Home Fishing Tips Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Soft Jerk-bait for Early Spring

Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Soft Jerk-bait for Early Spring

Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Soft Jerk-bait for Early Spring

Got him! [chuckles] Come on big bruiser. Come on big bruiser. Lookee there. [chuckles] That little soft jerk-bait action right there. At Roosevelt Lake. I’ll tell you what, you can see what I’m throwing a little bit this morning.

I just showed up here at Roosevelt Lake, fishing our first little cove. And you know here in the spring time, one of my favorite baits to go to, especially when the water.. The water’s not clear. It’s not real muddy in the area that we’re in, but it’s not real clear.

My visibility is probably– oh– 2 foot. 2 to 3 feet. So in saying that, I picked up a white Bass Assassin. And I paired that up with a big wide-gap hook. And uh, that way I could muscle them out of their.

12 pound test line. Medium action rod. And of course, the Johnny Morris Signature Series reel paired with the Taipan medium action rod. I’ll tell you what, all I’m doing– this time of year it’s real simple for me– I try to simplify my fishing as much as I can and just basically fish from the points back into the cuts.

In the shallow flats. In the shallow water where these fish are getting ready to spawn. Or spawning. So we really can’t see’em, but one thing they can’t stand is something like this soft jerk-bait coming through.

You just kinda throw it out there and kinda just twitch it along.. Twitch it along.. It’s nothing real hard to do. It’s thrown weightless. What’s really cool about this, is you can get that up in the brush and just– just kinda give it a couple slow twitches.

And it looks like a dying shad or an injured shad, or something like that, and those fish can’t stand it. It triggers their instincts to hit this thing. As calm as the water is right now– the wind’s starting to pick up a little bit and I’ll– I’ll be honest with you, when the wind picks up a little bit, a spinner bait or something like that would probably work really good.

I’ve got my Senko tied on, obviously. And I’ve even had a– got my Rio Rico tied on and uh, thought I’d throw around here just a little bit just to see if anything would be in the area to want to bite this soft jerk-bait.

And when they’re up shallow a lot of times, they’ll attack it. Especially if it gets around in their area. The ticket is though, is this isn’t something that you move real fast. You keep a couple of twitches, let it fall, then twitch it again.

. Let it fall.. And all it’s doing is darting up. So it’s going ‘boom’and then it’s floating back down.. ‘boom’.. It’s floating back down. And uh, it just looks like something injured or something that’s trying to get in their way in– on their nest or something, and boy, they can’t stand it.

So.. And there’s a time and a place for everything, and I’ll tell you, this soft jerk-bait is the time of year– this is the time of year for this. What I really love about this– is you can’t throw hard jerk-bait, okay? Hard jerk-baits would be good, but we’ve got all this brush and all these trees.

This is rigged weedless. And all I’ve done, is I’ve taken the bait– and you can see what I’ve done here. Big ol’ wide-gap hook okay? And we’re just hooking it up weedless.

I’ll bring it up over the hook like so.. And then I’ll pop the hook all the way through the– the bottom of the bait. Now it’s got a groove in the bottom of that bait there for the hook to set up in. It’s just not a big thick piece of plastic there.

Bring the hook up through just like so. And then what I do, is skin-hook it. I pull it up a little bit, bring that hook through, where it’s weedless. But when they get it, that hook pops right through.

Gives you a chance to set the hook and get the fish in the boat. This is a lot of fun to throw, and if you haven’t tried throwing it, this is the time of year to do it. Let me tell you. When they’re shallow.

Weightless– and just kinda popping it along. Kinda popping it alone in the shallows. Now what I’ll do, is I’ll come out to this point– we fished the backs of this cove. I missed one back there and then of course– I had one blow up on me back there and then uh, I just caught that one– but uh, we’ll go down through here and see what we can’t do.

Now granted, if you get into a good area where you’re catching a lot of fish on this, it doesn’t hurt to slow down and maybe throw that Senko in there as well. So you’ll– you know– we’ll play around and see if we can’t find some of these fish.

Roosevelt Lake’s fuller than it’s been in a many of years. It’s up over 63% I think and uh.. I’ll tell you what it’s– it’s coming up fast. But uh.. A lot of carp working in the shallows. We’re gonna see that today and– which is a good thing– the water temperature’s moved up into– gosh– 71°.

So it came up quick. But these fish are spawning. We’re here in the middle of March. So we’ll get out here and see if we can’t catch some more fish on this bait. I always like to throw across the top of the point.

You can see where the little brush piles are out there– you know this is a flatter point– and just see if anything’s up in that area. Now you gotta remember, when these fish go to spawn, they’re gonna find the little cuts.

Now the big coves is one thing. We just went into a big cove, but you also have little cuts like this. Around the point, you’ll have a little flat cut in there. It doesn’t hurt to stop and pop those. I’ll tell you, um, fish will do what they have to do to make it.

And I’ll tell you, as long as they’re sheltered a little bit by the big winds, they’ll spawn in those areas. Got him. That’s a good fish too. [giggling] Did you see him come up and slurp that thing in? That’s what I’m talking about son! That’s a little bit better bass now.

Little Roosevelt bass. [cackling] Alright. You see him come up and slurp that in? Come on buddy. Gotcha! Look at that. Little bit better buck bass. Hello buddy. That was awesome. I was just saying “I’ll be amazed if we come in here and don’t catch fish”.

Look at that. Huh? Oop! Well.. Not quite the way I wanted to release him. [chuckles] That’s the thing. If you work these baits a little bit slow– and I’m gonna have to tie another one on. They rip’em up pretty good, but.

. Let me tell you something– working that slow, making it look injured– he just came right up.. There’s times when you throw up in there and they’re gonna crush it. There’s other times they’re just gonna come up and slurp it in.

And it’s a fun way to fish. It really is. And I’ll tell you what, I bet we could hit all the pockets and catch fish on this all day long. It’s a fun bait to throw, let me tell you. He hit it right there! Hit it right there! [cackling] Oh my goodness! [chuckles] Did you see that? And he ate it.

For a little feller, you wanted that, didn’t you? He ate it right there as I was getting ready to pull it up. Look at that. Aggressive little dude, wasn’t he? [chuckles] That’s the thing. You know, these things throw off such an erratic motion, that on every twitch it does something totally different.

And with that, I’ve always said that a bait has to have an attracting and triggering quality. You could be pulling that thing in and the fish could be just looking at it, and there’s that one twitch that triggers him to bite that bait.

I was getting ready to reel that thing in and he hit it right at the boat. I mean, as I was starting to twitch it really fast. So I was twitching it slow.. Twitching it slow.. And all of a sudden I’m like “Ah, I’ll make another cast”.

Twitch.. Twitch.. Boom! He hit it. Just on a couple of twitches. So it was like it was going to run from him. He might’ve been tracking on the slow and then when I started going fast, it was almost like the bait fish saw him tracking him and was trying to get away, and he went up and nailed it so.

. I’ll tell you what, these are a lot of fun to throw. Lot of fun to throw. But you gotta make sure you get a couple of packages, and I’ll tell you why.. You tear’em up pretty easy. But boy they’re fun.

And when they’re not running right– and the only way to know that when they’re not running right is if your bait tends to– to come up out of the water, and doesn’t dive a little bit, there’s a couple of things.

. Your bait’s either tore up too much and it’s just getting really flimsy on the head here. And what’s happening is, is if you put this bait where you have any kinda kink in it at all– say that little kink like that– it’s gonna have a tendency to want to shoot up towards the top of the water as you twitch it.

So it’s gonna pop out of the water. Ain’t a bad thing if they’re chasing shad and all, but if you want to work it under the surface little bit, you gotta make sure that bait is straight. It has to be straight.

If it’s not straight, you’re gonna have issues with it. Oh! Got him! I saw him come out of there and get it. [cackling] Little buck bass. Come on buddy. [chuckles] Are you angry? Are you angry? Just moved into our next spot here and uh, caught him right off the bat.

Couple of casts into it. You know this bait is working all over the lake. So far. Where we’ve gone. But I will say this, you have to find areas that are somewhat clear. This bait’s not gonna work in muddy water.

You gotta remember that. You know, I mean you– you’d probably catch fish on it here and there if you tossed it right on his head but you need somewhat kinda– you know.. Dingy’s fine. But you want.. The best you can do is to find some– find the clearest water you can find, and this will work really good.

The clearer the water, the better. And uh, we found a little spot here that I can actually see 3 to 4 foot down. Got him! [cackling] Oh yeah! That’s what I’m talking about. [chuckles] You thought you had it, didn’t you buddy? [chuckles] My little Rage Tale Structure Bug.

[chuckles] That’s a little site-fishing bass. The water ain’t that dirty. In some areas, we can see a little bit better. I was going by and I had a fish blowup on my soft jerk-bait. That Bass Assassin.

I’m like.. It’s awful shallow and I’m looking, and I watched the fish go right back down in there and I’m like.. “That’s where that one-two punch comes in handy”. Sometimes, this time of year in the spring, you also have to remember– what’s very important is, is if you don’t catch the fish, don’t be discouraged.

If you’re fishing that shallow of water, it’s always good to look. Because if you look down in there, you might find that there’s a bass sitting on a bed in there. And that’s– that’s where you can get’em but.

. When your throwing shallow like that, a lot of times– you know– swim baits and soft jerk-baits can be that search lure for you and then you can stop and pop’em but.. We’ll keep going down the bank and uh, throwing the soft jerk-bait.

But I had to catch that one. Little one-two punch there was a lot of fun. So we’ll just keep moving down– [grunts]– and trying to catch these fish. You know, something else I really wanna mention, is this time of year I get a lot of people telling me– as a matter of fact, before I came down here, I had folks telling me that they came down for spring break and you know, just couldn’t get’em.

And they were here you know, yesterday and the day before and uh, you know.. Caught one fish or whatever. It really really is important to understand that when these– in the spring time when the water temperature moves up– these fish go shallow.

So if you’re trolling with a crank-bait out there behind your boat, odds are– you know.. There’s gonna be some fish out there but the majority of the fish are going to be up shallow so.

. You know– you can’t troll. You– you– you just can’t troll a crank-bait that shallow. Because we’re in– in between 6 inches of water and 4 foot of water. It’s– it’s virtually impossible so– especially with the bushes and the trees and stuff.

So if you’re not catching fish, think about the season that you’re in and uh– summertime fine– you know– get out there on those points and– and drag or whatever– but this time of year you gotta be shallow.

Got him! Oh! [cackling] And that’s the good one! And that’s the good one. [cackling] Who says it’s too dirty? Look at that fish. Beautiful fish. That’s the one we went for. She ended up getting it. Boy, you got it good too, didn’t you baby? There you go.

Look at that beautiful bass. There’s a smaller one in there. Oh my goodness. Alright baby. See ya. And that’s the ticket. You know, we throw those soft jerk-baits around and we get into an area where you can see’em like this, throw out that Structure Bug, and look what happens.

You know the Structure Bug’s a lot of fun to throw. It’s just a rage-tale. But uh, it’s white, where I can see it. You know for only having about 4 foot of visibility, it works out pretty good. And we’re in such shallow water– I’m using a little bit lighter sinker.

I’m using a quarter-ounce tungsten and uh, just something real simple. Texas-rigging that thing up and uh, their– they’ll go after it. You know we never could’ve done this kind of fishing, as easy as we’ve been able to do it, without Power-Poles.

I’m telling you right now. It’s– it’s made uh– it’s made shallow water fishing so much more fun. I’m gonna raise’em up. We’ll go to the next spot. Gotta have them Power-Poles on your boat, man. [upbeat country music] Hey folks, for my Tip of the Week, one thing that’s really important when you’re throwing these kinds of baits is not to be scared– especially because your weedless– to throw it up in the trees.

Now I want you to think about the little brush there. Most people throw on the outside of the brush, you know maybe on the inside, but they’re not going to throw up in it. And I’ll tell you why you need to.

. A lot of times those bass will be right up in there. And because you are weedless, you can get a couple of pops in there and you might have one just come right out and take it from you. So you gotta be not afraid.

Don’t be afraid at all to throw right up over the trees. And if you don’t sling back real fast, when you do over-cast– when you don’t sling back real fast– go “oh man, I think I’m gonna get hung”– let it twitch.

Let it fall. Work the bait back to the– to the bush and then crawl it back up over. See. Don’t let it twist. And it will pop right over. Let it fall. A lot of times on that initial fall, and you pop it once, that fish will be right in that tree and you’ll catch him.

You have to fish that kind of stuff to get bit. That’s my Tip of the Week. [twangy guitar music] Got him! [laughing] It’s not a bad fish right there son! Not a giant, but a fun fish. Not a giant, but a fun fish.

There you go. [chuckles] Yes! I’ll tell you what, man, Roosevelt’s a blast right now. If you’re not on this lake, you’re missing out. What a blast! [laid-back guitar music] [reel zinging] Oh! There’s one on a– on a Senko! [laughing] Threw up there and I thought.

. “Man, gotta be a fish on that point”. This just goes to show you [chuckles] you can even get them on the Senko. I’ll tell you what.. What a ball today. Come on buddy, you’re done. You’re just a little buck bass.

Come on now. [grunts] Ahh! [chuckles] I’ll tell you what.. What a ball we have had today. You can come out here to Roosevelt, and I’m telling you, have a great time. It’s lunchtime folks! I’ll tell you what, I’ve had a great time here on Roosevelt Lake and it’s uh, clearing up a little bit.

It’s still kinda dirty but uh, — doesn’t mean you can’t get out here and catch those fish. I’ll tell you what.. With that Bass Assassin, if the water’s clear enough– you got 3 foot of visibility, 2 foot of visibility– it will work.

Try that white. You’ll like it. And uh, don’t ever for– don’t ever count out that Senko. I just had to throw it out there. Just to see if I could get bit on it. And I proved to myself, obviously, I could.

The fish are shallow. You’re gonna have a lot of fun. Get out and catch’em right here at Roosevelt Lake. Beautiful! Just a gorgeous day out today. We’ll probably have some lunch and go back out. Thanks for joining us on the water today, I’m Johnny Johnson.


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