Jerkbaiting Smallmouth by Lindner's Angling Edge
Jerkbaiting Smallmouth by Lindner's Angling Edge
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Got him. There we go. That's a nice one. That is a Nice one. One of those days where it's trolling and then it's casting and just right on that edge of the fish being absolutely crazy. And then being finicky and one of the things with smallmouth bass have learned over the years, especially with the jerk bait in particular.
The X rap is that it's not a one size fits all that. You can just go grab the standard size X rap 10, just go catch smallmouth bass one after the other all the time. I use just about every size for small mouth. This one happened to come on the six, the size six, size eight. And then of course you've got the deep models. They can all come into their own this time of year when smallmouth are being tough, you can feel them pushing, they're not biting, definitely downsizing the spring. It makes a big difference. I'm gonna get this guy back. Alright. See dude, feels like a decent one. Nice fish. Hello? Hello mister Brown bass. God, you gotta love this. Doing this in the spring. It's just so much fun targeting these Smalley's. Oh yeah, nice fish because they can find them. They're pretty, once you find them, they can be pretty grouped up, you can really get on some awesome bites.
Look at that, we got that hothead X wrap it, boned little football. Oh yeah, they're chunky, they're not long but they're fat on the X rap so we'll get him unhooked and fire them back and button there. There he goes there, he's got a big boulder, there's a customer there. Sweet. That's the thing with these extracts. It's nice. I got hit twice before this. I was just popping it. I gave it a little jerk and he came back and this time I got him, Oh yeah, nice fish. They really liked this hothead to, they like bright colors for whatever reason. And oh, nice big Smalley. See if we can't get them here. He's got that last feathered trouble right in his mouth. Oh, easy buddy. There we go. Oh, it's a beautiful fish jake. Nice fish.
Yeah, you could feel him. He bumped it forward and I just jerked it and then just let it sit there and pause and he came in, ended up taking her man, they're super healthy start to get a little sleepy and sometimes that's when it really counts. You just gotta slow down. It is so important to remember the colder the water the slower you gotta go. I mean it can be that 1234 where you're just sitting and waiting and waiting and waiting and they just get more and more and more curious.
And I've always felt that one of the magical things about the X rap is that little feather trailer that they've got on the back of that thing. It's just such a great deal. And even in musky fishing and so many other applications that I do have been adding a little dress trouble on the back because when fish fishing is tough, fish will just come up and kiss it. I mean I'm talking crappy sunny's big, giant muskie's will come and do that. And of course smallmouth, they're absolute suckers for it too. And this is a great fish right here, we'll get this guy in.
And again, it's like, man, oh man, if you've watched our show before, you've probably seen a show or two in the spring with Al or somebody from the crew out throwing X raps for smallmouth bass and there's a reason that we end up doing it every every single year and it's that it really is the most productive tool that I know for catching these things. It is absolutely magical. And it's not just a casting bait. When we started out today we were trolling the bait. The bait can be fished deep, but I'm gonna lay out a few of the X raps that I carry on the boat to share with you why I have these a good selection for anybody who likes fishing for smallmouth in the spring and really all around for that matter.
Let's get this one back for me. The go to size X wrapped in the spring is the size 10 and really the size 10 all around for most, most smallmouth fishing throughout the year. It's a great size, it gets down and that's a 3 to 5 ft depth range on the cast and the key to an X Rap is that it suspends. It sits perfectly still in the water. You can snap the rod, throw slack back to the bait and it jumps boom boom boom and it sits there just sits perfectly still. And that is really the magic to this bait.
Now, if you run into a situation which happens all the time in the spring when you're feeling fish, push the bait or you cast at a spot where you're like, man, I know there is a pile of fish there and they're not responding to it. Smallmouth are absolutely suckers for downsizing baits. I'm telling you what you take a size 10, throw it through there, get nothing, come back with a size eight or a size six even you just make it a little bit smaller. It can absolutely turn things around instantly. I can't tell you how many bites that I've been on when I've been fishing good spots and throwing a 10 through there, I get absolutely nothing come back. And just a slight downside. So I make sure to have the size six, the size eight and the size 10 on board.
And then lastly, a bait that's overlooked. I don't see a lot of guys used. And this is a really, really critical tool to have in the boat in cold water when the water is in the forties and just kind of breaking into that 50 degree range is the Ex Rap deep. I carry both the 10 and the eight. That meaning that 10 is the size of the body and then the eight of course is just slightly smaller. You see both of these have a larger bill than the original X Rap and if I'm trolling these, we can get these things down, you know, in that 8989 ft range. So fishing over 12 ft 14 ft rocks is a great deal. It's hard to get that deep on the cast, but jerk trolling is an absolutely dynamite method. And if we're fishing the 68 ft roll and we still can't get the fish to come up. Even on the smaller baits, try using the deep version, you can still get it to dance, get it to hunt, get to sit in place, but you'll end up catching a lot of fish in the cold water on the deep model as well.
So make sure you've got all those on board and I'm telling you what might seem like, oh yeah, by all these lures because because you should have everything. But the X RAP is hands down, my favorite fishing lure that I've ever used, it catches so many smallmouth bass and multi species as well. And I just saw jake in the back of the boat, missed one on the X Rap got him. There we go. Oh it feels like a nice one, look at that boom, that's just the funnest bite ever jerk jerk jerk jerk boom. That was pretty cool I'm using a whole suite of technologies for fishing and it really is, does spoil you don't need this when you talk about springtime smallmouth fishing, especially once the water gets into like the mid fifties, it's a great opportunity.
If you don't have, you know, advanced electronics, you can go around and just look at the shore line throughout the areas where you see rocks and often what you see on shore Is what's in the water. Oh, that's a great big one jeepers. He just hammered on it. Woo. Love it, love it, love it, Love it, Love it, Love it. Great. The attitude of a brown bass is something to be old. They are just so fantastic, so, so fantastic. I love these guys, love them, Love them. Love them. But if you do have some technology in the boat, one of the most important pieces of it is definitely side imaging. I just love this technology for showing you where different transition lines are where the rocks are. It is really helpful tool.
Now I've fished this area all my life and it wasn't until a couple of years ago I came through the zone and found this little spot and boom, It paid off. All right, let me get this guy back. See you, sweetie. Beautiful. Beautiful.
Okay, so we were talking about technology and we are fortunate enough to have all of the sonar technology available in this boat. But one of the most important tools that I've found for fishing smallmouth bass in the spring is side imaging. It's an amazing tool to see how a lot of these flats are laid out. And that's where you find small mouth in the spring is primarily on flats and they're near some of the best rock or bigger sized boulders that you can find on those flats. If you're driving around with two D. C. Sonar a lot of times your cone may miss where the biggest boulders are. They might not show up that great on your two D, but inside imaging it just paints a beautiful picture of how that habitat is laid out. And if you've got that, you can narrow down the spots that are holding smallmouth much, much more quickly.
Oh God yes, Keep looking at that stuff going. It's gotta be good. It's gotta be good. Oh, he's a leaper right on the bubble of things beginning to happen here in the spring in the north country. Look at how fat they are. I can see why people say toad, Look at his belly. I mean, look at that thing does look like one of those toads that's out in your yard. It's a fat, fat tank, tank, tank I like about that one is he hit the front hook, huh? That's a good, good sign. I'm gonna show you the rod and reel that I'm using to catch these guys. Let me get this guy back now for throwing these X raps were primarily using spinning equipment for jerk bait fishing for most bass guys, I think, man, that's crazy to be using spinning gear. The reason I like using with these X raps, especially for smallmouth, this is smallmouth specific is with this rod reel line combo that I've got can make the X rap really dance and dart and the more erratic debate is and the more curious the smallmouth are, it seems like the more likely they are to bite sometimes fishing Flora carbon on a bait caster where the baits a little more dampened can be the ticket but day in day out, braided line makes the extract jump way more radical. Seems to put more smallmouth bass in the boat.
So what I'm using is ST Croix's new, they redesigned the Legend Tournament. It's absolutely amazing if you fished any of ST Croix's stuff in the Legend family, you know that it's absolutely marvelous and my favorite series forever had been and the Legend Elite series, it's of course their one of their top end rods. But this Legend tournament. Now to me, the material they made it out of feels exactly like you're fishing with the Legend Elite and of course for a lot less price. Now this is the six ft eight inch medium power, Extra fast action. I like that. 68 because I've got my rod load of the water most of the time jerking, snapping and parting that action. And then the extra fast meaning where this rod is bending on the blank, see how close that is to the tip, the flex right at the tip, that's what's making that bait jump.
I've got on here is a really sweet setup from Daiwa. It's their ballistic MQ. Last year they introduced their reel with the MQ frame and now it's down ballistic and what it is, the frame is a is a single piece. It's a Zion be material. So it's a super rigid carbon material that's light. But look at this big circle here, that's where they can fit the drive gear into the frame without having to screw it in. So it gives you a bigger drive gear and the way they cut that the gears are In contact more so than just with a circle gear where there's one point of contact, there's multiple points of contact inside that real. So this is absolutely the smoothest. I mean it's just, it's an amazing amazing rail and I'm fishing it on a 3000 size and I like that. 3000 because you can pick up line really quickly with this jerk bait fishing and that's a big deal.
I was in the boat the other day with my buddy Dan Quinn from Rapala. And we got to talking about fishing line. And he works with a lot of the different bass pros and he was like, you know what's amazing to me is how braided line on spinning equipment seems to be the most personal thing that I've seen in any type of fishing situation. Guys might agree on a lot of different line types and waits for bait caster applications, but that is certainly not the case with spinning equipment for all the bass pro. So there's a lot of different types of braid out there and I want to share with you a few of them that we use for springtime bass fishing and what makes each one a little bit unique.
use three different braids on my spinning setups. The pound test of line depends on the presentation for jerk bait fishing like we're doing now, I love 8 32 in high viz yellow, 8 32 is a very smooth line. It casts well and has the right density for jerk bait fishing. It's not a crazy lightweight line that can get easily blown around by the wind and cause tip tangles or wind knots on a slack line presentation.
Now on the other end of the spectrum is suffix nano braid. This stuff is absolutely amazing for throwing lightweight baits. I think it's completely changed pan fishing, allowing you to throw a 32nd ounce jig, a mile and I absolutely love this stuff for light hair jigs and I use this for throwing balsa baits, like number five shad raps or original floaters.
Then there's 1 31. This is a truly remarkable line that's like a marriage of 8 32. A nano braid. It's incredibly light, but not as light as nano braid. It's incredibly slick and cast a mile. This is hands down the most amazing and most versatile braid I've fished with on a spinning reel if you want to fish a variety of presentations without having multiple rod and reel combos rig. This is the line you want to be using.
It's just such an effective tool. This jerk bait is for finding where where bass are. And one thing I'll just say quickly about fishing a jerk bait. I really prefer fishing with a little bit heavier leader than you might think I'm actually fishing with 12 or 14 pound little guy leader most of the time for my jerk baits. And the reason I like that is that it tends not to foul the bait as much the stiffness of that keeps everything in line. So I'm not getting the line and the split rings. It's just a really great way to do it.
And then I attach it with a little, not here. This is called an Albright. Now that's a modified Albright not, but just a great thing that goes through the guides and a little stiffer lead like that makes the bait dance well and it doesn't follow as much got one jake I think it's a munchkin but it's really fun. It's really really, really popped off quite enjoyable. He wasn't very big but roll action. Just really can test your patience at times with this cold water stuff. You can fish a lot of spots, cold water spring and fall. A lot of times fish are just concentrated their small areas that have a lot of fish. You can get down all of a sudden you fish 23 spots. You don't have a bite. You start thinking, is it my presentation isn't this and that?
Well, if you're fishing smallmouth, you can kind of rule presentation out when the water's cold. I mean they love a suspending jerk bait if they're around. They're curious by nature, they bite that thing, they follow it, you can, you can see them so you just gotta keep your confidence signed, Keep fishing different areas, different depths, different parts of the lake. Watch the water temperature and eventually you'll land on fishing can start putting some numbers and size of the boat.
Sweet. Ah baby. Oh, it's a nice big one. Too nice one. Got some fight waters warmed up a bit and boy, it just came up and smoked it. Yeah, it was cool as I actually saw my line jumped there. That's one thing that's really key to this whole setup is this high viz line we're using suffix 10 pound and was able to see that thing strike and boy, she's feisty that 18. No questions. Let's get her in that first. Hello? Oh there we go. It's a football right there. Oh I lost man. It was almost a double. Get her unhooked here that you think they like the X rap. Gonna need the bubble pliers for this one Jer let me tell you, Springtime is a great time to be targeting Smalley's get yourself a couple of these couple X raps different sizes and you'll have a blast. Look at that fish and a great deal here on the water fire back and she can't beat it.