>
 
> FishingBoating-World.com
 
 
News Home Newsletters Photo Gallery Powerboat-World Australian Cruising World Cruising MarineBusiness-World Animated Knots
Video Gallery MarineBusiness-World
Sail-World.com : Deepwater jigs part 1: Jerkshads
Deepwater jigs part 1: Jerkshads


'Big cod love jerkshad. For fish often thought of as big, slow and dumb, they will go after a darting jerkshad with all the ravenous hunger of a charging lion.'    Lee Brake    Click Here to view large photo

Over the next few weeks Lee Brake will be taking a look at some of the more popular ammunition used by deepwater jigging enthusiasts. This week we are looking at the arrow-like, flicking, darting wonders that are jerkshad soft plastics.

The jerkshad is probably my favourite deepwater lure and that's why we are kicking things off with it. As the name suggests, the jerkshad is a perfect small fish (shad) imitation that works best when 'jerked' through the water column. The average jerkshad resembles an arrow that is straight and tapers down to a small tail, which is usually forked like a snake's tongue, though some finish with single point and are often referred to as 'stickbaits'.

They differ from other softies in that it's the body of the plastic that provides the action, not the tail like curltails or paddletails. When rigged with a jighead and dropped through the depths, the lure will spear downwards with a slight quiver from the tail like a baitfish charging for the safety of bottom structure. Then, once it hits the bottom and you jerk it upwards, it'll dart from side to side erratically like a wounded and panicking baitfish, before diving once more when you pause.

If you can find a bait ball on the sounder and can imitate a panicked fish that is separated from its safety, then the predators will take notice. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

The advantage of the jerkshad is the speed with which you can work it. Most plastics work better at slow to medium speeds to enable their tails to swim, but the jerkshad can be cranked and jerked hard to really imitate a fish fleeing for its life. For this reason, the jerkshad becomes your ultimate soft plastic when targeting feeding fish. If there is bait present on the sounder then chances are there are predatory fish feeding on any poor unfortunate fish that leaves the security of the bait ball. A jerkshad darting and diving near that bait ball becomes an immediate target, however, predators expect their prey to flee, so never be afraid to really crank your plastic up fast, especially after it has just taken a hit!

My usual technique when jigging these lures is to drift fish. I'll identify fish on the sounder, usually around or on prominent structure, and then I'll drift over the mark, starting far enough past it to ensure the lure is on the bottom before the boat reaches it. Then, once I know I'm over the mark, I'll usually increase the speed and ferocity of my action to attract the attention of the sounded fish. It seems that it's this fast action that entices most strikes. In fact, often I've finished a drift, gone well past the mark, and then started cranking the jerkshad in to start a new drift when I've gotten slammed. I can only imagine that the fish was following the lure and only struck when it looked to be making a break for it!

This nannygai came from a very deep mark. Note the four ounce jighead used to get the 6.5' Atomic jerkshad down into the depths. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

Prime target species on jerkshads range from pelagics like trevally, cobia, queenfish and even mackerel to big bottom dwellers like fingermark, reef jack, nannygai, red emperor, cod and coral trout. Lure size plays a big role in what you target. For example, if I am inshore around a creek mouth or island chasing queenfish, tuna or small mackerel, I'll use a clear-coloured jerkshad around 5' to imitate a whitebait or hardyhead; if I'm jigging an isolated bombie or shoal for fingermark or nannygai, I'll use a 7' jerkshad; and if I'm fishing a deep trench or offshore mark after big fingermark, Spanish mackerel, cobia or even a big red, I'll go to a 8' or even a 9'. My two favourite jerkshads are Berkley Gulp 7' Jerkshads and Zman XL StreakZ which are 8'. Both have accounted for more than their fair share of big fish over the years.

A solid giant trevally emerges from the depths, jerkshad firmly embedding in its jaw corner. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

Lure selection aside, rigging is incredibly important when using jerkshads. The biggest mistake is hook size. If the hook is too big (i.e. has a shank that's too long) for the jerkshad you are using then the lure becomes stiff and loses its darting action. If the hook is too small, you'll miss a lot of hits, as the fish will be grabbing the tail. As a general rule of thumb: 5' and 6' use a 5/0, 7' use a 7/0 and 8' or 9' use a 9/0.

The next most important rigging rule is to rig them straight. Take the time to make sure the hook is sitting straight in the plastic. If it's off centre, even a little bit, then the softy will swim to the side and instead of darting from side to side, it'll swim unnaturally in circles.

This smaller 4' Berkley Jerkshad was smashed by a nice coral trout along an island drop-off. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

Weight choice is also obviously important. A jighead's fast action revolves around you being in contact with the lure, yet it also needs to be light enough to glide naturally forward as it darts through the water. If your jighead is too light, you won't feel the lure and will struggle to keep it near the bottom, and if it's too heavy, it'll just 'lift and thud' rather than 'dart and dive'.

Lastly, as mentioned, the jerkshad has the speed to attract an assortment of pelagic species, and with many pelagics comes teeth! For this reason never be afraid to throw on a short length of wire if you know mackerel are around. I will usually try wireless first and then upgrade if I get bitten off. Sometimes around pressured areas the wire will put them off, so it's worth trying without first.

This trophy fingermark took a Got Stryper Pintail from the States (http://www.gotstryper.com/). Note the single pointed tail more in the stickbait style. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

Another advantage of jerkshads is that you don't need too much specialist gear to work them. The fast nature of the retrieve and the viciousness of the hits means specialist finesse gear is less important, however in saying that, some things will be an asset. I like a lightweight, graphite, fast tapered combo around 24kg. This allows some shock absorption during the hard strikes that can pull hooks if your rod is too stiff and it means that you can jig for long periods without getting tired. I use a LJ Customs XZoga jigstick that's 5'6' and 25kg (http://www.ljcustomrods.com/pages/jigging-rods.php) with a Shimano 500 Tekota reel and 300m-plus of 50lb Platypus Pretest braid. This little combo is a real pocket rocket and has stopped everything from huge giant trevally to 90cm fingermark. In saying that though, when you're starting out, most general purpose offshore combos will get the job done.

Fish hard and stay safe.


by Lee Brake

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.fishingboating-world.com/index.cfm?nid=107136

10:48 AM Mon 4 Mar 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







FishingBoating-World











A Mooring in Iceberg Alley by Rebecca Jackson,






Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,
































Dispersant from Deepwater Horizon Spill persist in environment by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,








Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),


Dangerous conditions for boating on entire NSW Coast by Transport Roads and Maritme Services,








Auckland on the Water Boat Show: Two new Bavaria yachts on display
You are invited to a Boating Safety Conference in Auckland
Taiwan's first marina a Superior effort *Feature
Protecting lagoons could be key to saving Manta Rays
Baby Nemos finding their way home
Portland’s new state-of-the-art boat ramp officially opened
Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters
New fishing pontoons for Warrnambool’s Merri river
Whale freed from rope at Byron Bay
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards
Dangerous conditions for NSW coastal boaters from Thursday
Bar Crusher's fully-enclosed fishing weapons
World premieres and national debuts for Sydney International Boat Show
Marine Auctions experiencing rising tide of interest *Feature
Man fined $2000 for hawking abalone from an East Gippsland reef
New catfish species ‘hooked’ in North Qld
Emperor penguins in danger of dramatic declines
Tags reveal Chilean devil rays are among ocean's deepest divers
Auckland On Water Boat Show to hold world record attempt
Alvin's Animals - Previously unknown species discovered
Zodiac at Sydney International Boat Show 2014 – Australian   
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Exhibitor space filling fast   
Lessons from the West: Great Barrier Reef in danger   
If we stop killing parrotfish we can bring back Caribbean coral reefs   
Decade of benefits for the Great Barrier Reef   
Climate change could stop fish finding their friends   
Ceramic coated exhaust manifolds reduce engine bay temps on superboat   
Reminder of safe distance requirements for whales   
Changes to Australian bass closed season   
Commercial fishers on shore for mullet season   
Management measures implemented to reduce large whale entanglements   
Scientists use JeDI to create world’s first global jellyfish database   
Sanctuary Classic off to a great start!   
New Murray cod limits proposed to improve fishery   
Up close and personal with whales on the Gold Coast   
SA Marina Day encourages South Australians to enjoy their marinas   
Southport Yacht Club raffle: Dusit Thani, BRIG Falcon, Marriott stay   
Fish stocks Northeast Atlantic recover, overfishing in Mediterranean   
Enjoy the whale spectacle, just keep your distance   
Satellite images reveals emperor penguins are more willing to relocate   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW FBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT