Catch everything that swims

The Miller brothers with Pete Gluszek and Mike Iaconelli
Dan Miller, Mike Iaconelli, Jim Miller and Pete Gluszek (in front)  Click photo to view video.

 This time, we’re going to talk about how to catch everything that swims, everything that’ll eat a minnow anyway.

As you can see in the film one of the best ways to do that is to fish with an ultralight jerkbait. We fished with Rapala’s smallest size Husky Jerk and X-Rap. Either one of them will do a good job when the forage is small, conditions are tough or when both of those things combine to create a challenge for any angler regardless of his or her skill level.

The small forage situation pretty much speaks for itself. A lot of guys think that matching the hatch is about color. It is, but that’s only a part of it. Size and body shape are just as important. In a lot of cases, they’re actually more important.

husky jerk
Rapala Husky Jerk

The tough bite scenario can be especially difficult. However, difficult doesn’t mean impossible.

When the fish don’t really want to bite anything they’ll often take something small just because it’s there. Tiny jerkbaits fit that bill perfectly. And, they have the advantage of having treble hooks on them. They’ll hook a lot of short strikers that you’ll miss with a single hook lure or bait.

Fishing an ultralight jerk bait is no different than fishing a full size one. It’s all about rhythm and cadence. That’s true no matter the size of your bait. I change things up every 10 casts until I find what’s working at any particular time. You should do the same.

Rapala X-Rap

You’ll notice in the film that once we got the cadence right our catch improved. We ended up catching six different species while we were filming.

Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon
Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon

Using the right tackle really matters with small, lightweight lures, and never more so than with ultralight jerkbaits. We used an Abu Garcia 6 foot, 10 inch spinning rod that I originally designed for a drop shot rig but it’s perfect for ultralight jerkbaits as well. It has a medium-light action and lots of tip. The tip is especially important. It lets you cast these lures a ways and it helps you delay the hookset.

Abu Garcia Revo Premier spinning reels
Abu Garcia Revo Premier spinning reels

We used Abu Garcia Revo Premier spinning reels in the 20 and 30 sizes. Our line was 6 and 8-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. That’s important, too. Fluorocarbon will give you great action and it’ll help the small lures suspend.

Give ultralight jerkbaits a shot the next time you’re out when the forage is small or the bite is tough. You’ll catch a lot of fish and have a heck of a good time.