You have just launched your boat onto your favorite lake with dreams of that big bass dancing in your head. Within a few minutes daylight will start to break across the water. Steering to a familiar cove, you shut down the motor and glide toward a group of trees protruding above the surface. Lowering the trolling motor into the water and easing your way into a likely looking spot the boat coast to a near stop. You have come armed with your best top water lures and you are ready for some bass kicking action.
Hello, my name is Craige Bottorff, owner of CFB Fishing Gear and this is the third in a series of three articles called Choose Your Lure, Three Must-Have Lures for Your Tackle Box. Part III.
There is a lot of bass fishing fun to be enjoyed in the great outdoors but perhaps none more exciting than the heart stopping action of top water fishing.
Top water baits can be fished most any time but I have found them to be the most effective in the summer months and on into the fall for largemouth bass. Early morning or late afternoon just before dark is the time when the bass will be receptive to top water baits. It may seem that when the water is perfectly calm and the surface is smooth as glass the fishing conditions might be considered close to perfect. I would say not so. I prefer a slight breeze that causes a small ripple across the surface of the water. The ripple breaks up the fishes vision of the surface and beyond and yes fish have good vision. There have been times that I have seen fish in the water and could see them react to the bait moving through the air before it hit the surface of the water.
There are times when fish will strike almost anything thrown in front of them. Other times not so much. One lure that I have come to appreciate for its dependability over the years is an old standby, the Heddon Zara Spook. Introduced in 1939 the Zara Spook has become a favorite among thousands of anglers and was the first Heddon lure to sell over a million. Famous for the water action called walking the dog, a method of working the bait across the surface twitching right and left on the retrieve. It takes a little practice to get the rhythm down right.
Sometimes the Zara Spook can be allowed to just float on the waters surface for a few seconds with no movement at all. Then with just a slight twitch every few seconds the lure can be made to resemble a wounded shad or other bait fish. I have seen bass explode on the Spook knocking it two or three feet in the air and missing the hooks completely. That is why when fishing top water baits the angler must learn to be patient when setting the hook Because the bait can be seen on the surface of the water it is easy for and angler to get excited and try to set the hook as soon as the fish makes its first pass at the lure, pulling the bait away from the fish and losing the opportunity. The best way to avoid an attempted early hook set is to wait for a second or two after the bait has been pulled below the surface then set the hook. If the fish misses the bait on the first strike sometimes it will come back and try a second pass but the most successful method is to learn to time your hook set.
The Heddon Zara Spook comes in a variety of sizes and colors. I like the 5 inch, Bone color. It has been a good producer for me but I have had good luck with several other colors as well. Sometimes a certain color can be hot for a particular lake. Try them all and make your choice. You will see why the Zara Spook has been such a success story for so many year.