By : Full Limit Outdoor Media
One of the first lessons that an angler learns in their fishing career is that patience is key. It’s a lesson usually learned early on as they sit on the bank with a worm and bobber, just waiting for the moment when all their waiting will be validated. Sometimes patience is rewarded, and sometimes it isn’t.
Either way, it’s something that any angler must learn and practice if they aspire to have any kind of longevity in the fishing world. In essence, patience is a lot like math – not fun to learn, but a necessary tool.
There are few things in the fishing world where patience carries as much importance as fishing jerkbaits in cold-water conditions. It’s not uncommon for an angler to win a tournament in January with only 5 or 6 jerkbait bites. Execution always matters, but it really matters when bites are scarce and fish are lethargic. Fishing a jerkbait is a much different concept than a crankbait or umbrella rig, even though fish may be suspended in all three scenarios. There’s a lot more to it than the fishing mantra of “find the fish, find the bites” suggests.
“The right jerkbait cadence and technique is always going to vary from day to day,” says Strike King pro Kevin VanDam. “Some days I’ve had to wait nearly a minute between twitches for a bite, and some days it’s only a few seconds. Of course, water temperature and weather conditions play a big factor in putting the puzzle together, but sometimes it’s simply trial and error. In my opinion, getting bit consistently on a jerkbait is something you learn through a ton of casts. It’s all about presentation on the fish’s end, and it’s all about feel and experience on the angler’s end.”
Like the rest of the Strike King pro-staff, KVD considers the his namesake KVD Jerkbait his best option. “It’s got the perfect action that’s hard to find in other lures. It not only darts, but it has this special “roll” to it.” Kevin spent over 2 years getting his jerkbait dialed in to his perfect specs. “There’s a ton of jerkbait options on the market, but this one is hard to beat in terms of action, performance, depth and castability. The price is an added bonus!” says VanDam.
Another pint worth noting is that the KVD Jerkbait is available in 3 sizes (J200, J300 and J300 Deep) and over 30 different colors.” Depth is critical in a cold water jerkbait scenario as you want the bait either slightly above the fish, or perhaps directly in front of them. They won’t typically chase one far when their metabolism is low. They certainly don’t like to go down after a bait. And, color is crucial as this is a very visual technique and the fish often get a really good look at a suspending jerkbait as it sits still between twitches.” KVD remarks. “At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure that you’ve got the right blend of visibility and naturalness.” He adds.
We can talk about jerkbaits all day, but the fact of the matter is that the only way to gain confidence is to use them. The KVD Jerkbait should be at the top of your list when it comes time to cold water fishing.