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Article 33 - Top Water #13627900 07/12/20 05:48 PM
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Article 33 – Top Water

Top Water has been so good to me over all these years especially during tournaments. When I break a lake down the first thing I do is find the best 60 areas on the lake that may produce the best top water fish. Out of these 60 ares only 3 of them can be called the best top water areas on the lake. It takes many trips to complete this search and test out the areas to get them narrowed down to the best 3. It is very important that you only make one pass through each of the 3 areas that you have determined to be the best. Even at that, during a two day tournament you will notice how tough it can be on that second day to catch fish off of the areas that produced good fish the day before. This is where that area #4 can come in mighty handy. I choose 3 areas, because in 30 minutes I am ready to move to the next area. Try to locate areas that are only a 15 minute run to the next one. You have about two hours of top water time if there is no cloud cover. On cloudy days I can squeeze a top water bit until almost NOON if I am dealing with heavy cover. We all know that the shallow water bite is the most productive at day break and just before dark. The sound and visual you get from the explosion is way above all the other fun of catching fish. Your goal should be to put 5 keepers with one of those a kicker fish in the boat each morning.

The best knowledge that I can give is about the noise level of the bait you choose to throw. Most of the time Bass want very little noise or surface motion out of your top water technique. Sometimes they are very forgiving and will take what they can get. I put the clacking blade of the Buzz bait into this category with the noise level way up there. You will be testing the techniques and baits that fall between these ranges for you to find the happy medium. There are so many good top water baits to throw that will get the job done. Everyone has to fish to their confidence baits and I am not trying to change that. We all do what we are comfortable with on the water at day break. I will be reporting on my confidence bait which is the SPOOK. It is the Flash Shad which Pradco no longer produces. It was discontinued 4 months ago. I customize this spook to my specifications. It is patterned after the Zell Rowland issue which was a 3 hook original size spook from the 90’s. I paint a Turquoise stripe on the side for a lateral line. It throws a Ghost image when I work the spook. The way I work this spook is called the Dying Quiver which is a very quite approach that Big Bass love. The Original Spook has no rattle inside and I remove all the split rings which helps to quieten down the noise of the hooks. The hooks are replaced with NO Split Rings and KVD Triple Grip Short Shanks so they do not hang down in the water as far. This helps when the grass is just under the surface and to bring the Spook into a bush with limbs just under the surface. Many other top water baits can be used to mimic the dying quiver. When I throw a Frog the same technique is used.

[Linked Image]

More Spook Specifications:
- Mustad Triple Grip hooks, KVD Elite Short Shanks, #4 for front and middle; #2 for the back hook.
-No Split Rings.
- Third hook added to Spook and measured exact for balance.
- Stainless Steel Hardware for Eye Screws and Bell washers.
- Epoxy injection when screws are inserted.
- Do all drilling with a piece of Paper Clip sharpened to a point.
- Back hook gets the larger Bell for drag which helps with the Dying Quiver.
- Interlocking Snap is used on the nose of the bait for better action.
- The Turquoise Stripe flashes the ghost image, hand painted and Epoxy coated.
- Thrown on Original Stren 25# Monofilament which has NO Polymers to make it sink. Polymers are additives that make a fishing line great or seem that way with low stretch, low memory, less visibility and abrasion resistance. If you use all of that the line will not float and sink just like fluorocarbon. Your top water bait will not make the turns to mimic the dying quiver of a wounded bait fish if the line sinks.
- The Snap is the Gamakatsu G-Finess Tournament Snap is the latest and greatest. You have heard of snaps coming unbuttoned? Not this one; as it is the true interlock. It absolutely comes down to the little things that help you catch fish and the snap is the smallest part of a bait that allows it to perform the best action possible. A split ring for a line tie can cause lots of malfunctions and even cut the line.

It is the technique more than the bait that will make the difference between a good day and a great one. This is my big fish technique with a spook.
BE PATIENT. Throw it next to the thickest cover you can get it in. A grass line is the best for me. Let the spook sit and sit. Twitch it three ever so slight of movements. It is more like a quiver. This technique should be practiced in a pool over and over until perfected. I call it the dying quiver. 90% of my big Bass have come at this time of the cast.

DYING QUIVER. You almost have to witness a big Bass knocking a shad out and the stunned bait fish doing the dying quiver on the surface to know what it looks like. Two of the largest bass that I have ever seen in my life did just that. The Bass knocked the bait fish out and while it was quivering on the surface, circled it to move to the head and then swallowed it. I was all over those fish but each one was zeroed in on that action and not my bait.

This cadence that I use on all my top water baits is the dit, dit, dit – dot, dot, dot, - dit, dit, dit or better know as the SOS = 3 shorts – 3 long circles (180 degree turns)_ – 3 walking Strokes. Each of these are done with a sit and wait between each of the sequences.
When I quiver the rod tip I can make the bait do an 180 degree turn. Then let it sit. Quiver it again and it turns back the other direction for the second 180 and the blow up occurs. If not do the third 180 turn. All my Bass over 10 lbs. have come while doing the dying quiver.

The Retrieve. Start your retrieve walking the spook as slow as it will go. Letting it glide to the right and then to the left. Never stop the bait even if you get a blow up. Most of the time she will come back and take it within a few strokes. I walk the bait to get it from one ambush spot to the next. This might be a bush or a protruding point of a grass line. Of course I walk the bait back to the boat. Not much walking is involved as my casts next to heavy cover are quite short. It is a big mistake to throw the Spook a long distance near heavy cover.

My last tip for any top water is always be ready to hit the water after a big thunder storm has rolled through the area. Have your area picked and get to the lake waiting in your truck until it is safe to get on the water. My best days have come right after these storms. Big Bass have come from many smaller lakes where I had never caught one over 5 lbs. This has been repeated so many times and I call it the Calm After the Storm.


Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic


Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13627918 07/12/20 06:09 PM
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Topwater2 Online Content
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Great Read!! I throw topwater 24/7/365 and "Topwater" has become my household and club name.


FishKen
Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13628160 07/12/20 10:33 PM
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Fordntriton Online Content
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I think the original spook is one of the best topwater still today

Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Fordntriton] #13628336 07/13/20 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Fordntriton
I think the original spook is one of the best topwater still today


I have an old clear Spook Sway Back, no rattle, I might have to paint.


FishKen
Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13628358 07/13/20 01:16 AM
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Donald Harper Online Happy OP
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I am in the market for the USED original spooks; now that I cannot get the Flash Shad any more. I will have to find someone to paint them. You cannot buy a blank with out a rattle in it.


Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic


Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13628368 07/13/20 01:22 AM
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You don’t need a painter, you have your glitter pen!

Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13628416 07/13/20 02:20 AM
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Lunker Punkers are pretty good spook type baits for bigger bites too. Big wakebaits are a blast too. Rats, slammers, wake jrs and the like.


“Slide”
Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Cuervo Jones] #13628461 07/13/20 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Cuervo Jones
Lunker Punkers are pretty good spook type baits for bigger bites too. Big wakebaits are a blast too. Rats, slammers, wake jrs and the like.

Maybe just a typo, but it's "Lunker Plunker".

Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Flippin-Out] #13628509 07/13/20 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
Originally Posted by Cuervo Jones
Lunker Punkers are pretty good spook type baits for bigger bites too. Big wakebaits are a blast too. Rats, slammers, wake jrs and the like.

Maybe just a typo, but it's "Lunker Plunker".

No.
It’s punker.


“Slide”
Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13628549 07/13/20 08:26 AM
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It sure is. I've got a school of them, some still in boxes. Guess I'll practice reading. They sure can make for a vicious strike, even from a 2-3 pounder.

Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13628676 07/13/20 12:39 PM
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Great article yet again Donald!

I have been copying all of your posts into Word (it won't take the pics for some reason) and the total is now- 59 pages and 41680 words!! You could def make a sweet book of 100 pages or so with all the pics!!

Last edited by bassmanrudy; 07/13/20 01:51 PM.

"I'd Rather Be Fishing"
Rudy
Mister Twister Baits! :-)
https://www.mistertwister.com/
Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13628694 07/13/20 12:55 PM
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Great read Donald! My son and I fish mainly with Spooks. We usually work them pretty quick but after reading your article I'm beginning to rethink that. Do you possibly have a video of the "Dying Quiver"?

Thanks!

Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: eneat1119] #13628766 07/13/20 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by eneat1119
Great read Donald! My son and I fish mainly with Spooks. We usually work them pretty quick but after reading your article I'm beginning to rethink that. Do you possibly have a video of the "Dying Quiver"?

Thanks!

Sorry, I do not. When practicing the sequence of the three cadences in a pool; get something to stand on to represent the height of the boat. It takes about 15 seconds to complete each sequence of the SOS with your waiting time for the ripples to stop.
First sequence:
- 1,2,3 very small and soft twitches are done after the bait has set for some time until all the ripples of it's landing are gone. These are not hard enough to make the bait spin around. It is the dit - dit - dit of the sequence. Then let it sit some more until all ripples are gone.
Second sequence:
- The Dying Quiver are three harder twitches that will make the spook spin and do the 180 turns. Do 3 of these in succession, there are no pauses between them. It will spin to the right, back left and back right. Now let the bait sit until all ripples are gone. This is the Dot-Dot-Dot of the sequence.
Note: Your rod tip pops the water each time you twitch the bait to make it turn. You have to practice and learn the amount of slack line needed to make the bait do its thing and the quick timing of this sequence is also a factor in getting it to spin around. Lots of practice.
Third sequence:
- Three quick walks which are right, left, right. Now let it sit until all ripples are gone. This is the final Dit-Dit-Dit.

Blow-Ups:
Always have a bullet pinch weighted Fluke in 1/32 oz. ready to follow up on any blow-ups that do not take. We have also won several tournaments when the Bass would not take the spook or even blow-up on it; but it was exciting them if they were holding in the bushes. I would walk the spook into the bush and my partner would pitch in the Fluke and come out with another 5 lb fish.


Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic


Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: Donald Harper] #13628789 07/13/20 02:05 PM
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Thanks for posting...great information and detail...just curious if you have a fishing line preference. (mono, co poly, braid) and what type of knot do you tie...loop knot , palomar, etc....thanks again for all the great fishing informatior you share.

Re: Article 33 - Top Water [Re: ToadThrower] #13628794 07/13/20 02:09 PM
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Donald Harper Online Happy OP
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Originally Posted by ToadThrower
Thanks for posting...great information and detail...just curious if you have a fishing line preference. (mono, co poly, braid) and what type of knot do you tie...loop knot , palomar, etc....thanks again for all the great fishing informatior you share.

From above:
- Thrown on Original Stren 25# Monofilament which has NO Polymers to make it sink. Polymers are additives that make a fishing line great or seem that way with low stretch, low memory, less visibility and abrasion resistance. If you use all of that the line will not float and sink just like fluorocarbon. Your top water bait will not make the turns to mimic the dying quiver of a wounded bait fish if the line sinks.
- The Snap is the Gamakatsu G-Finess Tournament Snap is the latest and greatest. You have heard of snaps coming unbuttoned? Not this one; as it is the true interlock. It absolutely comes down to the little things that help you catch fish and the snap is the smallest part of a bait that allows it to perform the best action possible. A split ring for a line tie can cause lots of malfunctions and even cut the line.

I use the Palomar knot.


Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic


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