As spring approaches and nature wakes up from its winter sleep, spending time outdoors becomes more tempting. Springtime presents sportsmen with an opportunity to try one of the best, most spectacular and satisfying ways of angling available: fishing for pike with jerkbaits. And by pike I refer to the fish our American friends call Northern pike, as well as to Musky.
Before I start let’s deal with the controversial part of our discussion. There are many different types of lures that go under the name jerkbait. In reality, jerkbait refers more to the way the lure is swimmed by an angler, jerking it using a stiff fishing rod, than to the specific shape of the lure itself. Of course the shape of the lure will make certain types of movement more natural. So, let’s just say that for our purpose, by jerkbaits I’m referring to large and hard, lipless lures fished with a relatively short and stiff spinning rod.
What I would like to discuss here, is the experience and excitement that this type of fishing produces. The warmer weather of spring gets the fisherman’s juices flowing and has the same effect on his quarry. The pike, which were weakened from the winter cold and the subsequent spawning season, are now becoming active and feeding aggressively.
Because pike spawn before roach and other species of small fish they have an abundance of food during that critical time of year. Both mature and juvenile fish stay in shallow waters hunting for easy snacks. This phenomenon makes jerkbait angling so exciting and spectacular. The fisherman can often see the pike swimming right under the surface of the water, enabling him to cast the lure right in front of it. The resulting attack is ballistic and powerful. The whole spectacle unfolds within sight of the excited angler.
I hope this short article will encourage readers to try the method that is considered by many to be the quintessential form of pike fishing: jerking.
To find out more listen to episode 5 of Tommy’s Outdoors podcast where I give a short report about springtime jerkbait fishing. Also, check out episode 1 where my guest is Greg Latour from the Tir na Spideoga Fishing Lodge where you can rent a boat to enjoy pike fishing on the nearby lake.