When you think about top water bass fishing, most of us think about the aggressive fast moving baits with explosive strikes that make every other type of fishing feel less exciting. But I was doing something wrong for a long time without even realizing it, most of us are guilty of neglecting the slow side of top water fishing. The river’s I fish get a lot of surface debris called duck weed. It makes almost every top water lure ineffective expect for weedless frogs. I was experimenting with some spook style lures and decided to try my single hook spooks in the duck weed. To my amazement it has been the most productive approach and style of fishing I have ever found.
Did you say fish a top water lure slow?
Yes, I have been trying every retrieve I can think of and the most productive involves me giving 4-6 walking motions and then a 5-10 second pause in between the bursts of motion. 90% of my strikes have been coming on the pauses and the biggest fish caught in the last 2 months was when my dad was adjusting something in his kayak, his zara spook had been motionless for 30 seconds before the 6lb bass decided to strike it.
Why does a slow method produce better than a fast retrieve?
This time of year when the water gets hot and holds less oxygen the fish get somewhat lazy, a fish would much rather attack a slow moving dying fish than a fast moving energetic fish that would take much more energy to eat. The long pauses in the retrieves simulate a wounded fish getting exhausted and having to rest in between swimming bursts.
Where do I target my fish with top waters?
80% of the fish I am catching right now are within 5 feet or less of the shoreline or structure I am targeting, however the larger fish I have been catching have been in more open water in the ledges 15-20 feet from the bank. The larger fish will stage on the ledges because once again they are all about conserving energy this time of year and it gives them quick access to shallow feeding flats, and the cooler deeper water.
What lures have been the most productive this month?
Top water walk-the-dog baits have been my number one lure right now. I am actually only fishing for about 2 hours a trip either at first light or leading up to dusk.
Shallow running crankbaits such as the shallow rap, and 1.0 square bills have been productive but not as much as the top water bite.
Fineness plastics such as drop shot worms and Carolina rigged trick worms will be the big transition after the top water bite, look for structure and primary points and ledges near the flats to target the big fish.
As always i hope this posts helps you guys catch a few more fish and remember to always be safe, wear a lifejacket at all times and fill out a US Coast Guard float plan with a friend or family member. a link on the menu bar of this site gives you access to a blank form .