Thinking Top Water Part II

Discussion in 'Freshwater' started by Linebig, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Linebig

    SDFish VIP

    Feb 3, 2009
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    San Diego
    Stratos 185XL Pro
    There is nothing like Being on the water.

    Time on the water. It cant be said enough. You need to be on the water to learn what happens when out there. Going twice a year? Well at least you are going. The guys who truly hit the bite are out 30-50 times a year and start to know whats up and can get to it as soon as they hit the water or figure it out very quickly. Now, you may not be able to be on the water 30 times a year. More than twice is better than twice. Learning each time out matters as well. Fishing these SD lakes my entire life gives me serious confidence when I am on the water no matter which lake, I have confidence that I will find a bite.


    Of course baits matter and they can matter within minutes of each other at times. The bite will change at a blink of an eye so changing with it or at least trying to change with it should keep fish coming to the boat.

    Being stuck on a single bait is not always the best way to go. Of course when they are going off, they are going off and its easy. What if they are moving and chasing and continually changing? You need to be able adapt as it happens. I love the Clone Fry, it is my favorite bait for breakers, however.....

    Timing depends when I am tossing it. When I need to bomb a cast and chase a school clone fry rod, it is sitting on the deck for when they get next to the boat.

    I am not going try to make sure I get one on a clone fry just for it being one of my favorite baits.

    I would have to run on top of the fish to do it...thats a huge mistake.

    I'll use a bait that can get them from a distance to keep them there and not spook them away. My spinning rod is for close combat hand to hand fishing. Not for chasing down schools.

    Rods equal baits.

    I keep three rods set up and ready to rock at any moment when thinking top water

    A hard bait rod with a bait I can cast a mile for those fish you think are out of reach.

    Never ever think those fish are too far away...cast, just make a cast, try. You will be amazed with what happens. Who knows what direction they are heading?

    Not only that, the rod and reel combo for that should be designed for serious power and speed. Any fast reel and powerful rod should do fine. Mine, I use a 7'1 medium heavy Loomis rods with a Shimano 7:4-1 reels. You need to get that lure back to fire it back out for the distance fish. You need a good clean well oiled reel to allow for the longest casts. It matters.

    Get a casting plug and go to the local school and practice bomb casts. Get use to adjusting your reel to get it as loose as possible without being crazy on back lashes and over runs. Thats how you'll gain confidence in making those long crazy casts.

    As for the hard bait, I am not talking about a 1/4oz popper or similar. I am talking 1/2oz or more walking bait, something you can cast without it tumbling on the cast if wind is in your face. A Big Lucky Craft Sammy or Mud Sucker by Jackall or 1/2oz Duo Realis Pencil are a great choices. Big baits that cast well.

    Line also equals rods and baits

    Line matters with those bomb casts and bigger baits. I am a firm believer of 30 to 40 pound braid for top water especially if long casts are needed. The zero stretch helps work the bait with 40 yards or more of line out. I cant stress how much that matters.
    It is better than floro when casting and better than any type mono in my view, no question.
    Not having your elbow and shoulder killing you after just 2 hours is huge. With that far of a cast it works you hard and with any type of stretch in the line you have to work the bait harder from the stretch of the line and now add in line drag in the water. It does not take long to become tired. It makes the bait work easier from floating line, braid floats on the surface very well and the zero stretch of braid allows you to work the bait without being worked. It allows for a killer hook set at 40 yards plus as well. For me its all I want to use. Try braid this season for top water And you'll be turned into a believer quickly.

    Use a nice 40-60 pound test lure clip and that way you can change big baits on the fly without retying and it does not work the knot as hard as a direct tie to the bait. Still....don't forget to retie... Just because it's braid does not mean it will not snap at the knot. It does not happen much, it happens.

    Many people like adding a leader to their braid and thats fine. For me if its a big prop bait then a 15-20 pound leader is nice as it does not get shredded by the props on the bait. However most of the time a straight tie to the clip is no issue at all with a standard walking bait. Remember its reaction strikes happening so the line... its not really part of the situation.

    The second rod is a smaller spinning rod set up with a soft minnow bait,

    You still need a rod with some power and not an ultra light rod. Something you can have 6-8 pound mono on it however I feel 4-6 pound braid is the line you should have spooled. Don't think it will not be able to get a big fish, it will without worry. My set up is a Loomis 6"10 med action spinning rod with a 1000 series ci4 stradic reel. I also have a 7'3 med action with a larger 2500 size reel. Its nice for soft baits on smaller jig heads like sliders or darters.

    Using those rods with the a fly lined clone fry or fluke and or tiny senko or 1/16 spoon and or darter is deadly. Any similar type rod and reel will do just fine. Dont forget light braid is the main key to the success of the lighter baits.

    The last rod is a spoon rod or under spin rod.

    A metal bait that flashes or to let flutter down and bring back slowly when they stop hitting on top or they wont hit on top as they want it 5 ft -10 ft to 25 ft below the surface and not on top. Also right after they stop hitting on the surface and you know they are still there, they don't just leave.... The bait quit coming up and fish follow the bait. Thats a great time to grab a few more quickly during their transition to relaxing after eating for the last few hours another transition bait is a spy bait.. My only issue is they need to be worked so slowly you could be missing out on fish who want it more erratic just under the surface.. I really like that bait at noon slow trolled down 20ft, that can be deadly. A Spoon rod is not a normal rod. It should be med action 7ft or longer paired with a slow ratio reel. 6:2 and lower. Mine is a Calcutta TE-100GT. Its 5:2-1. Its slow! The slow reel keeps the bait from being moved too quickly and keeps the bait down where the fish are.


    Being pin point accurate with your casts cant be overstated, being ready to make the cast is paramount. It happens fast and if you are being mesmerized by the breaking fish or not scanning quickly then you are too late on the cast. Pay attention to the water and see whats happening and try to meet the fish with your cast. Last year I had at least 20 fish were it seems like I cast right into the fishes mouth.. It was nuts seeing it. They hit as soon as it hit the water.

    I call it landing on the pie plate.

    If you can land on the pie plate you are doing very well...thats where the casting practice helps greatly. Of course the pie plate is the boil of the fish or swirl. They circle back many times and drill your bait as they are just killing the bait first to come back to eat them. Or its not the fish that broke at all and a big follower got it. It works amazing with the soft baits. I am not big on casting past the boil and bringing to the boil, that works yet for me right in the boil is your best chance in my view.

    Once you made the cast whats next? That depends?

    It could be a fast walk back to the boat. Or you leave it there and do nothing. Maybe its just a pause and then move the bait... A little of both? You have to catch a fish or at least get a blow up to know what to do on the next cast.
    With a hard bait a steady medium retrieve back is a good starting point. Once you get a bite its common for everything to speed up from adrenaline so then you have a tough time getting another bite. Remember what you did the first time, retrieval speed and technique matter each and every time.

    If its a tiny soft bait the cast a kill it technique works well. With the clone fry.. Cast and leave it for 5-10 seconds before slowly getting back to the boat. It has a great slow fall like a dead shad after being hit by the fish.

    The heavier soft baits.. They are cast and retrieve for the most part with the typical twitch pause technique . They can be cast and kill also. Sometimes they want it down two feet

    My best advice is this, Don't wait for it to happen, make it happen, be on top of it and stay focused.

    Still there is so much more on these topics we could go on for days really. Time to move on.

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