“Line Se­lec­tion – Top Wa­ter Fish­ing”

SA Bass - - Contents - >> Roger Don­ald­son*

Don’t write-off your top wa­ter lures over the next few months as there will still be op­por­tu­nity in the warm af­ter­noons and still wa­ters to at­tract the at­ten­tion of those larger fish ready for a big meal – Roger Don­ald­son

Don’t write-off your top wa­ter lures over the next few months as there will still be op­por­tu­nity in the warm af­ter­noons and still wa­ters to at­tract the at­ten­tion of those larger fish ready for a big meal. Make a big­ger dif­fer­ence to your catch by se­lect­ing your line care­fully and get the best ac­tion out of your top wa­ter baits.

I n the pre­vi­ous is­sue we de­liv­ered an ar­ti­cle fo­cus­ing on line for fish­ing soft plas­tic lures. Top wa­ter baits de­mand vastly dif­fer­ent at­ten­tion. Let’s take a look at a va­ri­ety of baits to choose from and how line will af­fect and en­hance their nat­u­ral ac­tion.

Hard baits

Here ex­ists the largest va­ri­ety of lures which are cat­e­gorised by a hard plas­tic bod­ies and tre­ble hooks. Some in­clude the likes of the Chug-Bug, Tor­pedo’s, Spook or Skit­ter Walk.

Firstly, it is im­por­tant to note that these lures will most def­i­nitely only by fished in open wa­ter and not over veg­e­ta­tion or dense struc­ture. The ob­vi­ous rea­son for this is be­cause the tre­ble hooks will eas­ily snag so the more open the area the eas­ier you will find the fish­ing.

Also, your line will al­ways be in con­tact with the wa­ter. For this rea­son is makes sense that you choose a line which is least vis­i­ble to the fish be­low. So braided line will not be ideal.

Very im­por­tantly, these hard lures need to re­main on­the sur­face and as buoy­ant as pos­si­ble. Your line can make a colos­sal dif­fer­ence here. A monofil­a­ment of copoly­mer line will be your best choice. Flouro­car­bon line has the ten­dency to sink and will drag your lure be­neath the sur­face and suf­fo­cat­ing it of its in­tended ac­tion.

Lastly, your line need to re­act suf­fi­ciently when jerked so as to de­liver the required ac­tion to your lure. What you need to be think­ing about here is; too heavy break­ing strain and you will limit your abil­ity to ‘work’ the bait. Your tackle store will ad­vise you here.

Plas­tic frogs

Frogs have be­come such ver­sa­tile lures and a host have been de­vel­oped for an­glers to take ev­ery ad­van­tage of their wa­ters. The lures vary from float­ing kick­ing frogs such as the Gene Larew frog, and pop­ping frogs, and then lastly the in­fa­mous Zoom Horny Toad. - These adapt­able lures also pro­vide some unique op­por­tu­nity and al­low bass an­glers to get into the most gnarling struc­ture with­out snag­ging. How­ever, be­ing in this struc­ture (if you choose to) will de­mand some se­ri­ous line – braided if pos­si­ble, as it has the strong­est break­ing strain, yet still al­low­ing the an­gler to de­liver the required ac­tion. - Your line will hardly be mak­ing con­tact with the wa­ter dur­ing your re­trieve and will of­ten not be seen at all as your lure darts over the cover (lily pads, grass) and be­tween brush and the limbs of ex­posed tim­ber. It is im­por­tant that your line al­lows you to ap­ply the most tension af­ter a strike so that you can keep the bass’ head turned away from snag­ging with any avail­able struc­ture. This is such an ef­fec­tive lure, of­ten over­looked by an­glers to­day. It is de­signed specif­i­cally to draw the at­ten­tion of bass and at­tract the most ag­gres­sive strikes.

The buzzbait en­joys open wa­ter and al­lows the an­gler to be a lit­tle more ver­sa­tile when se­lect­ing line.

The lure re­quires a con­stant re­trieve with your rod tip slightly elevated. There­fore it will make very lit­tle dif­fer­ence which line you se­lect from as the line will hardly touch the wa­ter.

You will how­ever no­tice a neg­a­tive im­pact with a line that is too heavy (break­ing strain too high) in the case of monofil­a­ment and fluoro­car­bon. Ask your tackle store owner to guide you here so you start with the most com­pat­i­ble op­tions.

*Roger Don­ald­son is an ex­pe­ri­enced jour­nal­ist and knowl­edge­able bass an­gler who has en­joyed many en­light­en­ing hours with many of South Africa’s top, com­pet­i­tive bass fish­er­men. As a com­pet­i­tive an­gler him­self, he also en­joys shar­ing his ex­per­tise with fel­low bass fa­nat­ics in the hope that they find the same joy in this unique sport. con­tact with the wa­ter 100% of the time. So braided line will not be ideal and monofil­a­ment will again be the line of choice.


Here are a few favourite top wa­ter lures not to be un­der es­ti­mated

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