How to Rig a DOA CAL Jerk Bait for Fishing the Flats (PLUS Underwater Footage)
Have you had much luck with these DOA jerk baits on the flats?
You’re about to learn how I use the DOA CAL Jerk Bait (aka jerk lure) to destroy the snook, redfish, and speckled trout here on the Florida flats…
Flats fishing has been a passion of mine for 2 decades, and I now primarily focus on fishing with artificial lures.
Over the past few years, I’ve found that soft plastic jerk baits are an extremely effective lure for catching redfish, snook, and trout both on the flats and deep in backcountry mangrove creeks and bays.
However, these soft plastics are only effective when rigged properly.
Without proper rigging, they will helicopter in the water and will not look appealing to your target specials while also twisting up your line which decreases its strength and increases your chances of getting birds nests.
To significantly help decrease the risk of helicopter action when using this bait, I highly recommend using a swimbait hook with a weighted shank… click here to get my absolute favorites along with our top tips on how to most effectively rig them on various sized baits.
And be sure to watch DOA CAL jerk rigging video below… we made the video shown in this post so that you can see exactly how to rig this popular bait for effectively fishing shallow water (1 to 3 feet).
Most importantly, we included some underwater footage of how this particular DOA jerk bait should look when rigged and worked properly.
Here are some tips for how to work this bait:
- Cast with the wind whenever possible (allows for max distance and feel)… I find best results doing two quick, short twitches with my rod tip pointing up. The rod tip should only travel from about 10:00 to 11:00 in total… pause for a couple seconds while dropping your rod back to the starting point, and do it again.
- When I do have to cast into or across the wind, I’ll point my rod tip down and work it the exact same way so the wind doesn’t take control over the line.
- When working deeper water (3 ft or more), I’ll often always keep my rod tip down and will pause for a longer period of time to allow the bait to stay close to the bottom
How To Rig The DOA CAL Jerk Bait [VIDEO]
Click here to see a review on the weighted hooks that are shown in this video.
DOA CAL jerk baits are extremely effective lures to use for when fishing the flats.
However, make sure you’re rigging them properly so you catch your target without damaging your line.
Also, be sure to check that your lure still is rigged properly after catching a fish because they often cause the bait to move around the hook… just make sure the bait still looks perfectly straight and re-rig it if it’s curved in any way.
Most importantly, have fun out on the water and be sure to let us know if you have any questions.
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When will you guys be in the Charlotte harbor and Myakka River area?
I was in that area just yesterday… fished around Bull Bay & Turtle Bay. Such a fun fishery!
New to the community, Yesterday I went out in my Kayak using the 5″ Slam Shady with the Owner 3/0 twist lock and noticed that the lure was almost on top while retrieving slowly. If I stopped it floated. Any suggestions? ( figure I need more weight)
Hey Barry, the 5″ Slam Shady needs are larger hook and more weight to be effective. Here’s a lesson for maximizing your results with those paddletails (rigging, retrieving, and size selection): https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/how-to-use-rig-retrieve-slam-shady-paddletails/
Hi, I’ve watched a number of videos on using jerk shad baits and they all seem to use the weighted hooks. Can these baits be used with a jig head instead? Would this alter significantly their movement thru the water?
Yes, the jerk shad baits can be rigged on jig heads. I do that fairly often when in need of covering deeper water. The action is similar, but the up-front weight creates more of an up and down retrieve pattern given that it falls faster.
Luke – Since joining Insider I have watched numerous videos and they are all great! I am getting confused as to which lures are the ‘Favorites”. Could you put together a list of what you usually take on an outing, and possibly what each lure is best for? Otherwise, I am back to buying numerous new and improved killer lures!.
Great idea Richard! I’ll put together a post that explains the select few lures that I recommend to always have on hand… it’ll be an Insider Exclusive post that should be ready before the end of next week.
Luke- Great ! Thanks. The info and videos I received so far are worth the annual Insider fee. I went into Lemon Bay today , and tried to follow Tony’s recent visit. I couldn’t get into the skinny water he did, as I was on a skiff not a kayak. Ended up getting skunked, but I still felt more optimistic as I am starting to do the right things.
Glad to see that you’re enjoying the Insider Club! I’ll be heading down that way to check out some more areas in Lemon Bay soon. Fish On!
Can u use these twistlock hooks for bass
Absolutely! My bass catching has significantly improved after pairing the weighted hooks with super flukes (http://www.saltstrong.com/articles/how-to-rig-a-zoom-super-fluke/)… they are deadly in thick cover like lily pads and over hydrilla patches when rigged weedless.
Well I just picked up a pack of these and three packs of the owner screw ons (2 weighted, 1 non) to try out while picking up some braid for 2 of my Penns. If they don’t work Luke then you owe me a shirt 🙂
Those hooks along with the Finding Fish section (Module 3 – http://www.saltstrong.com/c001/module-3/module-3-overview/) of our online course will ensure that you consistently catch fish on your inshore fishing trips.
I wish you the best while using these weighted hooks.
Hey Luke – Thanks for the video! I saw the twist-lock owner hook comment and I am definitely interested in trying those out and comparing to my other hooks for soft plastics. Just curious, what is your terminal “knot of choice” to the hook when using what you demo’ed in the video? Thank you and tight lines.
Hey Bob, thanks for making time to leave a nice comment on this jerkbait rigging video. My personal favorite knot for using soft plastics is a kreh loop knot (aka… non-slip loop knot). I like it because it’s very quick to tie, strong, and weedless (tag end points down).
Here’s a post I did earlier this year to test out 4 of the most popular loop knots (any of them would be a good choice to use): http://v2.saltstrong.com/articles/best-loop-knot-for-fluorocarbon-leader.
9 times out of 10, I catch more fish on live or cut bait. I have bought every type of lure on the market: soft plastics, crank bait, top waters, bucktails, etc, and very seldom do they work. I walk-the-dog and every retrieving technique on the package but with little sucess. With shrimp, crab, clam, mullet, greenies, shad, ballyhoo, the fish hook themselves the majority of the time. Maybe artifical lures are only for the experienced anglers?
Two suggestions. First, work the lures a little slower. If you work them too fast the fish won’t even try to eat them. Second, if your spot is highly fished the fish are less likely to eat common lures. Try somewhere a little more secluded. Of course, sometimes bait is just better. My girlfriend outfishes me with shrimp sometimes and sometimes I beat her with plastic.
Thanks, some good basic info. Have a couple of questions if you could;
1) In more than 3 or 4 feet of water would you recommend a Jighead vice the Hero Hook. If so assume you would rig basically the same way, understanding that with Jighead one cannot rig weedless.
2) Would you use same action, 10 – 11 o’clock rod movement?
3) Do you prefer the split tale over the paddle tail, or does it matter?
Hey GD, great questions! Yes, I like using a jig head when fishing 3 ft of water or more… and for 3-4 ft of water, I use 1/8th oz jig heads.
Yes, the same double twitch rod action from 10 – 11 o’clock is what I like best for jig fishing too.
With jig heads, I prefer the paddle tail baits over split tail but they both work great. Here’s a video that shows one of my favorite jig/paddle tail combos for 3 to 5 ft of water: http://v2.saltstrong.com/articles/catch-snook-doa-cal-shad.
Thanks for the info man, I really appreciate it. Gotta pick some of these up from my local shop tomorrow. Don’t think the shad tails are working for the particular spot I’ve recently starting frequenting, so I’ll try the jerk baits. The problem is I never see those damn twisty-top weedless hooks!
Hey Chris, thanks for leaving a comment. I see that you’re in St. Pete, so I’ll give a couple spots that are fairly close buy where I’ve seen them. The closest to you is Gandy Bait and Tackle (just over the Gandy bridge from St. Pete). I’m a huge fan of Southeastern Fishing Tackle Liquidators, which is a bit further from you, but they carry those hooks plus all of my other favorite lures/equipment.