The sound of lunch being served comes in a variety of sounds to a variety of people, critters, and even fishes.
Lunch is served
Mom calling is one, tapping on skillet and announcing the soup of the day. A layer of grain rattling in a tin bucket is another, a simple sound that brings the most stubborn of steeds to the halter and hand. And still another is best heard just before dark when the water calms and the heat of day slips away.
Sounds say a lot
It’s the sound, or sounds, that tell a lurking largemouth bass, that lunch is being served. Line flips of the reel as a lure propels itself toward a patch a lily pads. It’s a soft sound, just a small object pulling thin line, a whisper of nothing but a whisper just the same.
The object, a lure that will come to rest within inches of the nearest green pad, does indeed break the near silence with a forceful “plop” and with the noise comes a pattern of rings that propel outward like a watery bulls eye.
If the lure has landed in a good place and it has the attention of a largemouth bass, a predator for sure, an opportunist that is suddenly hungry with the sound of the lure, a “plop” that is every bit like the thought of grain is to a pastured horse and the call to lunch is to a hungry kid.
The lure could represent a duckling, a frog, or even a large insect, a dragon fly maybe. The fish feels it more than hears it. That’s how fish are. And it moves in for the kill. The rings give direction and the bass eyes the object.
But a big old bass can be somewhat reluctant, somewhat neutral, somewhat wary. It may be full already, maybe just lazy. But it continues to study the floating prey. Then the lure comes to life.
A twitch, a splash, a wiggle and another quick splash. More noise now but not from the lure. It’s an eruption from below. The movement has triggered the bass. The lure will not get away, not this time. The bass opens wide as he gobbles the object. Its violent and a natural event.
Top water fishing
It is called top water fishing and it is prime time right now. Late summer, quiet evenings, weed filled lakes, and warm water all add into it. Largemouth bass love to lurk under and in weed beds and lily pads. The lay there quietly and patiently for the opportunity to grab a passing frog or errant mouse.
According to Dick Kotis, world- travelled fisherman and promoter of the famed Jitterbug lure Dick Kotis, the most effective technique for top water action is to cast accurately, placing the lure close to a likely looking hiding spot then delaying any thought of retrieving the lure.
In an interview several years back, Kotis said that letting the lure settle at least a good while drives the fish wild. Then the sudden movement triggers the strike. Kotis’s lesson was good as gold then and still remains excellent advice for the top water approach.
Top water fishing is exciting to say the least. Before dark, the strike is visible. After dark it’s even better. A splash, a slurp, a crunch followed by a strong tug and the fight’s on. Pure fishing fun.
The Jitterbug is a standard for top water bass fishing but there are several other good lures available. Soft plastic frogs, Pop-R’s, and many more. Smart anglers use strong line because the fight will take place in heavy weeds, around junk, and in the jungle below lily pads. Try it. It’s a blast.
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