Topwater lures are some of the most exciting and productive to fish with from a kayak. Not only do to you get to watch a fish explode on a lure from the surface level, you also are able to cover a lot of water with this great search bait that you can cast a mile. Some of the top baits you will find in my tackle box are the Tactical Angler’s Crossover Stalker, Rapala Skitter Walk , Heddon One Knocker Spook, Mirrolure Top Dog, and Heddon Super Spook Jr.
Choosing the Right Topwater
Topwater lures come in many different sounds, colors and sizes. Picking the right topwater for the fishing conditions is the key. For calm flat water I prefer a small topwater that has less disturbance when it hits the water. For rough or choppy water I like to use a bigger topwater. Topwater lures also have different sounds inside them that can help attract hungry fish. Some have high pitch rattles and some have low pitch knocks. Try both types while on the water to see what pitches the fish want.
I try to not focus a lot of the color of a topwater since most fish will just see the silhouette of the lure from underneath. I do like to match the hatch and throw natural looking colors most of the time. How the bait lays in the water when it is stationary is another important characteristic of a topwater lure. I prefer the rear of the bait to sink a little when paused so that there is a more of the bait below the surface when fish don’t want to fully commit. In areas with heavy floating grass the stock treble hooks can be swapped out with inline single hooks to minimize catching the floating grass.
A topwater lure is one of the best search baits out there. You can cover a lot of water in a short amount of time. Never throw in the same place twice unless you had a missed hit or strike. Walk the dog type topwaters only take a twitch of the rod and steady reeling to get a great side-to-side walking action. It takes some practice to get the perfect cadence but when you dial it in you will be walking the dog like a pro. When walking a topwater pause every couple of seconds to give fish the chance to catch up to the lure and entice them to strike.
For targeting redfish and trout in my area I like to throw topwaters along grass edges, drop offs, points, rocks and around docks. They are also great to throw at fish when they are blowing up on bait. Just make sure you throw past the bait schools and work through it or along the edges. When a fish does blow up on a topwater lure don’t set the hook right off the bat or you will pull the bait right out of the fish’s mouth. Let the fish take off with it and pull your line tight until the hook sets itself. If the fish misses the topwater do not stop it just keep walking it till the fish finally finds the hooks.
Hopefully these tips will help you put more fish in you kayak and start a new addiction to topwater fishing. These tips and techniques can be used in many fisheries and not just on the redfish and trout of northwest Florida.
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