Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's Talk About... Topwaters III

Hello Folks,

Today, I want to touch on prop baits and "Walk The Dog" lures. I remember when I was introduced to prop baits by my good friend, Mike Burton. It was close to twenty-two years ago when I fished with Mike and the Lancaster County Hawg Hunters. I enjoyed fishing and exploring new waters with Mike. He was a multi-species angler and taught me a lot about angling.


Prop Baits:
Prop baits get their name, of course, from the prop or props that adorn these topwaters. In the above picture, the top two lures are a Baby Torpedo (L) and a Tiny Torpedo (R). I normally use these baits around the edges of grass islands and weed lines. They can also be used in open water over ledges and in shallow water quite effectively.

Those shown in the picture above are single prop baits. There are double prop baits, like the 'Woodchoppers', that have props located on both the front and back of the lure.

Once cast, the angler holds the rod slightly off to one side and down, then gives a quick tug on the line and then let's it go limp. The lure fires up and moves through the water turning the props and creating a lot of racket! The line slack is then reeled in. Repeat this process until the lure returns to the boat.

Once again, you can use different cadences to achieve the correct retrieval to get fish to bite. Experimenting is the best way to achieve success. Be fully aware of which cadence attracts the bass and try to repeat the same for similar results.

Walk The Dog (WTD):

There are many 'Walk The Dog' style lures on the market. In the above picture, you will see a Heddon Zara Puppy (2nd row L), Lucky Craft Sammies (Second Row R and Third Row L/R), and a Winco Custom Lures 'Wink's Walker' (Bottom Row).

The lures shown in the picture are not small lures and can fly a long distance during the cast. Once on the lure lands on the water, hold the rod tip down and begin a 1,2, 1,2 cadence. Retrieve slack line as you continue this retrieval. As you impart this action with you rod, the WTD should start to move side-to-side in a sashaying manner.

This movement reflects a minnow scooting across the surface and triggers a reaction from bass to strike. Of course, most darting bait fish that I have ever seen are usually being chased by a predator fish. Maybe... just maybe... this erratic walking style triggers something a bass instinct... That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :)

Here's a closer look at the Wink's Walker...

Here are a few more WTD lures that I have in my tackle collection:

Heddon Spit'n Image

Storm Rattlin Chug Bug

Heddon Zara Spook

And how about these "oldies, but goodies" - Two different sizes of 'Jitterbugs'... What great lures for nighttime fishing!

Take care and I'll be returning soon with another topic.