I fished first bass tournament at the age of 14. In every tournament since, regardless of where in the country I was fishing, there been a top water lure rigged and ready on the deck of boat. I still lives life according to one basic truth: If I can get one to bite on top, I’m happier. Every style of classic top water has its strengths and weaknesses, and over the years, I has developed systems for maximizing success and minimizing heartbreak with each one. Follow these simple rules and you’ll be boating more trophies up high.
The most common error anglers make when running poppers is not varying their cadence enough. If fish are short-striking, or just coming up and looking at the popper, it might be the profile or color that is distracting them, but it’s more likely you’re not using the right combination of pulls and pauses.
I usually start with two pops and then let it sit, then three pops. Sometimes, if I see lure moving on the surface, I’ll hold my rod in the air and reel it steadily and jerk it without stopping.
Often bass can be patterned by the precise movements that trigger a strike, but remember that the clearer the water, the faster you’ll often have to move a popper to keep them from getting a good look at it.
Although walking lures can elicit big bites, I believes anglers often overpower them with line that’s too heavy. Of course, we would all throw 20-pound line if we could. That may be fine on some big-fish factories with heavy timber, or on the rare occasions when fish aren’t picky about motion, but in most scenarios, heavy line will turn off fish.
My basic rule of thumb is that the lighter the line you use with a Spook, the more action you will get out of that lure. I usually rig one on 14-pound and one on 17 -pound and see which one gets more bites. In extremely clear water will downsize even further to 12-pound line.
While many believes that a buzz lure is one of the easiest lures to fish because all you do is throw it out and reel it back steadily, I also contends that the biggest mistake anglers make is they don’t use extreme speeds. Speed is a trigger, but the trick is knowing when to give it gas and when to hit the brakes.
There are only three ways to fish a buzz lure. Slow, medium, and fast. My slow is usually slower than slow, and my fast is faster than fast. He adjusts the blades to maximize impacts at various speeds.
Cupping them inward helps the blades grab more water so it works effectively at a snail’s crawl; opening the blades up reduces water resistance when he wants to burn his buzz lure.
Hollow-body frogs call giants out of the nastiest cover, but that call often ends in nothing more than a roll of the lure or, worse, a missed connection. Giving a fish enough time to compress the lure’s body before swinging takes practice, patience and willpower.
Frogs work in places that other top waters don’t. You just have to make sure you’re using the right frog. I believes the best way to counteract fish that engulf the frog but don’t get hooked is to make sure the body of your chosen frog is extremely soft. The more rigid the plastic, the more difficult it is for the fish to compress and expose the hooks for a positive connection.