One of the greatest things about bass fishing is how it rewards creativity. Soft-plastic jerkbaits have been in production and use forever, but rarely do you see them fished like this. My friend and cameraman Parker Wright started rigging them weightless with an exposed hook and we had a blast using this fun and simple method to catch some nice largemouth bass.
Also known as flukes, these versatile baitfish patterns come in a plethora of shapes and colors that can match the hatch across the country. To match schooling baitfish in open water like we are in this video, we threaded 4-inch white or silver soft jerkbaits onto 1/0 to 3/0 straight-shank worm hooks. It’s helpful to use ones with barbs up near the eye to hold the bait in place. Simply slide the hook point straight through the middle of the bait to the length of the hook shank and poke the tip out the top or back of the bait. You don’t need it to be weedless if you aren’t fishing in the weeds, and your hookup percentage will thank you. You can cast this rig with a long, light-action spinning rod on 10-pound braided line to a 8- to 12-pound fluorocarbon leader.
I like to twitch the bait as soon as it lands in case a bass saw the splash. After that, try experimenting with your cadence: twitch once, pause. Twitch twice, pause. Twitch three times—and that might be all you need. It always helps to play with your retrieve pace, and this rig is no exception.
Make sure to check out my appearance on Das Boat Northeast where I fish the famous Lake Champlain for largemouth and bowfin with my buddy Blane Chocklett!