Jim Noah   

It's time to load the boat with bass caught on the soft plastic jerkbaits.  Several good ones are on the market and I always carry three styles in two sizes in each.  I have been known to get carried away with the color selection, but I can't help it.

  I carry Bass Assassin Glass Shad in the 5 inch size mainly in the Rainbow, Gold Jewel, Red and Blue.  I really stick to clear water for these style baits.  These baits work best when the sunlight reflects off the insert.  They really look just like a live bait in the water.  I knew these baits were the ticket from the first time I laid eyes on them in Atlanta GA.  The rep in the next booth showed me these hand poured beauties wrapped up in plastic like they were illegal or something.  He was making them in his garage and selling the for $2.00 each.  Sure I bought some and them got Bass Assassin to make them.  Don't leave home without them if you are fishing clear water!  I nose hook these with Bleeding Circle Wide Daiichi 3/0 hooks in sparse cover just like they were a Shiner.  You can also texas rig them with a 4/0 extra wide gap XPoint, but just skin hook them on the side.

  I carry Bass Assassin Twitches in the 7 inch size in Sherbet, White, Junebug, Pink/White floater, Lemon Lime, Glass Minnow, Orange Gold Shiner, Lime White Floater, and Chartreuse Diamond.  These are my multipurpose plastic baits.  I've used these for everything including splitting them for jig and spinnerbait trailers.  I use them like floating worms too!

  They were designed to be a jerkbait, but I texas rig them just like a worm with a non-pegged slip sinker.  They float up off the bottom and wave in the current.  Dead stick them for a good minute and be prepared to set the hook!  They work great on a Carolina Rig too.  I also rig them wacky style.  In the 4 1/2 inch size they work great as Drop Shot baits since the float.  They were designed to be fished shallow in the weeds or around docks.  If I'm fishing them like a jerkbait, I texas rig them with 3/0 XGAP XPoint with no weight or just a 1/2 inch finish nail stuck in the head.  Cast these around all the boat docks.  Work them back slowly with little ill-regular jerks.  Hang on!  The nice thing about them is the boat owner doesn't know how bad a caster you are since he doesn't hear you hit his boat with the bait.  Don't worry, they won't scratch a boat,  just catch lots of fish.  Muskie and pike really like them too.

  Next I carry the Assassin in 5 and 3 inch sizes in at least White, Watermelon Red Flake, Crystal Shad, Space Guppy, Electric Chicken, Baby Bass, Limetruse, Black Shiner, Green Back Shiner, and Gold Shiner.  Yes this one is the stable of the jerkbaits for me!  If you think this bait don't catch fish, just try to hold the tail still.  You can't and they always have action in the water.  Any fish that eats a minnow eats Assassins just like candy!

  I hear all over the country folks have problems hooking fish with the soft jerkbaits so they just won't fish them.  Bass Assassin has a nice split molded right in the belly to help prevent that.  I use a 4/0 XGAP XPoint on the 5 inch ones.  I use the 3/0 on the smaller ones.  I push the hook point all the way through the back and just skin hook the point back under.  If I'm not fishing around heavy cover I push the hook all the way through the back and leave it exposed.  A saltwater trick I use any time I can get by with it.

  If I'm fishing around sparse cover I'll add a bleeding Daiichi triple to the Assassin so it swings free under the bait.  You never have a problem with hookups with this set-up.  If you find some schooling bass (or any species fresh or saltwater) hitting on the surface you'll get a hook up every cast. Guaranteed!  I can't begin to think of the schooling Yellow Tail I've caught doing this in the Sea of Cortez.  Even the Mexican Guides thought this is one loco gringo, but man can he haul the fish in!  Check out the pictures and you'll see why it never misses a hit.
Soft plastic jerkbaits make great baits to work fast right on top the water when the bass are shallow and aggressive.  They are as much fun as top water them and the action is fast paced.  When the bass are suspended under the dock foam just count the bait down and then slowly twitch it back.  Experiment with the count and once you find what they want it will be the same on all the like docks.

  These are great baits to use over grass like we will someday have back at Smithville.  I've really caught a lot of bass in the Texas lakes using Watermelon with Red Flake and Texas Red.  Sam Rayburn, Teldo Bend and Fork all have bass with an appetite for Assassins just above the weeds.  Always carry a selection of finish nails (1/2 to 2 inches long) so you can add weight to get the assassin down a little faster.  I add them to the Bass Assassin Jig heads too for a deeper presentation.

  I'd load up on the soft jerkbaits now and get ready to load the boat.  They are not limited to bass.  One of the Kansas Pros calls me for his Canadian selection every year.  He always says "send me plenty of any of bright shiny colors you have, because the pike just tear them up."  I'm glad we have him on the guide plan for his sake.

  With all the colors, shapes, and sizes no dealer carries all of them.  When you can't find what you need at your local stores get on the web and order direct from  They have a secure site and the order comes right to your door.

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