The Jerkmaster 121 C and the Jerkmaster Jr. are two baits that I’ve caught fish on in the first three tournaments, including the one in Louisiana on Lake D’Arbonne, in cold, muddy river water – the least likely place you would think bass would bite a jerkbait.
The first tournament day on D’Arbonne I picked up the Jerkmaster 121 C and tried it because I could see fish on the Lowrance Active Target unit. That’s been the other big thing, Active Target, being able to see fish on standing timber or being able to see fish on the drop off and being able to really know that they are bass. That technology works hand-in-hand with that Livingston jerkbait because our baits sink slowly. It’s not a suspending jerkbait. It’s a sinker. Then when I put a heavier #4, 4X Daiichi Bleeding Bait treble on both, the front and middle hook hangers, it makes it sink even faster.
This helps because, for instance on D’Arbonne, I could see that the fish were 12 or 13 feet deep and I let it sink down to that depth range and then started with a jerk, jerk, pause cadence and that EBS Shad sound going off, even in that muddy water it was able to draw those fish in and make them bite.
The 2nd day I caught a 4-pound, 10-ounce fish which is a big one there, and a couple of two-and-a-half-pounders on a real tough bite the first two days. That’s what got me into the Knockout Round to go to Caney Creek where I caught the 10-pounder.
That Jerkmaster has definitely been the deal for me. I’ve used the Purple Hitch Shad color. I’ve been throwing it on my 7-foot Daiwa Signature Series Jerkbait Rod with 14lb Daiwa J-Fluoro Samurai Fluorocarbon Line on a Tatula Elite 7.1:1 reel that allows me to take up slack quickly when I need to. You don’t have to use very light line with the Jerkmaster because it sinks well so you can get it down there deep enough without having to use light line. That’s another good thing about that jerkbait.
The Jerkmaster 121 C has been my MVP this year. I caught them in Louisiana on it and at the next tournament in Texas, on Lake Fork, I caught them with it in the standing timber to make it through the first round and into the Knockout Round. Every one of my fish were on camera, on Live, and it was a crazy day. I was on the bubble the whole day and I caught a 6-11 with 30 minutes to go on that jerkbait. That put me up over the cut line and I wasn’t sweating it. I made it by over 5 pounds.
Again, in Texas it was the one-two punch with the Jerkmaster and Active Target that made the difference for me.
Even though I caught the 10-pound, 11-ounce fish and then my biggest bass, the 12-14, on other baits, I would have never gotten to those days, never had the chance to catch those fish had I not caught fish on the jerkbait to advance to the next round each time. That jerkbait has been my MVP for sure.
Then last week on Smith Lake I caught a bunch of my fish on a bladed jig as the weather got warmer and the fish started pushing shallower, but I found those fish in practice with the Jerkmaster Jr. I also caught them early the first day on it in the Purple Hitch Shad color and the Beauty Shad color. That Jr. size worked really well with the spotted bass because they wanted a little bit smaller bait. Same rod, same line, same everything, just that smaller bait. You can control the depth of it very well and that’s one advantage of the Livingston jerkbaits over other brands - not only do you have the sound, the natural shad sound that attracts fish to it in a slower bait that gives them time to commit to it, but you can also control the depth by letting it sink down to where you want it.
Note: On consecutive days, Randy Howell broke the Bass Pro Tour record for heaviest bass ever weighed in during competition. After his record-setting 10-pound, 11-ounce catch from Caney Creek Lake in Louisiana, Howell broke his own record the next day on nearby Bussey Brake Reservoir with a 12-pound, 14-ounce giant. The mark stands as a new Bass Pro Tour record and a new lake record for Bussey Brake.
Indeed, Howell has had a great season so far.