Though Kelly Jordon of Mineola, Texas, has never won a Bassmaster tournament solely on jerkbaits, these lures have helped him qualify for three Classics and amass $400,000 in Bassmaster winnings in his short cast-for-cash career. He relies mainly on Lucky Craft's Pointer Minnow series. The 3/8-ounce Pointer 78 and the 5/8-ounce Pointer 100 have gained wide acceptance among pros and nonpros alike. Jordon also includes the hefty 1-ounce Pointer 128 in his jerkbait arsenal, and he claims it outfishes its smaller siblings under the right conditions.
As with all Pointer Minnows, the 128 suspends horizontally at rest, features a realistic, deep-belly profile, and displays exquisite baitfish finishes.
"And, it has that same famous Pointer, walk-the-dog action," says Jordon. "It's just a bigger version of the same bait, except it has three treble hooks instead of two."
Jordon opts for a big jerkbait when he finds bass feeding on large baitfish, and when he wants to upgrade his catch. Going big proved beneficial a few years ago when Jordon was practicing for a major tournament on Florida's Lake Okeechobee in January. He was fishing the rim canal with crankbaits, but had caught only a few small bass.
Because jerkbaits often produce bass for him when fishing is slow, Jordon fetched his box of Pointer Minnows. He selected a 128 in the Aurora Gold pattern, figuring the big bait would appeal to a heavyweight bass that had a sweet tooth for golden shiners.
That day, Jordon hit pay dirt when he ran the 128 past a piling in front of a lock in 12 feet of water. The jerkbait was greeted by a bass weighing more than 10 pounds.
"With the 128, you can cast farther and get it down deeper than the smaller Pointers," says Jordon. "It dives about 5 feet on an average cast. With a long cast, I can get it down 8 feet or more."
The big jerkbait occasionally comes through for Jordon when he casts to average size bass feeding on baitfish smaller than the 128. Jordon suspects the large jerkbait fools bass into believing the lure is closer to them than it really is. Once a bass commits to attacking the bait, it goes the extra distance.
"Sometimes, for whatever reason, bass just prefer a bigger bait," says Jordon. "Anytime you're throwing jerkbaits, it's always good to try a bigger one every now and then."
Jordon fishes jerkbaits throughout the year, but fares best with them during the coldwater period from late fall into early spring. Jerkbaits also produce for him under post cold front conditions, and when he finds bass schooling on baitfish.
In cold water, he casts jerkbaits to structure near deep water, such as bluffs, bluff ends, rocky points and channel swing banks. Such spots are staging areas for bass making the transition from deep to shallow water. This is when Jordon works a jerkbait with two or three twitches and lets it pause for up to 10 seconds.
In warmer water, Jordon works the jerkbait with quick twitches and short pauses so he can fish fast, cover loads of water and spark reaction bites. Grass flats are open invitations to this tactic.
Whatever baitfish bass feed on automatically becomes Jordon's favorite color of the day. The shiny American Shad pattern is one of his mainstays because it mimics shiners and shad. He also likes other shiny colors, including Aurora Brown, Aurora Black and Aurora Gold. If bass are feeding on perch or bluegill, he does well with the Sunfish pattern.
Big jerkbait tackle
When he fishes smaller jerkbaits, Jordon prefers 8- or 10-pound-test monofilament. He
steps up to 12-pound test with the 128 to prevent the heavy jerkbait from snapping the line. He also checks his line for abrasions more frequently when fishing the big jerkbait.
If he wants the 128 to run shallower for thin water applications, he switches to heavier line, up to 20-pound test.
A 7-foot medium action Fenwick Techna AV baitcasting rod and a low profile Abu Garcia Torno reel manage Jordon's jerkbait chores. He prefers a rod that has a fast tip to bring jerkbaits to life, but not so stiff that it allows bass to pull free from the treble hooks.
"A long rod casts farther, but it makes you work harder when you twitch a big jerkbait," says Jordon. "Most guys will be more comfortable with a 6 1/2- or even a 6-foot rod. A 5 1/2-foot pistol grip rod is the easiest on you, but the Pointer 128 overpowers a rod that short."