GUNTERSVILLE, Alabama - The week before Christmas, I told you about how I've changed my winter cranking game to include wider-wobbling crankbaits like the HOWELLER DMC and the HOWELLER DMC PLUS, but there's one more really powerful tool that I'd advise you to add to your tackle box: The new JERKMASTER 121 ... or as we now call it, the Cherry Picker.
My Livingston teammate Hank Cherry worked like crazy to get this bait just perfect, and he did a great job. It's the best jerkbait I've ever seen, and it's really effective in cold water like we'll be fishing the next few winter months. I was lucky enough to have a bunch of Cherry Pickers at the 2016 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake - I threw my Howellers and that jerkbait the whole tournament, and ended up in the Top 5.
Why a jerkbait in the winter?
Like a lot of anglers, I really look for the jerkbait bite in the winter months because it's a totally different pattern and group of fish than you'll target with the cranking bite. The jerkbait is for fish that are suspended over drop-offs, grasslines, standing timber, and even those deep boat docks. But deep, rocky bluffs are probably the best place to start hunting winter fish with a jerkbait.
The Cherry Picker has an internal weight-transfer system that helps you make a longer cast, and which allows the bait to get deeper when it suspends. That's what calls up the bigger fish from those rocky bluffs.
This is where Electronic Baitfish Sounds™ (EBS) is a killer!
The slower a bait can move, the longer the EBS Shad™ sound can irritate a big, lethargic bass and trigger him to bite.
I like the deeper-diving lip of the JERKMASTER 121D on bluffs (dives up to 10 feet), and the regular lip of the JERKMASTER 121 on flatter points and drops (dives 4 to 6 feet).
CHECK OUT LIVINGSON LIVE!
I went into greater detail about winter jerkbait fishing in our recent holiday edition of Livingston Live. You can always watch that version of Live on the Livingston Facebook page, and on the Livingston YouTube page.