“Jerk it a couple of times and then pour yourself a cup of coffee,” an old-time bass fisherman told me one very cold morning. “Then jerk it another time or two and make yourself a sandwich.”

The coffee part sounded good, but I understood that wasn’t the point. I had felt like I had been fishing my Rogue slowly, with pronounced pauses for the lure to hang suspended between each series of jerks, but slow obviously was not slow enough.

Predictably, wisdom that been garnered from much experience prevailed. I slowed w-a-y down, and during one of those painful presentations, when I’d paused as long as I could stand to and then held off from jerking a little longer, my line suddenly jerked tight, and the bass at the other end just about yanked the rod from my hand.

That bass gave me needed confidence to continue extending each pause, and every now and then, my patience got rewarded. We ended up catching quite a few bass that day, and I don’t think any of them hit less than 10 seconds after a jerk. That was quite a few years ago, and I’ve applied the lesson learned on many days since then, often with good results.

Fall Rogue fishing can spoil you. The fish tend to feed aggressively on baitfish that are still pretty active, and you can keep your lure dancing most of the time, just adding occasional quick pauses to break up the rhythm. As the water gets colder though, those pauses typically need to become much more pronounced, and sometimes painfully so.

It’s tough to leave a lure just sitting there for a very long time, especially when you are already eying your next cast, but the whole beauty of a Suspending Rattlin’ Rogue is that it can do its signature roll when you jerk it and then suspend irresistibly in the zone.  When the water gets cold and the bass and their forage get slow, a Rogue needs to remain still extra long between jerks.

There’s no magic answer to how long to pause during presentations. You have to experiment. Just keep in mind that lengths of pauses needed to make fish bite tend to increase as the water temperature decreases.  Also, however long you think you need to pause your lure probably isn’t long enough.

Don’t put away your Rogues once the water gets cold and the fall action seems to taper. Just alter your approach for changing conditions.