Fishing a Walking Bait for Post Spawn Females

Fishing a Walking Bait Post Spawn

Once water temperatures climb above 55°, walking style topwater lures come into their own. There's something special about walking-the-dog post spawn that really triggers a big bass's predatory instincts.

The moniker ‘walking’ bait is a nod to the way the lures sashay side-to-side rather than straight-line it back to the reel. This walk-the-dog action makes the lure look like a confused or injured baitfish, which engages the bass’s predatory instinct.

Anglers must manipulate the lure just right to get the proper movement out of it. To impart the right action, throw slack back at the lure every time you jerk the rod tip. Jerk the line, and then point the rod tip back at the lure. This slack line will cause the bait to dart from side to side rather than make forward progress.

A critical part creating the right action is in rigging and line selection. Use a loop knot to give the nose of the bait complete freedom to search side to side as it walks across the surface. Monofilament is ideal, but if you prefer braid, you can attach a mono leader.

Special thanks to VisitSebring for making this bass fishing tips and tricks video possible. Check out VisitSebring and catch yourself a big old bass.

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Video transcript:

Chad Hoover:
All right guys, so before we jump into today's tip, I got to stop and give a big shout out to the folks in Sebring, Florida for making this awesome tip series possible. Guys, if you're looking for some big bass, if you're looking for some awesome lakes and a lot of diversity, check out Sebring, Florida, and put it at the top of your list to go chase some big old bass.

Chad Hoover:
What's up, guys, I'm Chad Hoover, and welcome to MONSTERBASS, where we're going to talk about fishing walk-the-dog style baits for post-spawn females. So, one of the best baits you can throw post-spawn, over scattered grass... If you want to cover a lot of water, if you want to be looking for active fish, and you want to start trying to move fish. A lot of times you can move a fish first with one bait, and you can go back in there with another bait, is a walk-the-dog style bait.

Chad Hoover:
Now, one of the main reasons that I like a walk-the-dog style bait is, I can hold my rod tip up, I can twitch it back and forth, but if you notice, I got a nice swoop in the line. The purpose for that swoop in the line is, as a kayak angler, over the years, I've had to learn to compensate for the fact that I can't put my rod tip down, and if I'm over to the side, I'm kind of fishing against the wall, but it actually has turned out to be a really big advantage.

Chad Hoover:
So, when I make a long cast, the first thing I do is pull a rod's-length worth of line off, and when I give it a twitch, twitch reel, I actually take up the line with my reel handle after I've moved the lure with the rod. The reason for that is, when that big fish blows up on it, I want you to do this drill with yourself. I want you to say, "Set," and when you say set, you point the rod, "The," you reel up the slack, and, "Hook," when you hook the fish. And trust me, I understand it's really hard to avoid that immediate reaction to jerk the lure out of the fish's mouth. But if you'll learn when they blow up, that the first thing you need to do is drop your rod tip, set, reel down the slack, the, and then hook that fish, man, your hookup ratio will go through the roof.

Chad Hoover:
And one other thing that you can do is, again, fish that lure with some slack in the line. Now, the key to fishing that lure with some slack in the line, is to have a loop knot on the front of your bait, and avoid things like snaps, swivels, and tie-in direct. And if you fish braided line as your main line, you're going to want to use a fluorocarbon or a monofilament leader, and the way that I determine that is, if it's windy. If it's windy out, I'm going to use a fluorocarbon leader, because I want a little bit more weight, and I want that line to kind of stick to the surface. If it's not windy out, and if I'm fishing through vegetation, I want to fish monofilament because I want it to be buoyant, and I want it to lay on the top, and I don't want it to sink down into the water.

Chad Hoover:
All right, guys, so let me show you the knot that you need to throw to effectively fish a walk-the-dog style bait correctly. That knot is known as a loop knot, or in some circles it's known as a King Sling. So, here's how it works. You basically take your line and you just make what's known as an overhand knot. You just tie the loop and you just don't tie it all the way down, just like when you're tying your shoes in kindergarten. Give yourself a little bit more tag end. Now, what you're going to do is, take the tag end and you're going to go through the eye of the hook, just like so. What I like to do then, is then snug it down to get that loop the size that I want it, then you're going to take the tag end and you're going to go back through the loop, just like so. Now, you know you've done it correctly at this point if your two lines are parallel, and you have a standing open loop.

Chad Hoover:
If you don't do it right, then your two lines will be on one side, and it won't look right. Next, you're going to pinch the loop that you just made, and you're going to take your tag end, and wrap it around your main line three times. And just go around the main line three times, just like so. You can get away with two, but three is actually a lot better. Now, once you've done that, you're going to take that tag end, and you're going to go back through that loop that you made, just like that. You're going to grab that tag end, you're going to give it a tiny little snug, you don't want to tighten it down too much, and then you're going to wet it. Cinch it down.

Chad Hoover:
Now, before you tighten it, if your tag end is sticking off at a 90 degree angle like that, you know you've tied the knot correctly. So, what you do is, hold that tag end with your teeth, pull the main line and the lure to tighten it up. And then, that knot is literally one of the strongest knots out there that is going to allow that lure to articulate back and forth, just like that. And that's what's going to give you that wide swing back and forth. That's what's going to keep that lure in the strike zone longer.

Chad Hoover:
So, you can fish fluorocarbon. You can fish monofilament. I like to fish braided line with a leader. A lot of people like to fish fluorocarbon or monofilament as a mainline. If you're going to fish straight mainline, I'm a big fan of fishing fluorocarbon, because I don't like the stretch of monofilament. But if you're going to fish without braided line, then go all the way with monofilament. Go a little bit heavier, that line's a little bit more buoyant, it's going to lay on the surface. If you fish fluorocarbon, it's a little denser, it's a little heavier, it's going to sink down. You're going to get a lot of fouling up, you're going to get that line sinking, the bait's going to run over it, and it's going to hang up. So, if you're hanging up a walk-the-dog style bait, either your loop is too big, or your fluorocarbon leader is too heavy.

Chad Hoover:
But, man, I've got to tell you guys, if you want some of the most heart-pumping action ever, fish a walk-the-dog style bait, tie the right knot, get the right cadence, and experiment until you get those fish to blow up on it. And there's probably not a more effective way to find the hungriest, most active females after the spawn. So, if you invest some time in the right equipment, learning the right cadence, the right presentation, getting your hook set down to where you don't jerk the lure out of the fish's mouth, a walk-the-dog style bait can produce a lot of big fish for you.


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