SA Bass

“Line Selection – Top Water Fishing”

- >> 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.

Buzzbaits

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