Walking the dog …

The techniques below are a few ideas to try.. Most modern lures can be fished in a large number of ways, below is just a few suggestions. Get out and experiment and learn what your lures can do…..

Following a cast, when the lure lands, leave it completely still for up to twenty seconds. You are allowing the shock waves of the lure hitting the water to travel and attract nearby fish. If the water is calm enough you can watch the ripples flowing away from the impact point and when they have disappear you know it is time to start the retrieve.

Wind in gently until you start to feel and / or see the lure move. Keep the rod tip low and then continue to retrieve and start to flick your wrist to begin the side to side or ‘walk the dog’ movement. You should be aiming to move the rod tip only about six inches in a straight line back and forth with each flick. As an approximation these flicks should be every second or so. You will need to adjust your winding speed to keep up with the lure and to avoid having a slack bow in the line. This speed will change depending on whether you are fishing with or across current, how windy it is and what angle you are to the water.

With each flick the lure should change direction, left and right and it should be leaving a wake in the water behind it. It can be a mistake to wind in too fast. Your lure should only be making gentle splashes at most. When using a 3000 or 4000 reel, as a general rule, you should not be making more than one complete turn of the handle per second, often it will be more like one full turn of the handle every three or four seconds. This may well feel too slow but resist the urge to go faster.

You should add pauses to your retrieve. I would suggest retrieving for two to ten second sections interspersed with five to twenty second pauses. Start the retrieve with small retrieving sections and long pauses and end the retrieve with long retrieving sections and short pauses.

Topwater lures

When a fish takes the lure from the surface you will often see a bow wave approaching the lure or a large splash as the fish takes the lure. You should feel the take as well. Lift the rod tip when you think the lure has been taken but there should be no need to strike the bite.

If there is nothing there then stop dead. Twitch the lure a little and then start short retrieves, leaving lots of pauses. The worst thing you can do on a missed take is speed up the retrieve or just wind in. You want the lure to look like it has been injured by the fish’s first attempt and will now be an easy target.

Finally, if you have never tried to catch bass on the surface before, once you get your first hit you will suddenly know why many consider it the most exciting way to fish for bass.

Author: Pete Brown

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