Deep jerkbait evolution

Jerkbaits are essential lures for every Bassmaster Elite Series pro, as they should be for any serious angler. Although short-billed jerkbaits are big hitters, deep jerkbaits have been slow to catch on. There are several reasons why.

Early deep jerkbaits cast poorly. They tumbled in the air and were impossible to cast for distance or accuracy in anything more than a mild breeze. Although long-billed jerkbaits get deeper than short-billed versions, some of them produce elbow-jolting resistance due to their long lips.

They also failed to respond with the quick, hard-cutting, strike-triggering action of their short-billed brethren when twitched. Despite these drawbacks, Joe Balog quietly began picking off heavyweight smallmouth bass several years ago with deep jerkbaits.