TIPS By: SkipperMark Top Water Tips for Hard Baits As the water reaches fifty-five degrees and beyond in the spring pre-spawn and post spawn bass begin to react to the changes going on around them. Many anglers have been waiting on these conditions for months to get out on the water and throw top water baits. The top water bite, too many is the most exciting and the most productive type of fishing. Techniques vary by the anglers lure choice and in the post we will discuss some of the better top water hard baits as well as some tips for each. Fishing the Heddon Zara Spook can be an extremely rewarding lure choice once the water begins to warm up. Under overcast skies and morning and evening when light is low this bait is at its best. The secret to a perfect "walk the dog" cadence is a loop knot and working it on a slack line. Begin with the long cast and allow the lure to come to a rest after the ripples subside. Point the rod tip at the water and raise the tip ten to twelve inches and then snap it downward with the action of your wrist. The lure will walk to one side. Raise the rod tip and once again snap it with your wrist and the lure will walk to the other side. The amount of slack in the line will control the distance of the walk. The more slack the wider the walk will be. Many anglers try to move the rod from side to side to make the lure walk and end up frustrated. The reason the downward snap of the rod works so well is because of the loop knot. Retrieve slow enough to maintain a slack line, but keep the lure in motion for several feet before coming to rest. Rebel’s critter baits like the Bumble Bug and Hopper catch a variety of species from bass to bluegill. Fishing these ultra-light lures can be a lot of fun. Just cast the critter to the shoreline or close to cover and let the bait rest for a moment and wiggle the bait allowing coming to a rest again but being ready to set the hook when a fish attacks. If a fish doesn't hit the bug, try to reel slowly and steadily with the rod held high so the bug will wobble across the surface. Another way to fish these creatures is to use quick short twitches of the rod tip making the bug dart and move erratically. If the cranking retrieve or the twitching pulls the bait beneath the surface, slow down to keep the bug on the surface. You are looking at what some call the best fishing lure of all time and probably the most imitated. The Rebel Pop-R can be fished successfully from early spring when the water temperature reaches fifty-five degrees on until late fall when the water drops back down belie fifty degrees again. It can be fished shallow, around weed lines, and over submerged cover. The lure performs well in many situations. A six and a half to seven foot medium action rod with a limber tip compensates for the natural reaction of anglers to “set the hook” the second they get a top water strike. The limber tip of the rod allows the bass time eat the lure before the angler over reacts. The medium action soft tip performs even better with a heavy 12 –15 lb test monofilament line. The secret to correctly getting the Pop-R to create the “pop” and “chug” sound and the “spitting water” effect is all in the action of the wrist as you move the rod tip. Some anglers actually sand the lure down smooth the give it a slight “walk the dog” action of side to side motion as it is chugged along. When Strike King introduced the new KVD Sexy Dawg I could not wait to get my hands on one. i read that Kevin VanDam had designed the bait to be easy to walk, and to cast farther. The “walk the dog” action is due to a unique design that will entice strikes. With Rhythmic twitches of the rod tip makes the nose of the bait move from side to side effortlessly. The most important tip for top water strikes is to wait until you feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook. Usually about two seconds is best. Anglers that used the innovative Boing topwater lure last year are waiting for the chance to throw it again this spring. Fishing Technology has been brought to a new level. The difference is in the "Boing" sound that a "Boing Lure" generates. The technology stimulates a fish's sound-receptor by creating both the LOW and HIGH spectrum frequencies unlike any sound on the market! This transfers to a burst of acoustic information and electrical signals that are conveyed directly to the fish’s brain. Boing lures: Audio attraction that eclipses all others. The top water Boinger is constructed of extremely durable Lexan. The sound chamber contains material which will never bend or break. The hook eyes are constructed of stainless steel. Boing Lures take the time for each bait made to make sure you get the best possible lure for your money. The lure is armed with Gamakatsu hooks size # 4 black nickel with new stronger split rings. The painting is done by lure artisan Dwain Batey of Baitwerks. The lure includes cutting edge 3d eyes. Give the bass something they have never seen or heard. Although the Jitterbug pictured doesn't look like a classic, it’s design was originally produced in 1934. It has caught bass for our fathers and grandfathers for years, and it will still catch bass today. The Arbogast Jitterbug is one of the simplest lures to fish; just steadily retrieve and it will create its own intriguing action. This makes the lure wonderful for beginning bass anglers. A slow steady retrieve give a gurgle and shimmer that bass zone in on quickly. For night fishing, the lures unique gurgle helps the angler as well to listen for the right speed. The wobble plates side to side dipping into the water creates this sound and there is nothing as much fun as listening to the sound of the lure with its lifelike gurgle out in the darkness as a bass explodes onto the bait. If the bass misses, don’t worry, it will come back and hit the Jitterbug again. It is hard to just keep a steadily retrieve and trying not to react but it is important to be patient until you feel the weight of the fish on the line, give it a couple of seconds and then set the hook. From spring on through the fall anglers will be throwing top water lures and there is something about the aggressive top water bite that is addictive. Top water anglers are a group of their own, and these hard baits, both classics as well as new ones do well when the bite is on. Happy Fishing!