Cold Water Suspending Jerkbaits
PC: Mike Iaconelli Bass Fishing

“Hey everybody Mike Iaconelli here, I want to talk to you about another key bait for me when the water is cold at winter time, coldwater conditions. We are talking about water from the thirties, all the way up to fifty degrees.

This thing I am holding right here is a mainstay for me anywhere I go and that water is cold. And it is a jerk bait, specifically a suspending jerk bait. I want to tell you a little bit about the bait choices for me and then the line and the rod, but I really want to talk to you about the retrieve and that is the key to a suspending jerk bait.

You know, let us talk about the bait first. And one of the key things in picking a jerk bait is the diving depth, and if you look at the bill on that jerk bait, it has got that big bill on it.

And I used two variations of suspending jerk baits. I use a standard bill which is a short bill and I use that deeper bill version, a long bill version. And the simple determiner of when to use each version is the water depth.

Mike Iaconelli Jerkbaits

So from zero to seven, eight feet deep, I use a standard bill on my suspending jerk bait, a short bill. But when that water is eight, nine foot or deeper, all the way to fifteen foot, that longer bill suspending jerk bait has been a big key for me, super key to getting that bait to go deeper.

The next thing is the line; I get a lot of questions about what is the right line choice for a suspending jerk bait in cold water? The simple answer, fluorocarbon, you have got to use fluorocarbon.

Fluorocarbon has so many advantages; it has got less memory, it has got a little less stretch, it is clear, it is invisible, fish can’t see it. But the number one reason I am wanting to use fluorocarbon when using that jerk bait is because the fluorocarbon sinks, it is a dense line and you’re going to let that bait suspend better and get down to the depths better with fluorocarbon. I use a very high quality leader, avoiding the cheaper stuff. Always look for one hundred percent fluorocarbon for all that stuff.

Next thing is the rod and reel, for my rod when I am jerk bait fishing I want to pick a little bit shorter rod, I want to pick a rod ride that is six foot to six and a half foot long. It is a shorter style casting rod. And specifically I want to look for a rod that has a shorter butt section.

This is a rod by Abu Garcia called the Ike Series rod, it is the delay series and it is a six four medium action rod. I designed it specifically for twitch style baits just like a jerk bait. Short rod, not a long butt so cadence is important, we are going to talk about that in a second.

The other thing on the rod is I want a rod that has a softer tip when I’m jerk bait fishing. I want a little bit of that parabolic action to that tip. I either want a composite or a glass rod that has that softer action.

You know on the reel choice, I like a reel that has a slower gear ratio, because in cold water you are generally going to be fishing a suspending jerk bait slower. So drop down in your gear ratio from a six four, to five to one gear ratio; that is an Abu Garcia makes the perfect reel for that type of fishing.

But the most important thing and this is really I want to talk to you about is the key to fishing a suspending jerk bait in the winter, is finding the right cadence. Now when I say cadence, all I mean by cadence is the rhythm or the action that you are imparting on that jerk bait.

The real simple rule of thumb for fishing this bait, the colder the water, the slower that cadence and the longer your pauses; the warmer the water, the faster that cadence and the shorter the pause time in between your twitches and jerks.

But here is an important thing to remember is let the fish tell you what cadence they want. So the way that I do that on any given trip on the lake, is I change my cadence about every fifteen or twenty casts, I’m going to change my cadence up.

So if I get to a place and the water temperature is forty degrees, I am going to start out my first twenty casts, I am going to make that cast, I am going to reel it about five times and I’m going to jerk it twice and I am going to pause it for five seconds; jerk it twice, pause it for five seconds. I will do that for twenty casts and if I don’t get a bite, I’m going to change my cadence for the next twenty casts.

I will make that cast on my twenty first cast, I will reel it down about five times, I will hit it once, I will let it sit for seven seconds; hit it once, let it sit for seven. And I continually change that cadence until I find what the fish want on that given day.

The pause length and cadence are so key to generating strikes on this bait in the winter time in cold weather conditions; change your cadence, find the rhythm the fish want on that given day and you are going to catch more fish.

Mike Iaconelli, talking about cold water fishing with one of my favorite baits, a suspending jerk bait.”

-Transcript from Mike Iaconelli Bass Fishing Youtube Channel

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