Fire-Up Prespawn Bass With LIVETARGET™
Amazingly life-like jerkbaits are sure to sting bass this spring
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. (March 23, 2020) – Spring finally approaches, and that means largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass will be on the prowl in the weeks ahead, especially north of the Mason-Dixon Line where they will be entering their aggressive prespawn phase. At this time, bass are highly vulnerable to jerkbaits presented with stop and go retrieves that intersperse quick, sketchy baitfish movements with long pauses designed to create plenty of anticipation for both fish and angler.
Of course, spring can also mean cool, crystal-clear water and fish taking good long looks at lures, often noncommittally. Don’t worry, though, because that’s where LIVETARGET™ hardbody jerkbaits excel. Incorporating truly innovative designs with amazingly realistic profiles, exceptional detail, plus a wide variety of sizes and patterns fine-tuned to Match-the-Hatch®, these jerkbaits can anchor your prespawn arsenal. Hold one up for close inspection and you’ll notice pinpoint accurate eyes, precisely contoured bodies, perfectly placed pectoral fins, plus a dead-ringer profile for an anatomically accurate representation with authentic action.
Freshwater anglers with spring bass on the brain will find LIVETARGET jerkbaits a go-to choice whether fishing under bluebird skies or heavy cloud cover, on calm mornings with gin-clear water, or even during a surprise cold front. Under cool, sunny and clear water conditions, LIVETARGET’s weight transfer system will allow you to make heroically long casts. Choose a finesse baitcasting or spinning outfit along the lines of a 7’ or 7’6” St. Croix, medium power, moderate or moderate-fast-action Mojo Bass or Legend Tournament Bass rod, a matching reel filled with braid, like Daiwa’s J-Braid (12- to 15-lb. test), plus a long leader of 10-lb. test Daiwa J-Fluorocarbon leader material.
As for general presentation, favor natural colors, quickly reel your bait down to an appropriate depth, and begin a sequence of alternating twitches and long pauses. Keep in mind that sluggish bass sometimes need 20 to 30 seconds or more to commit on the pause. Switch sizes, lengths and colors throughout the day to zero in on the preferred pattern.
Expect to find prespawn largemouths in 4’ to 8’ depths off potential or known spawning flats, often well up inside bays and coves. Other good places to prospect include the edges of remaining or emerging green vegetation, around shallow points with rocky or gravel bottoms, and near heat-holding boulders. If working reservoir creek channels, probe from the bends just outside coves and bays all the way to the back. Position your boat outside the channel, casting over the channel and along the break, without disturbing the channel itself or edges.
Look for prespawn smallmouth bass to hold over rocky or gravel bottoms in slightly deeper water than largemouth bass. Boulder fields can be particularly productive in spring, especially if bordering vegetated flats or shallow bays, although some bronzebacks will spawn in the main lake. Spotted bass tend to hold in deeper water than bucketmouths but can also be found in open water stalking baitfish schools at any level of the water column. As the spawn approaches, however, the spots seem particularly drawn to areas around docks and pilings.
No matter which species of bass you’re targeting this spring, keep moving, keep casting and cover as much water as possible. LIVETARGET jerkbaits are the real deal. If the fish are present, they’ll work ‘em up – so keep pushing until you find that honey hole.
The LIVETARGET Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait is a top seller, and with good reason. Many anglers consider it a “secret bait” that outfishes competing brands. Rainbow smelt are common forage for gamefish ranging from bass, walleye and pike to salmon and even trout, especially in reservoirs and the Great Lakes region, and the Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait profiles them perfectly. In addition to its great looks, the Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait features a smooth-as-silk weight transfer system that instantly suspends when you stop reeling, along with a deep ‘knock’ sound that drives predatory species wild. Available in Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait Shallow Dive and Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait Deep Dive models measuring from 2.75” to 4.5” that can dig down to 9’ depths, these baits are ideal for casting or trolling whether in open water, around points, edging channels or paralleling weed lines, rushes and reeds. Watch one work and you’ll love the tight, seductive, life-like wobble. Bring it to a stop and see how it suspends perfectly, appearing to catch its breath before being jerked back to life.
The Yearling BaitBall is another terrific choice for springtime bass. Never have jerkbaits looked so real to gamefish feeding on young-of-the-year forage or small, thin-profiled baitfish. This offering replicates an in-line grouping of baitfish, creating an array of flash profiles for unmatched simulation of a stretched-out baitfish school. Model YJB-110 has a narrow body profile, measures 4.25”and dives to a depth of 5’, while the 3.75” YJB-95 has a deeper body for a broader side flash and swims down to 4’. Both lures come in ultra-realistic colors for variable water conditions.
The Emerald Shiner BaitBall Jerkbait is also ideal for situations when predators are targeting smaller forage. This suspending jerkbait dives 3’ to 4’ and comes in 3.5” (Emerald Shiner Jerkbait 90) and 4.5” (Emerald Shiner Jerkbait 115) sizes to mimic a pair of shiners that have broken off from the main school and are erratically searching for security. Their appearance smacks of desperation while their super-fine detail and assortment of colors provide anglers an extra advantage in ultra-clear water conditions.
Similarly, LIVETARGET’S Glass Minnow Baitball Jerkbait FW mimics an in-line cluster of minnows that have been isolated from the sanctuary of their baitball. With a sleek and flashy profile, it has an aggressive action, weight transfer system and suspends nose down to give predator species a different look. This model measures 4.75” and dives up to 4’ deep.
All LIVETARGET hard-bodied jerkbaits come in a variety of natural color patterns with sizes ranging from 2” to 6.25”, based on the model selected. Retail prices run from $9.99 to $14.49. Additional LIVETARGET hard bodied jerkbaits patterns include Trout and Yellow Perch.
Since its launch in 2008, LIVETARGET has grown into a full family of life-like fishing lures that Match-the-Hatch® to specific game fish forage, with an expansive library of lure styles and colors for both fresh and saltwater fishing. The lures feature industry-leading designs in realism and workmanship that closely mimic nature’s different prey species. Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, LIVETARGET won ICAST Best of Show awards in the hard and soft lure categories in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.