The cooling afternoon breeze had actually failed to emerge, making it hot, clammy and buggy. The water was equally still, and flat enough to spot a single finning bunker at 100 yards — yet there was no life in sight. Despite what seemed like a not likely situation to experience a big striper, I had the best weapon for contacting a large fish in these specific conditions. Stickbaits, puppies, walkers– this family of topwater lures goes by several names, however the most common is adapted from the most well-known of these baits, the Zara Spook.
These lures were born from the end of a broom manage that James Heddon lopped off and attached hooks to in the early 1900s. The lure had a side-to-side action on the surface that ended up being known as “walking the dog.” He called the lure the Zaragossa. Years later, when Heddon Tempt Company started making lures from plastic, they used “alarm” to denote their plastic lures due to the fact that of the ghost-like transparency of the product. The plastic Zaragossa was called the Zara Spook, the name that would become associated with this style of lure.
Today, “spooks” are made by numerous makers in sizes suitable for everything from panfish to huge bluefin tuna. They are especially reliable on striped bass.
To get the signature walk-the-dog action from these topwaters, use sharp snaps of the rod tip. Vary the time between pumps of the rod to alter the plug’s action. Working it fast will develop a tight zigzagging action, while waiting a 2nd in between pumps of the rod will permit the lure to make a broader side-to-side slide.
This action is best attained with a fast-action rod held down to the side or directly. Nevertheless, if you begin with a high rod angle, lower the rod as the lure gets closer to your position; otherwise, the lure will leap out of the water.
Both surfcasters and boat fishermen have fantastic success with spooks, however when long casts are needed, pencil poppers and traffic jam poppers will cover a much higher distance.
Spooks work in all conditions when fish are active enough to feed on the surface, and they have a flair for calling up stripers on flat-calm days with no noticeable signs of baitfish– like that sweltering afternoon this past June.
At the pointer of the jetty, I lobbed the 9-inch wooden scare into the calm browse. I began pumping the rod, first with a slow cadence, then speeding it as much as create a frenzied zigzagging action. When I slowed it down again, I saw a boil behind the plug. I ‘d gotten the attention of a striper– now I simply needed to close the sale. I sped up the obtain once again and stopped it cold. A depth charge blew up under the lure and the rod doubled over.
Spook Fishing Baits Review
Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow
- 4 1/2 inches, 1/2 ounce
No light-tackle plug bag is total without a bone-colored Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow. The tight zigzag of this plug paired with the clacking lead rattle inside is tempting to stripers. Use it in calm backwaters and coves, and make sure to work some pauses into your retrieve.
Gibbs ProSeries Glider
- 7 inches, 3 1/2 ounces
The Gibbs Glider is tail-weighted to permit longer casts, making it best for surfcasters. The extra weight in the back end likewise enables the lure to sit at a 45-degree angle in the water, making it simple to create a walk-the-dog action.
Heddon Saltwater Super Spook XT
- 5 inches, 1 ounce
This adjustment of the initial Zara Spook features beefed-up deal with suggested to hold up to stripers and bluefish. The Saltwater Super Spook has a little bit more weight than the Jumpin’ Minnow and will work better in choppy water. It can be cast and worked on light surfcasting rods or medium-heavy boat rods.
RM Smith Jackhammer
- 9 inches, 3 1/2 ounces
When stripers are eating big bunker, it takes a big topwater, like the RM Smith Jackhammer, to get their attention. This supersized wooden startle makes a big commotion, similar to a huge, wounded baitfish begging to be consumed.
Rapala Saltwater Skitter Walk
- 4 3/8 inches, 5/8 ounce
For light-tackle backwater fishing, the Saltwater Skitter Walk is up there with the Jumpin’ Minnow when it concerns must-have lures. The Skitter Walk can be found in a wide range of effective colors, and it includes a fish-attracting rattle that assists stripers home in on the lure in low-light conditions.
Yo-Zuri Sashimi 3D Pencil
- 5 inches, 1 ounce
A ball-bearing included into the tail area of the Yo-Zuri Sashimi 3D Pencil casues it to sit in a head-up position that permits it to be walked in heavy waves and rougher seas. Color-change innovation imitates a distressed, fleeing baitfish. Give the lure a long time out to let the practical color patterns seal the offer.