by Captain Joe Garcia
We all can agree that the top water strike is like no other. Even when it’s planned and expected, that strike will always get the heart racing and the adrenaline going! Many of our first experiences fishing a top water plug was throwing a Skitter Walk, Arbogast Jitterbug (my favorite) or Zara Spook to bass in a fresh water lake or pond and pulling a big bass from cover and throwing water all around as it engulfs that plug. Well top water fishing in the salt is all that and more. Many, if not all the techniques we used for bass will more than work for our backcountry denizen.
The lures will be similar with the exception of stainless hardware and hooks that are stouter. The Rapala Coastal Series and the MirroLure seem to dominate this arena. The familiar “walk the dog” technique is a go to for Snook and Trout and many lures with propellers will do an extremely good job too. The upside to the top water lures is that in many cases the larger of the target species will be the most aggressive to take the lure. When fly fishing, the two most popular patterns are the Gurgler and the Popper styles. These are worked with a short sharp cadence, producing the pops and bubbles needed to create that enticing disturbance on the surface. With both plugs and flies the rhythm should be such that lure stays in the target zone as long as possible.
The common belief was that top water is most effective in low light or calm conditions, but in the back country and inshore areas the top water can and is effective when many other techniques fail. The commotion created tends to pull fish from water that’s maybe deeper as in a creek or trough and even from tight mangrove cover when the tide is high. Throw them tight to cover or parallel to shorelines and work them in a manner and rhythm to make them stand out and be noticed, these are not finesse lures in any way.
Break out that plug rod or tie to a spinning rod and have fun with these classics!
Tight Lines and have fun!
Captain Joe Garcia
Southern Glades Charters