LATE SUMMERS TOP WATER TOOLS FOR BASS
LATE SUMMERS TOP WATER TOOLS FOR BASS|
Wayne Ek (Wayne Ek)
Agape Fishing Guides
In the upper Mid west the month of September is the start of some great top water fishing, arguably some of the seasons best. Starting in September the top water bite will just keep getting stronger, peaking sometime in the middle of October with a fantastic buzz bait bite.
When Im talking about top water fishing I like to separate it from slop fishing, which I think is an entirely different kind of fishing. For me slop fishing has always been a knock down, dragem out, style of fishing. Using heavy rods and braided line.
The top water fishing I want to discuss in this article is the open or semi-open water fishing we all do or should do. You know the areas, the so-called dead water between docks or the inside weed line on a deep cabbage break, and how about those massive weed flats with a cabbage/coontail mix, or one of my favorites, a shallow rocky mid-lake reef.
There are all kinds of monofilaments, super braids and fluorocarbon lines out there today. I love using both the braids and fluorocarbon lines for a number of applications, but for top water fishing I think you need to stick with a good brand of monofilament line. Monofilament has two properties that are important to top water fishing. First, it sinks slower than either braid or fluorocarbon lines; second, it has a stretch factor to it. I really believe that the stretch factor acts like a shock absorber when youre fighting a fish close to the boat. Think about it
here you are with a pig, hooked up on a short line, and your top water lure is sporting size 4 or 6 treble hooks. Thats why the forgiveness that monofilament offers is so important. Because monofilament sinks slower than the other two lines, it doesnt tangle up on the front treble hook as often as a braid or fluorocarbons. One trick you can use to help eliminate the front treble hook from tangling up with your line is to apply a little dry fly dope to the first 1 or 2 feet of your monofilament. This will help keep it from sinking. For most of my top water fishing I like to use a line in the 12 to 14 pound category.
Most of my top water fishing is done with two rods. Of the two rods, I probably use a 52 pistol grip rod (medium action) 70% of the time. I like pistol grip rods because of the increased accuracy you can obtain. Also, when working chuggers or walking-the-dog with a Zara Spook, Im not constantly hitting the side of my boat as I work the lures, which happens too frequently with a longer rod. The other rod is a 66 Tour Edition PT (PTC666F), which is a medium action with a fast tip, made by Quantum. I like this rod for working both large and small buzzbaits or using the larger wake baits like a Red Fin. The short rod is for close in, short, accurate presentations, and usually slower presentations. The longer rod works to cover water with presentations that normally are a little faster.
Some of the lures have already been mentioned, and the array of top water lures really seems endless. I keep it pretty simple. For chuggers I like Storms Chug Bug and Rebels Pop-R. For spitters and prop-baits I like Heddons Spitn Image and Smithwicks Devils Horse. When using walking baits I rarely use anything other than Heddon Zara Spooks, be it the original Zara Spook, Super Spook, Puppy Spook or the newer SwayBack Spook. For my buzzbait fishing I use just two types in various weights. The first is called a High Rider Buzz B-2, by Accent Fishing Products. This is a double buzzer equipped with foam floats by the blades. You can run this buzzer ultra-slow because of the floats and counter-rotating blades. My other buzzer is the Elite Buzz-Bait by Strike King. This is a single bladed bait with a planing head that allows it to rise quickly and track very straight.
I hope you get a chance to take advantage of the early autumn top water bite in your area. For the next couple of months I will always have at least one top water presentation tied on, and it will become a strong part of my tournament fishing game plans. Whether youre tournament fishing or just fishing for fun, there is just something about a savage top water hit that makes everyone stand up and take notice. Good luck this season and I hope to see you on the water.
Wayne Ek is a fishing guide, tournament angler and writer living in Alexandria Minn. For more information you can contact him at www.agapefishingguides.com
The author with a nice top water bass taken with a Sway-back Spook.
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