Surface baits offer some of the most exciting strikes a bass angler will ever witness. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are genetically predisposed to feed up, and as such they simply can’t resist the commotion of a topwater splashing along over their heads.
Walk the dog topwater stick baits like the Rapala Skitter Walk or River2Sea Rover are probably the most versatile, and stay deadly from the spawn all the way into the fall. Their back and forth sashaying action produces a ton of commotion, and perfectly imitates a dying baitfish.
Unfortunately though, walk-the-dog style baits require a little bit more work by the angler than just chucking and winding – a factor that prevents many anglers from becoming experts.
We thought it’d be a good idea to give some instructions on how to make them ‘walk’ – here’s how to do it:
• Make a long cast:
Pretty self-explanatory. Give it a ride!
• Make a short 4-6 inch twitch of your rod tip:
This light twitching motion will cause the bait to shoot to one side. Don’t over-do the jerk, just give it a short twitch.
• Reel the slack:
You only want reel in the slack. If you’re picking up tight line, you’ll just pull the bait straight toward you. The twitch of the rod is what moves the bait; the reeling just pulls in the slack.
Once you’ve reeled the slack, give it another short twitch on slack line. This will send the bait back the way it came.
• Get the rhythm:
Practice a cadence, and steadily twitch while reeling the slack. Each bait will have a specific twitch length that will make it walk best, and once you get good you’ll be able to walk a bait through the tightest quarters.
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