Prespawn Tchefuncte bass

Jeff Bruhl likes to throw jerkbaits for January prespawners in the Tchefuncte River.
Jeff Bruhl likes to throw jerkbaits for January prespawners in the Tchefuncte River.

The winter is a fantastic time to throw jerkbaits and twitchbaits in the marsh and along structure for speckled trout, and it’s no different for the bass world.

Avid angler Jeff Bruhl throws Lucky Craft suspending jerkbaits in the Tchefuncte River this time of year while hunting down prespawners.

“You have to remember that the Tchefuncte and Bogue Falaya have a lot of spring-fed water in them, and they stay a little bit cooler than some of the other rivers,” Bruhl said. “The bass don’t usually spawn until late January or February.”

With that in mind, tantalizing jerkbaits are super-effective for cold water bass, and there are certain locations the nuclear pharmacist likes to throw them.

“Throw that on the points and around the bridges,” Bruhl said. “When you get those days where you get a little bit of tide movement and kind of bluebird, you can get out there with a suspending jerkbait and catch fish off deep points and curves.”

Bruhl likes to fish the jerkbaits with the boat sitting in deep water, where he can make a long cast toward the bank.

“You’re basically fishing where it comes from the drop off into the river channel,” he said. “You’re sitting out in 15-, 20-, 30-foot of water, but you’re working it down right off that ledge.”

Bruhl throws his jerkbaits on 10-pound fluorocarbon, but if you have a jerkbait that runs too deep or too shallow, line size and rod position can help control the depth. Lighter line gets the bait deeper, and heavier line will make it run shallower.

“You just want something that suspends about 4 to 6 feet down,” he said.

Additionally, Bruhl keeps a black-and-blue-colored jig handy in January.

“That’s when the crawfish start showing up,” he said. “You throw those around any kind of wood.”

He varies his weight size, but almost never throws a jig bigger than a ½-ounce this time of year on the Tchefuncte.

“If you were going in a pocket fishing around laydowns, you might just want to use a little ¼-ounce,” he said.

About Joel Masson 177 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville and can be reached at