Christopher Smith

Mark Zona’s Jerkbait Fishing Tips

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Luck-E-StrikeI recently got an email from a reader saying that they just can’t seem to catch smallmouth bass on jerkbaits so I thought I’d share some tips from the Z train, Mark Zona.

In this video, Mark discusses fall fishing but keep these tips in mind for your spring fishing as well.

Mark Zona’s Jerkbait Fishing Tips

From an interview in 2012, Mark Zona talks about fishing jerkbaits in colder water and shares this technique:

“I fish the jerkbait pretty conventionally at first,” he says. “The first five or six twitches are quick and with the rod pointed downward to get the bait to its maximum depth. After that, I’ll work it in a series of three twitches. The first two are almost pulls. The third twitch is the game changer. Instead of twitching the bait with the rod tip down, like the first two, I raise the rod tip from about the 9 o’clock position to 11 o’clock. That lifts the bait up just a little – maybe 6 or 8 inches – and makes it look like a dying shad with one last kick in him. If there’s a good bass watching your bait, he won’t be able to stand that! That last twitch is the deadliest thing of the whole technique.” His typical pause between twitch series is 12 to 15 seconds, but he’s seen plenty of days when he couldn’t get bites unless he waited 30 seconds or longer. Generally, the colder the water, the longer you need to pause.  Source

image-53411f864fe4f240c72ef35069c1330cad0ec50fUnder the right conditions, bronzebacks go nuts over suspending jerkbaits and you should always have one tied on when water temperatures are in the 40s through 6o F range.

Hope this tip helps you catch more bass! To stay on top of the latest smallmouth fishing news, be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and LIKE us on Facebook. There are some amazing pictures there.

2 Responses to Mark Zona’s Jerkbait Fishing Tips

  1. Raymond Malone September 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I have found that using Jerkbait especially in Summer produces mass hits you want to make sure the bait is straight jerk it 3-4 times and let it sink for a few seconds maybe a minute before jerking it again and repeating the process it needs to look like a wounded fish Bass hit on the fall or sink or sometimes right when it hits the Water using a Smokey shad colored Jerkbait with Blue specks I caught over 60 Bass in July alone all catch and release.

    I Highly recommend Jerkbait Fishing

    • Christopher Smith October 2, 2013 at 4:45 am

      Raymond, thanks for your comments. I don’t have the confidence in jerkbaits in the summer to use them consistently when so many other baits also are effective. I’ll have to work on that however, because you can’t beat those hits sometimes!


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