Patience in key in topwater fishing

Published 6:24 pm Saturday, February 11, 2012



    Patience is indeed a virtue, however is not one most of produce naturally.

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    Like many things in life it is a discipline and the angler that practices and refines the discipline of patience will greatly enhance their opportunities to catch big fish.

    A perfect example is topwater fishing.

    Many anglers claim to live for the “blowup” and are excited about seeing the speckled trout, redfish or bass they are pursuing striking at the plug. And yes, the “blowup” is quite the spectacle for the senses but it should be the secondary part of the equation.

    Actually connecting with and catching the fish should be paramount because there are plenty of opportunities to get the strike without ever connecting with the fish.

     Anglers often pull topwater plugs from the mouths of their quarry because of impatience. They see the strike, assume the fish is on and pull back.

    The best approach to topwaters is to see the strike, let the fish have it for a couple of seconds and then set the hook. Often times, fish, speckled trout in particular, swirl at the plug or miss on their first attempt. By allowing the fish a couple of seconds to grab onto it, the odds of catching it go up dramatically.

     I use braided line most of the time when fishing with topwaters for this very reason.

    Since braid has no stretch, I can let the fish strike, start swimming with it and raise my rod in a strong sweeping motion instead of making a hard hookset. The lack of stretch in the line against the pressure of the swimming fish creates a hookset without all of the drama. This is not a 100 percent method but it has caught me far more fish than using monofilament and giving a full on super intense jerk.

     It is important to keep in mind when using braid that while you may be using 40 or 50-pound test line, fish do not have 40 or 50 pound test mouths. That is a nugget Bassmaster Elite Series pro Gerald Swindle shared with me a couple of years ago and it really stuck.

    The advantage of using braid with topwaters is that it takes you out of the equation and by taking the same action as you might with monofilament you defeat the purpose.

    Besides the hookset, patience is important when you are seeking truly big fish with topwaters.

    If you have upgraded to magnum-sized plugs do not fret if you get few strikes. The fact is there are few truly big fish of any given species out there and by upgrading the size of the lure you are downgrading opportunities to catch smaller fish.

    It is important when you enter this level of fishing to focus on not only ever cast, but every twitch or chug of the plug and envision you dream fish swimming below.

    If you are able to enter this level of focus on your fishing, then you will be more likely to make every detail of the topwater’s movement seem legitimate and that can be the difference maker in your pursuit of fishing greatness.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at