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Let’s Talk Topwater And Shoreline Cover

Posted: April 30th, 2014 by Bill Dance

Let’s talk topwater. You know I think the real key to any type of topwater bait is to first establish a rhythm that works at a given time and then follow it. Erratic rhythms seem to work best in most cases, and that is created by rod tip magic.

By the latter I mean flexing the rod tip with short erratic jerks, for instance like using some sort of twitch-pause scenario.

Most topwater baits are most productive with a slow presentation. Slow-moving lures give the bass more time to locate and zero in on the bait. Plus, slow-moving baits look more natural.

You know, I have heard fishermen say that bass are lazy, and they are looking for an easy meal and that this is why bass prefer slow-moving lures. Well, that may be true to a certain degree, but I believe the key reason is because in order to survive they soon learn to measure the amount of energy they expend in relation to the reward they receive. If a bass must expend more energy to catch prey than its nutritional value is worth, well, it is all wasted energy for little to no nourishment. This is another reason why I believe a slow presentation is so important with any lure you fish, not just topwater.

But what makes topwater fishing so exciting is that you not only hear the strike, but you get to see it, too. You are expecting a strike with every cast, yet it still always startles you. There is simply nothing like it.

Always be sure to give that fish a little more time to take a topwater bait, otherwise you are apt to come up empty-handed. Knee-jerk (startled) reactions often mean missed fish.

Shoreline Targets

You know, by fishing tight to the shore, you can waste a lot of time…simply dropping a lure along every stump, stickup or log along the bank. Sure, you might catch a bass or two scattered here and there, but look how much time that takes.

I don’t want to imply that it is a mistake to fish that way, because it can be and is an enjoyable way to fish. But I prefer to find and catch several fish from one spot, rather than a single fish, and I know many anglers feel the same. Like me, they enjoy fishing the shorelines that offer something out of the way, something hidden beneath the surface in the form of an irregular feature. Such fish-holding features can often be pinpointed with a good map, graph or by trial and error.

These features can be anything–a point, a pocket, a channel bank, a secondary bank, a depression, a deep bank, an area loaded with submerged cover–anything that is different along the shoreline. Find it next to deeper water and such a locale is all the sweeter.

Shoreline fishing is a way of life with many fishermen across the country. It is the way we started out, but many of us built more confidence by trying areas away from shore. We still make frequent visits to the shallows, and on those trips make sure to look for those key irregular places.

Also, you won’t find fish in all the shoreline locations we discussed, but I can promise you that if you fish such places enough, you will increase your odds of catching more.

Bill Dance

Tennessee

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