I like this bait for a thousand reasons, but number one-- it works. This was one of my go-to baits for big reds, and I soon found out that the soft plastic jerk bait will catch everything. The beauty of this plastic is its versatility--it can be rigged and fished so many ways in so many places with so many retrieves.
I know you guys have some pretty good tricks up your sleeves, and here’s a few I’ve stolen along the way. One item not pictured that makes a great addition to any soft plastic is small glass or plastic rattles. I’m sure there’s some hiding in a dark corner of one of my plano’s, but I can’t find them! So let’s talk about what is in the pictures. Although all the soft plastic jerks work, I really like the Zoom Salty Super Flukes. My favorite flavors are Smokin’ Shad and Arkansas Shiner, but I have fished many colors-- lots of times it is what you feel comfortable with. Rigged with just an offset Extra Wide Gap 4/0 or 5/0 worm hook and twitched slowly is one of my favorite retrieves. BUT, just add a swivel and the action changes and sinks slightly deeper. Insert a small nail into the body and it now becomes a slow sinker with a nice glide, or even an underwater dog walker. Take a small section of bead chain for eyes, and now it’s an injured bait or a small feeding fish with a nose down attitude. A small split shot pegged up the line can create a real nice yo-yo action and allow you to fish deeper and still remain fairly SNAG FREE, which has always been the beauty of this bait. The amount of weight you add, whether it be a bullet sliding free or pegged, or perhaps a weighted hook, is all up to you, your tackle and fishing style. This bait usually has a nice pocket for scent as well.
In flooded grass, I fish it naked. In lay-downs, slightly weighted with bead chain, nail, or 1/64 or 1/32 weighted EWG. Over oysters, naked or nail weight. In six feet or deeper, a heavier weighted hook or even jig head. In just about every presentation, I work this bait with a slow twitch and pause. However, if the bite is slow, sometimes getting this thing jumping around with steady quick twitches is the trick.
While the options with this bait are limitless-- from vertical jigging down to 25 ft with a ½ oz jig head to barely gliding it in front of a cruising red—the jerk bait’s profile is a killer. Fish LOVE it, and WANT to eat it! Many anglers have gone to this bait on their jig heads, jig spinners and, spinner bait trailers instead of traditional curly or paddle tails.