Top Water Tactics to Land More Fish

The single most exciting way to catch a game fish is with a top water lure.  Top water lures will often cause fish to go air born or simply SMASH the lure from bellow.  When a fish attacks a top water lure it is one of the most exciting moments in fishing.

Simply because of the nature of top water fishing, there are often many missed and lost fish.  Often times a fish will either short strike a lure, never touching it or only hit a small part of it, not getting the hooks in its mouth.  But there are a few techniques that can be used to increase the numbers of fish landed, and here are a few of them:

Use Ultra-Sharp Hooks

The single most important factor in hooking more fish is using ultra-sharp high quality hooks.  Many times when a fish hits a top water it is on instinct alone and the hit is not very accurate.  Having ultra-sharp hooks ensure that even a grazing blow to the hook will guarantee a hook penetration.

Proper Hook Setting Techniques

Top water lures require a very disciplined approach to setting the hook.  Many anglers will attempt to set the hook with a giant swing the moment they see a fish attack the lure.  This action will, more often than not, pull the lure out of the strike zone if the fish misses the lure and not allow a second hit.  The proper method is to wait until pressure is felt before setting the hook.  This ensure the fish has the lure and that they did not miss on their first attempt.

Presentation to Attract a Second Hit 

Many fish caught on a top water lure are caught on their second or third strike.  After a fish misses the first attempt, allow the lure to sit still for a few short seconds.  If a second hit does not come right away, begin to work the lure again.  Most second strikes will come while the lure is resting or right after the action is re-started.  It is not unusual for a fish to miss a lure 3 or 4 times before finally being hooked up.  Patients is key here!

Bonus Tips

  • Top water lures are most effective just after sun rise and just before sun set
  • When replacing hooks, replacing the o-rings can also help extend the life of the lure