Monday, 31 March 2008

Salt Water Lure Fishing - Part 1 of 21 - Surface Lure Fishing I

Of all the types of fishing an angler can experience in Ireland surface lure or ‘topwater’ lure fishing is without a doubt one of the most exciting, enjoyable, addictive and may I say simple techniques for catching predatory fish and especially bass.

It is certain that if you are seeking the ultimate bass fishing experience, then surface lure (or fly)fishing is the way to go - the awesome visual action of fish strikes and attacks that happen very regularly are unforgettable. The added visual appeal and response that comes with surface lure fishing is very powerful in terms of angling pleasure. It’s very often that the result of a missed strike when a bass swims away unhooked after that mighty attack and hit is enough to produce a satisfactory experience for the angler – its an adrenaline rush and very addictive so be warned!

Using lures that float on top of the water is what makes surface fishing more of an exciting angling experience than any other style of fishing. Lures that are primarily used are specifically known as ‘topwater’ or ‘surface’ lures. These types of lures are quite simple looking; many are produced in realistic, baitfish type patterns with lifelike appearances and colouring to appeal to fish’s sensory receptors. Most surface lures are hollow-bodied and made from hard durable plastic or wood with a standard tail treble hook, and in some cases, two other treble hooks. Debarbing and reducing the number of hooks will help your fishing and protect the fish and YOU from unnecessary damage.

So what are the tactics for surface lure fishing? Any angler despite their angling experience can attempt and even master the basics of surface lure fishing quite easily. It’s a little bit of work at the beginning, but it’s really worth the effort. The concept is simple, and basically involves being able to fish on the surface of the water. The trick though, is being able to manipulate the way one’s lure acts, floats, swims and reacts on the water’s surface.

What you need to have is a decent ability to coordinate your rod, line retrieve, and the timing of each with specifically hand eye coordination. Surface lure fishing starts with your eyes and ends with your wrists and hands. You must watch the lure (particularly the way it reacts) as your retrieve and fish it. Secondly, using your wrists and retrieving line hand on your reel to control line pull, tug and twitch, and thus create lure action or animation. When the lure is swimming successfully on the water’s surface it is this enticing element that the fish beneath the water is fully drawn to. Techniques for fishing in a surface manner can vary from popping the lure to walking it or twitching it in a lifelike manner across the surface.

All the above cannot be done with out proper line tension and control Without doing this, the way the lure reacts will not appear natural or act in the correct manner for which it was designed. Thus slack line in your cast and retrieve will yield sloppy and non-realistic fishing action. Keeping a ‘realistic’ fishing action as much as possible with your surface lure presentations is crucial, especially since bass react very positively to lifelike lure movement.

Next month () - retrieves for early season lure fishing.

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Forwarded to - The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Ma...