Jerkbait Fishing For Pike

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Jerkbait Fishing For Pike

Jerkbait fishing for pike is a totally different concept in catching this incredible freshwater predator.

Specially designed strong short rods coupled with braided fishing line to directly control the action of a jerkbait.

This method of lure fishing often works when all else fails.

Many of thirty and several forty pound pike have been taken this way.

Jerkbait fishing for pike is an altogether different angling experience with pike men braving the elements in order to land the perfect catch.

These highly successful predators have swum our waters for over 50,000 years and they remain masters of their art.

They typically lie in weeded areas, waiting for their prey before they pounce.

Dependent on the time of year, they will feast on smaller fish, frogs and toads and even small rodents such as voles.

The bait used should mimic the actions of these creatures in order to attract the attention of the pike and don’t forget, they tend to stay in groups so if one sees it, there’s a great chance plenty more do too.

It’s best to fish for pike in the winter months, between October and March after they have spent the summer recharging and are at their fittest.

They will tend to eat only every few days or so and have been known to last a whole week.

But one thing you can be sure of is the pike will not want to pass up the opportunity of a meal if it is right in front of him as easy pickings. So you just need to make sure that’s how your bait appears.

Different types of bait for pike fishing

There is a whole host of bait types, all of which have their merits when it comes to jerkbait fishing for pike.

From crankbait to swimbait and jerkbait too.

Unlike crank baits and swim baits, jerkbaits have a unique way to fish them. Different rods, reels and lines to begin with. So i will guide you through the subtle changes to tackle to give you the method that catches a lot of pike and even some monsters.

Here, we’re taking a closer look at jerkbait and how they can be used for successful pike fishing. There are two main types available:

1. Pull baits

These are also known as chop or slash baits and have a bobbing action that drags them under and pushes towards the surface dependent on the weight of them.

These weights work extremely well in the weedy areas that pike like to lie in wait prior to ambush as mentioned earlier.

That’s because they do not get caught in the foliage in the same way that other baits might – they simply do not glide into things they will catch on as the movement is so different.

2. Glide baits

These are also known as slide baits and true to their name, they literally glide or slide from side to side.

They enable you to cover a larger expanse of water as the movement is wide and far reaching and can therefore attract fish from a broader area, in creasing the chances of a land.


Pike hits a glide bait from underneath the surface with feroucious acceleration causing the fish to completely leave the water.

Jerkbaits come in different densities to suit the different types of habitat in which you are fishing, mostly based around water temperature (and therefore, the time of year you are fishing, generally).

Fast sinking are the best for winter pike fishing as the pike will be deeper underwater.

Bait which suspend are better for autumn and spring in case you need both slower and deeper movement.

Floating jerkbaits are the best for summer when the pike are closer to the surface, flitting about the weeds which could catch a different type of bait.


Jerkbaits are growing in popularity across the pike fishing world and with good reason; they give you a great chance of landing a decent catch! So don’t wait any longer – get started jerkbait fishing for pike as soon as possible!

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Tackle For Jerkbait Fishing For Pike


Tackle for jerkbaitbait fishing for pike is more refined to achieve the success in your catch rate. There are specific criteria to follow that will improve your pike fish significantly.

Here is a guide to help you get kitted out with the correct tackle.


To maximise the lure’s full potential a fairly stiff action rod around 6′ – 6’6″ in to 8’ 6” in length is perfect, I can hear you asking yourself “why is it so short”.

Standard 9′ or 10′ spinning rods are too long and more importantly  too soft for jerkbait technique, absorbing much of the direct action you are trying to transmit to the jerkbait lure to create the irresistible action of the lure by pulling downwards at the rod tip plus short pulls to either side.

Jerkbait lures mainly come without a vein that produces the moving action of the lure. Using only your rod is the way the lure comes alive in the water that is devastating for pike.

Getting the right rod for jerkbait fishing for pike is crucial.

Casting weights must not be lower than 100g to launch heavy jerkbaits out into the water.

There are several adapted jerkbait rods available and some are abit longer than the standard size of 6′ 6″ but have the stiffness to work jerbaits properly.  

Here are some excellent recommendations for you to check out:

Savage Gear Trigger Rod Jerkbait


Savage gear jerkbait trigger rod is a super piece of kit. Coming in two sizes suitable for pike is a 8′ 3″ with a casting weight of 150g.

The second savage gear rod option is an 8′ 3″ with a casting weight of 100g.

Both are more than sufficent and are resonabley priced.


Years ago there probably was only a few reels that would have been the perfect solution for jerkbait fishing for pike. Nowadays there are several fantastic reels you can buy that I personally think they are excellent.

Multiplier reels are the way forward for this awesome pike catching technique.

If you have never used a multiplier reel before it’s a good idea you practice casting some 40-50g weights on a field to get the hang of it.

The thing you need to avoid when casting is a huge birds nest that follows if you do not know how multipliers work.

See this video how he uses the multiplier albeit for bass.

Tip on the multiplier reel set up is to set the free spool for casting up a couple of notches to prevent line being pushed off the reel after the lure has landed on the water “over run”. This is what causes a day ruining bird nest tangle that even the most patient of anglers will not unravel.

Beginners tend to get a lot of birds’ nests, so another tip worth suggesting is to use your spool tensioning knob, having this set tight will reduce your chances of over runs.

Multipliers can be hard to master, once you have they’re a awesome to use..

 Baitcasting multiplier reels must have the capacity to hold around 150 m-200 m of 50-80 braided line.

Prior to loading your reel with braid it is advisable to use mono backing first. This make things a lot easier for attaching braid and helps fill the spool to capacity as braid is much thinner than mono.

Mono backing stops braid from slipping as you try to load this silky material on your spool.

Here is the knot and how to tie it for connecting braid to mono click here.

Going back to the reel choice

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Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Pro Max


This favourite with many anglers. Affordable pricing with excellent reliability. Capable of holding 145 m of 0.30 diameter line, in mono this would be 12lb breaking strain.

Even though braided line needs to be around 50-80lb breaking strain it has a lower diameter.

Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile


The abu garcia black max is the cheaper of the two abu reels. Do not think it will lack in performance, on the contrary this reels is a real value for money piece of kit.

Capable of holding 145 m of 0.30 diameter mono is more than capable for jerkbait fishing.

Okuna has a fantastic reel that is one that is widely used with the new age pike lure angler like the:

Okuma Citrix Reel – Ci-364LXa

okuma citrix multiplier reel

Check Out this Okuma Reel CLICK HERE

The Okuma multiplier baitcasting reels are more expensive but are the choice for serious pike lure specialist.

Regularly paired up with savage gear and westin heavy lure rods these multipliers are the perfect for a balanced combination taking on sessions for jerkbait fishing for pike.


Two options here, mono or braided. Braided line performs differently to mono as it has virtually no stretch. For the lure angler this has been one of the best advancements in years.

Braid permits us to detect even the softest takes, thus enabling us to strike every hit. Due to the sensitivity of braid we can feel the difference between weed, bottom and fish.

For jerk bait fishing I tend to choose 50/80lb breaking strain, people seem to get confused into thinking it is over kill dragging fish into the net.

The real motive for heavier braid is to compensate for the lack of stretch “shock absorbency”, try using a heavy jerk bait with 20lb braided line, “you’ll crack off”..

The best braid by far for me with a very low diameter. Casts far with easy and super strong

Berkley Whiplash 8 Carrier Braid Green


Berkley whiplash braided line is bar far in my experience the best on the market. This comes in a 60.9 lb breaking strain and only has a diameter of 0.20 mm which is amazing.

The other reason for heavy braid is to retrieve snagged lure by bending back the hooks under the strong breaking strain value. Some jerkbaits are awfully expensive and loosing one first cast to a snag is unthinkable.

Finally traces. I favour a solid leader 12″ in length, my choice of wire is 175lb breaking strain stainless steel trace, with a 150lb swivel and finished off with a 175lb quick snap link. This set up will resist the heavy punishment of casting heavy lures, could be as many as 1,000 casts a day!

Another advantage of these traces is that they avoid tangles as the bait shoots forward running over the trace, a flexible trace should be no less than 60lb breaking strain to avoid this issue. Newly adapted traces to 100lb breaking strain Titanium traces as they give better performance and lifespan.



Savage gear titanium wite traces are perfect for jerkbaits, hard and soft plastic baits. Soft and flexible that have double crimps to add strength. Swivel at the one end and a spring carbon steel needle snap to quick change lures.

Best Jerkbait Lures For Pike


Jerkbait lures for pike as we arrive at the business end. There are a lot of jerkbaits out there, so i have selected a few must have in your lure box for all ocassions.

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Salmo Slider Sinking Jerkbait


The salmo slider jerkbait is probably one of the smallest jerkbaits used to fish for pike. Great for beginners as it is simple to use and just short downwards pulls on the rod tip with bring this very effective lure to life. Comes in sinking and floating plus many different colours.

This colour of lure in the picture is a very productive favourite of mine. High quality built lure that catches plenty of pike plus taking perch and zander. 



A great lure when cranked. Rip, twitch, pull, or jerk …just bare in mind to pause in any combination. This lure will catch pike all season long. It’s the easiest and best glide bait you’ll ever use.

Savage Gear 4Play Swim & Jerk


Based on a 3D scan of a Herring the 4play V2 has four articulated segments that gives them their characteristic incredibly lifelike swimming action. These swim&jerk versions don’t dive down like the liplures allowing you to fish in the surface film drawing spectacular strikes.

Strike Pro X Buster Lures 17cm 80g Jerkbait



trike Pro. A jointed swimbait with an outstanding action. You can rip, crank, twitch, pull, troll or jerk this versatile devastating pike catching lure.  The XBuster has a wide sweeping action when you crank it that pike just what to grab it.

Pro Dawg Magnum Bull Dawg


Pro Dawgs are Bull Dawgs with a jointed internal harness.  This specially designed harness allows the bull dawg to work head down giving the bait a “hop” when jerked and makes the bait run deeper.  The added flex to the Pro Dawg gives the bait a different action than the original Bull Dawg.  Both baits have a time and place, try a Pro Dawg in your arsenal, you will not be disappointed.

This is a great starting point for all you need to start catching pike using jerkbaits. This method works on rivers, lakes and even catching pike on canals.

So all you need to do this is get the gear and head off to a lake or river to see how good this really is.

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