After a long cold winter in the Northeastern United States the ice is finally melting off most of the lakes in New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. With temperatures climbing near 80 on some sunny afternoons, it can be a great time to get on the water. But go too early in the morning, and the cool 30 degree air will quickly remind you that it’s still early spring. Bass are still deep. It’ll be another month at the least before they begin the spawning process (breeding season). For now, the water remains in the 40s, but despite the cold water this can be a tremendous time to catch cold-water bass on jerkbaits.
Jerkbaits have been around for years. Their appearance resembles that of another fish and when it’s cold they’re retrieved in an erratic darting motion that imitates a dying fish. This technique can be absolutely deadly on both Largemouth and Smallmouth bass in early spring and late fall. There are uncountable color patterns, sizes, and brands to choose from. My personal favorites are Lucky Craft or Rat-L-Trap, and my favorite colors are shad colors or silver with a black back. Reel them slowly, and twitch them often or seldom, depending on what the fish want. You’ll find what works best. I’d probably start in 10 feet of water and work my way out deeper. Here are some shots from some of my friends who’ve had great luck from NY to California over the past week. All of them love a jerk.
Kate Dattilo with a big largemouth!
Matt Sweeney with a nice smallmouth bass
Say AHHHHH, said Andrew Martin
Brian Campbell refuses to choose between green and brown!
The smile of a lifetime!