texasfishingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
NewfishnTx, jjvaughan, Daniel Kinnear, GIMME5, tangofoxone
115573 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
TexDawg 103,136
hopalong 97,529
Pilothawk 80,977
John175☮ 79,367
Bigbob_FTW 74,674
JDavis7873 67,408
Derek 🐝 66,761
Mark Perry 63,074
Forum Statistics
Forums61
Topics1,152,036
Posts15,751,245
Members140,573
Most Online36,273
Jan 23rd, 2013
Print Thread
Rate Thread
MAL Lure Modifications, Adjustments, & Tactics for Topwater Schooling Fish #14058973 07/12/21 12:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 471
Holding The Line Offline OP
Angler
OP Offline
Angler
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 471
By now, most of us are seeing topwater action become more and more reliable as our weather becomes more stable and summer-like, and as the growing young-of-the-year threadfin shad are starting to be corralled to the surface by white bass and hybrid striper at least around sunrise and sunset, if not during brighter conditions.

I wanted to share some tips to help you put more fish in the boat with your MAL Lures, even when the fishing is easy, as it often is with aggressive, schooling fish feeding on topwater all around you.

GENERAL:
1. Courtesy - don't be the guy/gal who motors into a group of boats already working topwater fish, throw your wake over those fish, and ruin for everyone, including you, what could have been 45-60 minutes of easy fishing.

2. Instead, cut the outboard 100-150 yards out, then use your trolling motor to close the distance.

3. White bass, striped bass, yellow bass, white perch, and their hybrids (which are all of the fish in the temperate bass family) prefer feeding under low-light conditions. Don't sleep until 8 a.m., get to the lake at 9:30 a.m., and expect to get into topwater fish. On a grey, cloudy day you may find some scattered fish still around by mid-morning, but 30 minutes either side of sunrise and sunset are absolutely key.


GEAR:
1. Long spinning rods excel for launching the MAL Original or MAL Heavy over top of a school, thus allowing you to retrieve through the entire school.

2. A well-filled spinning reel will cast much further than an underfilled reel. Fill spinning reels to within 1/32" of the spool's lip. Fill casting reels to within 1/16" of the top of the spool, or to the fill mark, if engraved on your spool.

3. A large diameter spool will cast much further than a smaller diameter spool. For this reason, I use Pflueger's Arbor spinning reels for my topwater rigs.

4. A longer rod will cast further than a shorter rod. For this reason, I keep a specialized set of topwater rods on my boat from the St. Croix panfish series. These rods are 8' long and limber. They load up and fling the bait with minimal effort. A rookie or kid can throw a bait with this rig as far as an experienced angler with a 6.5 or 7' rod.

5. Use a pair of 6" curved-tip forceps/hemostats to remove hard-to-remove hooks.

6. Using a swivel and leader will prevent line twist. I've really come to love the Aquateko Invisaswivel in 35 pound test. It is a fluorocarbon swivel which, instead of tearing up your rod's tip when a kid or rookie reels it up too far, will neatly "plug" into the rod's tip, thus preventing the damage which a brass or stainless steel swivel can inflict. Keep your leaders short so they don't hinder your casting -- 14-16" should be sufficient.

7. Use light line. My topwater-specific rigs have 10 pound test Sufix 832 braid connected to a 15 pound test fluorocarbon leader via a 35 pound test Invisaswivel. Light line will improve your casting distance dramatically.

LURES:
1. Modifying your MAL Original or MAL Heavy by cutting off one of the three treble hook tines will make fast unhooking much quicker and safer with less trauma to the fish for those of you releasing fish.

2. If you can't stand the thought of cutting a bend off your hook, just save the MAL Lures you manage to damage the hook on, and set those aside for future use as topwater baits.

3. If you do snip one of the bends off your treble, snip off that bend which is more perpendicular to the hook's eye. That bend is soldered on, whereas the other two bends are made from a continuous wire. Hence, you are cutting off the weakest link.

4. I do not have anything against slabs, in fact, I made and sell the Hazy Eye Slab. But, I can tell you that a slab is one of the worst choices you can make for topwater fish. The slab sinks too fast, retrieves too erratically, is prone to skipping or planing on a fast retrieve, and is simply not intended for horizontal, shallow work. Even if you choose not to use my MAL Lure for topwater fish, please use something other than a slab!!

5. Consider mashing down the barbs on your hooks to make for even faster, more efficient releases. When using barbless hooks, a constant pressure must be maintained on hooked fish, including during that critical transition from water to boat. Barbless hooks do not do well for rookies and kids.

TACTICS
1. Try not to chase the fish. Rather, observe where they are headed, and try to get ahead of them. This way you can throw to them as the are coming, while they are at the boat, then as they are heading away, all without having to move your boat.

2. Make long casts over as many fish as you can to ensure that a maximum number of fish see your bait during the retrieve.

3. Remember, the gamefish are oriented on the surface where the bait is, so, don't let your bait sink very far after your cast hits the water. As soon as the lure hits the water, close your bail and immediately begin a fast, steady retrieve.

4. Keep your rod tip pointed down low toward the water's surface to keep the lure from skipping out of the water as you retrieve quickly.

5. DO NOT jig, jerk, juke, or jive the MAL Lure. Just reel it straight back in with a "plain Jane" retrieve. Excessive movements only make it harder for the fish to catch your bait.

6. DO NOT SET THE HOOK. There are enough fish present that you will hook a fish a greater percentage of the time if you just keep reeling in straight and fast until a fish hooks itself. This is especially true if you use braided line. By setting the hook the instant you feel a sensation, you will likely miss the fish that struck (because the pressure wave it pushes ahead of itself caused a change in the rhythm of your spinner, not because the fish had the bait in his mouth yet). By setting the hook you will also pull the bait farther away from the other pursuing schoolmates, thus reducing the chances of a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th strike on that same retrieve.

7. Look where you want your cast to go. It's like the old "keep your eye on the ball" truism. Your natural eye-hand coordination will take over and send your cast more accurately than otherwise.

MAL Lures are found here: https://whitebasstools.com/

The MAL Original weighs 5/8 oz. and casts a "country mile". The MAL Heavy weighs 7/8 oz. and casts a "country mile-and-a-quarter" LOL!

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids


Wet Rooster Jigs Fishing Super Store
Re: MAL Lure Modifications, Adjustments, & Tactics for Topwater Schooling Fish [Re: Holding The Line] #14059196 07/12/21 11:33 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,127
Dennis Christian Offline
TFF Team Angler
Offline
TFF Team Angler
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,127
Bob, I want to report that the Bookout family, who just won the Lake Livingston white bass tournament, shared with me that, in addition to regular Mepps Aglias, they used your MAL heavier Mepps to catch some of their fish. For my followers, some of whom have been using the Mepps method since 1976, I suggest you give Bob's version a try. It was designed to be heavier than a Mepps #4 but with the same blade size. So, it has two helpful advantages - you can cast it farther and it sinks faster. Since the Mepps method works best reeling the bait up from the bottom, the faster sink time speeds up the process. In most fishing conditions, I think the MAL Mepps will do as well as the regular Mepps plus add the two advantages just mentioned. The condition where you may need the regular Mepps is when you have to start the Mepps very slowly to get them to bite. Bottom line is I plan to get a few more of the MAL Mepps and see if I can outfish the regular #4 Mepps. Bob, congratulations on having a good idea and pursuing it until you achieved a product that adds to the awesome versatility of a Mepps spinner. Dennis

Re: MAL Lure Modifications, Adjustments, & Tactics for Topwater Schooling Fish [Re: Holding The Line] #14059289 07/12/21 01:16 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 904
R
RespectTheFish Offline
Pro Angler
Offline
Pro Angler
R
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 904
Good read Bob! The fish I'm catching are getting finicky with this summer heat but that MAL keeps being my number one producing lure....exactly as you intended it to help in the dog days of summer.


Clay


RespectTheFish Guide Service on Facebook
RespectTheFish Youtube Channel
www.respectthefishguideservice.com
Re: MAL Lure Modifications, Adjustments, & Tactics for Topwater Schooling Fish [Re: Dennis Christian] #14059450 07/12/21 04:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 471
Holding The Line Offline OP
Angler
OP Offline
Angler
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 471
Dennis, thank you very much for your kind words. I desperately want to get "out east" to fish with you and compare notes in real time. Each year I set aside two 1-week blocks to go to a new destination and fish with other guides. I consider this my version of "continuing education", which is something expected of professionals in other trades.

Perhaps I just need to set one of those blocks aside to fish with you when both of our schedules allow.

Thanks again for the input, and for your work on behalf of veterans.


[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids


Re: MAL Lure Modifications, Adjustments, & Tactics for Topwater Schooling Fish [Re: Holding The Line] #14059672 07/12/21 07:38 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 652
J
justchillin Offline
Pro Angler
Offline
Pro Angler
J
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 652
Bob, Has anybody noticed a difference in catch ratio from the white compared to the chartreuse color ? I know sometimes there are some determining factors, but like I said, just wondering. Thank you.

Re: MAL Lure Modifications, Adjustments, & Tactics for Topwater Schooling Fish [Re: Holding The Line] #14059678 07/12/21 07:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 471
Holding The Line Offline OP
Angler
OP Offline
Angler
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 471
Justchillin,

Originally, I only produced the MAL in white and it worked very well. The only reason I introduced the chartreuse was because many of the folks I rely on for input from the East Texas white bass "factories" like Richland-Chambers, Cedar Creek, and Tawakoni, had already built up confidence in chartreuse. As you know, confidence is likely the best tool in your tackle box.

So, instead of expecting folks who were confident in fishing chartreuse to try a new lure AND a new color at the same time, I worked with Mepps to produce the MAL Original in both white and chartreuse. When I tweaked the design to come up with the MAL Heavy, I kept with the same two colors.

I put a lot of stock in what my fellow guides tell me. Like me, they are on the water all the time and get to observe minor day-to-day changes in the fishery. All of the guides I sell lures to buy both chartreuse and white.

I personally use these colors interchangeably. If I need to tie on a new MAL, I look and see which of my 4 boxes are most full (MAL Original white, MAL Original chartreuse, MAL Heavy white, and MAL Heavy chartreuse), and grab my lure from the box which is most full!!

Locating fish is infinitely more important than which color of MAL you present once you find them.


I hope this helps you.


[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids


Re: MAL Lure Modifications, Adjustments, & Tactics for Topwater Schooling Fish [Re: Holding The Line] #14059717 07/12/21 08:19 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 652
J
justchillin Offline
Pro Angler
Offline
Pro Angler
J
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 652
Thank you for the response. I will order some in both colors then.

Re: MAL Lure Modifications, Adjustments, & Tactics for Topwater Schooling Fish [Re: Holding The Line] #14060039 07/13/21 02:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 446
ACES82 Offline
Angler
Offline
Angler
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 446
Thanks for the tips! I will try the MAL next time I come across some top water action.


Never Outsmart Common Sense.
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 1998-2019 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3