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I was going through my tackle trays last night and was loading a box for ice fishing. I have one tray that is just for Jerkbaits; Husky Jerks, Rogues, x-Raps and a few Lucky Cafts. I got to thinking if they really deserved such a large allotment of space (a whole 3700 filled)? I do use them alot and have caught lots of bass and walleye on them, but they really haven't done that great in cold water, which is supposed to be their strength?

Here is my question! Do you guys have more luck fishing them slowly with long pauses, or quickly with lots of jerks and very short pauses. I tend to be very impatient and probably don't take advantage of the pause effect like I should? I do seem to do well in the evening even when I am not pausing and fishing quickly. Of course the water is warmer that time of year also! I know I need to slow down, but for some reason that is hard for me.

Donald, if you read this I am especially interested in what you think! I know you have had a ton of success with them.
 

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Neal-I have been fishing jerks in cold water for years and I don't use ultra-long pauses. For me, I pause them 5 sec. maybe as much as 10 but not more than that. I fish several bodies of water where I catch bass and especially walleye right up until the ice goes on. Just a great bait IMO.

I fish Husky Jerks, Matsuos,Mega-Baits, Rogues, Yozuris, etc. But mostly I fish the 78 pointer by Lucky Craft-both the regular model and the deep diver. These are the best of the best, again IMO.

One thing I do change in real cold water is the retrieve. Instead of twitching them I slowly pull the bait toward me 6" to 2 ft. then pause it, then pull it toward me again. Much like you might fish a J & P. I think this looks a little more natural in very cold water.
 

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Thanks Kirby!!! Just what I was looking for! I think you hit the nail on the head, I am using small jerks instead of pulls in cold water. That would explain why I catch lots of fish in the summer but not in cold water.

I just bought some LC 78 Pointers in Aurora/black and WHite/Ayu a couple of days ago. THat Aurora/black color is amazing to look at :eek: It sure caught me, LOL.
 

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Neal-One other thing. Water is at its most dense at 39.2 degrees. So jerks that suspend at 60 or 70 degrees will tend to rise at 40 degrees. You may need to add suspend dots when in real cold water to get them to stay down.
 

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Great question Neal! Excellent reply kirbydog!

My 2 cents differs from kirbydog's quite a bit. In cold water I usually do best with a fast, jerky retrieve and long (up to 30 second) pauses. My theory is that the fast, jerky retrieve makes a lot of noise and vibration which gets the attention of the fish. The pause allows them to zero in on the bait, then they nail it as soon as it takes off again (like it's trying to escape). I usually don't get bites on the pause, but when I start the retrieve after a long pause.

That being said, I can't emphasize enough the importance of experimentation. I have caught fish with nearly every retrieve imaginable in cold water. Try several different styles of retrieve and stick with what works!

My favorite jerks in cold water are the X-Rap (can't wait to try the new size 14), Husky Jerk (size 12 or 14), and Smithwick Super Rogue. I would love to use the Lucky Craft baits but I just can't justify (or afford) their cost when I have done so well on the cheaper baits. Hope that helps! ;)
 

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I tend to neither pull or pause and I am sure that is the problem? I guess I need a sensor installed into my rod and when I jerk to hard or soon it can send an electrical shock up my arm, LOL.
 

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It might also be locations that you are throwing at, I would look for cover close to deep water but I tend to fish jerkbaits really slow in cold water too. I usually cast well past the cover or point I think the fish maybe in. Jerk - jerk then let the lure pause and let it sit as long as I can stand it when I cant stand it any more I count to 10 - 1 thousand and jerk - jerk again and pause all over again. Think this mimics a dying fish best as they tend to twitch erratically and sit for a while then twich a few times. I do get hits on the pause though unlike Ken said so be ready, it does happen, but most come right after the 2nd jerk.

I think trying as many techniques as you can is the best way to use jerkbaits, the hard part is remembering what you were doing when the fish hit... so when I am experimenting with retrieves I always say what I am doing before I cast. That way if I get a hit or catch a fish I can remember I said 30 sec pauses that time or long pulls instead of jerking and that way I know how to pattern the rest of my day.
 

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I don't have much experience in cold water...but in the summer for largemouth, I like a short jerky retrieve and vary the pauses. Interestingly enough, I have been distracted for long periods of time (cell phone call, watching an eagle/ airplane or other fisherman) and will get strikes after the bait has been sitting for several minutes. It seems that the fish watch and watch it waiting for it to move (like my cat does with a toy) and the second it moves they pounce on it. I normally would never have enough patience for pauses this long but sometimes I am in daydream land ;D
 
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