. That is all that you have to do. You have to make sure that your that your crankbait is bumping into stuff. Bass like to hit those crankbaits that that are bumping into the bottom or logs and brush.

How do I choose the right jerkbait?

The jerkbait choices are very similar to the crankbait choices for water clarity and cloudy or clear skies. During the days when the water is clear and the sky is bright you will want to choice a jerkait that is see through or translucent to some degree. Those bass will want those natural looking translucent types of jerkbaits.

When the water is dirty you will want to go with a more opaque lure. Look for a matte finish and a darker lure for dirty water with cloudy skies.

When the conditions are somewhere in between dirty and clear and the skies are partly cloudy go with a metallic finish. Those chrome and gold colored jerkbaits will often get you bites when your other colors are not. Try them all because the bass’ tastes can change from day to day but use that lure guide as a starting point.

How do you use a jerkbait?

Cast your lure out to where you think the bass will be. You have to pull your rod straight down for the best results. Your retrieve will be something like this: twitch, twitch pause for a few seconds; twitch, twitch, pause for a few seconds……

You can certainly use a sidearm type of twitching technique but you will wear yourself out very quickly doing it that way. The straight down twitch technique is the most efficient technique that uses the least amount of energy.

Watch the video below to choose the right crankbait and jerkbait rod and reel combos.

What is the best crankbait rod and reel combo?

The best crankbait rod and reel combo will be a medium power, moderate action 7 foot rod coupled with a 5:1 gear ratio. You can go with a spinning reel or a baitcasting reel based on your personal preferences. Both types of rod and reel combos will work just fine for pitching crankbaits all day.

What is the best jerkbait rod and reel combo?

In my opinion, the best jerkbait rod and reel combo will be a medium power, moderate action, 6.5 foot to 7 foot rod couple with a reel with a gear ratio in the 6:1 range. It is really as simple as that. You can buy an expensive rod and reel combo or a cheap one. You can buy a baitcasting combo or a spinning reel combo. That is completely up to you.

You can get an awesome setup for under $125 and have a decent rod and reel that will last you for many years if you take care of them. You can obviously go with a high dollar version if you want to but that is not necessary to catch a ton of bass. However, I would probably stick with a combo that is over $100. It is very hard to find a good rod and reel combo for less than $100.

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