If you hear the word “jerk” in the same sentence with Hank Cherry’s name, just hang on a second and know that the conversation’s steering toward the affable pro’s affinity for, and efficiency with a jerkbait. A good-natured soul who spends a lot of his non-fishing hours coaching youth sports, Cherry can also provide some helpful coaching on tempting bass with suspending reaction baits — starting with Livingston Lures Jerk Master 121.
Known also as the Cherry Picker, this 4 3/4-inch bait bears design features contributed by the North Carolina pro who has racked up 15 top-20 finishes in his six years on the Bassmaster Elite Series. Describing the Cherry Picker 121C as his all-time favorite bait for any season, Cherry said he has tremendous confidence in this bait as the cooler months blend into warmer weather.
“I designed this bait to allow me to cast farther and to have the size that allows me to use bigger hooks,” Cherry said. “The pearl color is a great option for spring into summertime fishing and with the Electronic Baitfish Sound (EBS) technology, it draws more aggressive strikes.”
You can be sure that Cherry has this bait tied on just about every time he launches his boat, but he gave a particularly noteworthy performance during the 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Fishing hard grass edges in 4-8 feet, Cherry focused on areas with drains running through them. Spending much of his time throwing the Jerk Master Cherry Picker 121 in the ayu color on 15-pound fluorocarbon, Cherry sacked up a four-day total of 77 pounds, 6 ounces to take fifth place.
Next on Cherry’s springtime hit list, this 2 3/8-inch bait is built with a coffin-shaped circuit board lip that’s designed to trigger reaction bites by interrupting the tight wiggle with attention-grabbing movement as it deflects off cover. Enhancing the performance, Cherry can select from four different Electronic Baitfish Sound Multi-Touch options (original baitfish, shad, crawfish and silent).
“I think the Primetyme 1.5 CB in the Citrus Sparkle color is a great choice for spring fishing because it will attract a lot of visual attention,” he said. “Also, I like to use the EBS Shad sound because it imitates the small shad that bass love to crunch this time of year.”
Cherry offers this sage advice: Swap the traditional fluorocarbon or braid for mono and you’ll find that the extra “give” prevents the Primetyme 1.5 CB’s hooks from sticking in wood and keeps it from hanging so often.
Keen to leverage any topwater scenario from that shallow daylight bite, to shad spawns, schooling activity and those overcast days that extend the window of opportunity; Cherry puts his faith in the Livingston Lures Walking Boss for his topside efforts.
“The Walking Boss is a top choice for the spring fishing because of the great side to side action that imitates a dying baitfish,” Cherry said of the 4 5/8-inch bait.
With its smooth, walk-the-dog motion, the Walking Boss is weighted to maintain a perfect posture in the water. Moreover, the bait’s Electronic Baitfish Sound Multi-Touch technology is complemented by the Advanced Rattle system, which creates deeply resonating vibrations that fish feel through their lateral lines.
With the look, sound and feel of authentic prey, it’s no wonder Hank Cherry includes the Livingston Walking Boss in his spring fishing lineup.