Plodding twitch-twitch-pause routines are pretty standard for early spring fish, but those in the know keep a jerkbait handy year-round for various scenarios. One of those is Elite pro Mike McClelland, the Arkansas angler who gained a higher degree of appreciation for this lure category through the R&D process for the McStick jerkbaits he designed for Spro.
“During prototyping and testing, I’d have to go throw the baits at times of the year that you really didn’t think was going to be good jerkbaiting,” McClelland said. “Doing so opened my eyes to how you can catch fish in so many different fashions.
“For so long, that early springtime, cold water, suspending type presentation was when a jerkbait was considered to work the best. But I’ve figured out that anytime fish are chasing bait, whether it be bream, shad or whatever, they’re susceptible to being caught on a jerkbait.”
Noting the ability to cover vast amounts of water while varying retrieves within each cast, McClelland said he’ll use a jerkbait for just about any period of the year from the first hint of spring thaw through the final days of fall’s decline.
About the only times he’d feel any hesitation would be the balmy stillness of summer’s dog days or winter’s glacial grip. Such scenarios simply render the jerkbait impractical.
That being said, let’s look at a sampling of jerkbait diversity: