Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fishing- five great topwater baits

Bass tournament pros are big on retrieving dog-walking stick-baits and poppers across the surface with machine-gun rod twitches. This works, but it's hard to fish at such a blistering pace all day without growing arm-weary. If you're looking for explosive strikes minus the hard work, you'll fare better with these five topwater baits. They'll catch bass in any topwater situation, and they won't wear you out.

ARBOGAST JITTERBUG

SIZE: 3/8 ounce. COLOR: Frog with white belly; black (night).

TACKLE: Medium-action baitcasting, 14-pound monofilament.

RETRIEVE: Slow and steady with an occasional pause.

LOCATION: Sputter it past lily pads and other aquatic vegetation from late spring into early fall.

TIP: This venerable plug is still one of the best frog imitations. A black Jitterbug excels for night fishing.

ZOOM HORNY TOAD

SIZE: 4 inches. COLOR: Watermelon seed.

TACKLE: Heavy-action baitcasting, 50-pound superbraid.

RETRIEVE: Slow to fast on top, reeling steadily.

LOCATION: Fish over and through any aquatic growth, including thick, nasty, matted grass.

TIP: Rig it Texas-style with an offset or screw-lock 5/0 hook. Set the hook hard but only after you feel the weight of the bass.

SMITHWICK DEVIL'S HORSE

SIZE: ½ ounce. COLOR: Chrome with black back.

TACKLE: Medium-action baitcasting, 14-pound monofilament.

RETRIEVE: Pull-pause cadence, slow to medium speed.

LOCATION: Fish in clear, open water when bass school on baitfish in summer, often over underwater cover or bottom structure.

TIP: Retrieve more aggressively when the surface is choppy or when you cast to schooling bass. Tone it down on Hat water.

CORDELL JOINTED RED FIN

SIZE: 5/8 ounce. COLOR: Smoky Joe.

TACKLE: Medium-action baitcasting, 14-pound monofilament

RETRIEVE: Make it wobble on the surface and create a V wake.

LOCATION: Use it in clear, calm water over rocky bottoms and through stump fields and flooded timber.

TIP: It fares best in summer and fall when bass feed on baitfish in open water. Tie white hackles to the rear hook to get more bites.

ORIGINAL LUNKER LURE BUZZBAIT
SIZE:

3/8 ounce.
COLOR:

White (clear water); black (murky water).
TACKLE:

Medium-heavy baitcasting, 20-pound monofilament.
RETRIEVE:

Slow and steady with an occasional twitch.
LOCATION:

Run this snag-free bait over and next to aquatic vegetation, stumps, and any other shallow cover, spring through fall.
TIP:

Start the retrieve immediately so the bait quickly climbs to the surface. A black buzzbait is the best lopwater lure going for murky water.

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