Who doesn’t love to catch bass on top with a Spook? Here is a slew of tips to increase your success when fishing a Spook bait. Some of them you may already know, but others you may not have thought about. Enjoy!
1. Use braid… monofilament leader is optional. I tie a leader with a Uni-to-Uni knot. Don’t use fluorocarbon for your leader because it may pull the head down. Also stay away from these new “sinking’ braids. Sufix 832 is a good braid, but not for Spook fishing because it will sink. Just about any other braid will work. Lately I’ve been spooling with Sunline FX2.
2. Use the highest speed reel you own (at least 7:1). It makes walking easier (less reel handle turns between twitches) and taking up slack easier. Abu Garcia has now come out with an 8:1 gear ratio!!
3. Use a long rod when fishing open water where long casts are required. Your rod should not be too stiff. Fish will almost set themselves so it’s more about retaining the fish and loss management.
4. In general, stop the bait at least as much as you walk the bait. Example… if you walk the bait for 4 seconds, stop the bait for 4 seconds… maybe longer.
5. When a fish is hooked, try to get it in as fast as possible. If/when the fish comes to the surface, try to “ski” it in. Fighting the fish feels good, but taking the fish on a surface skimming ride is a better way to ensure you land it.
6. Never slam back a hook set. Reel up the slack until the line tightens. Lean into it and reel hard. Always wait until you feel the weight of the fish before you “set” the hook.
7. Don’t worry about owning 25 different colors. Color does matter, but you only need a few basic categories. In general, something black, something white/bone, something “ghost”, and something with chrome reflection. Another great color is the “Florida Bass” color. It has semi-transparent, greenish, has lateral lines, and has a pearl-colored belly.
8. Don’t be afraid to fish it in the middle of the day. Even when the sun is burning hot.
9. When the bite is hot, have two rods rigged up with a Spook. Often you will get tangles in the net or frays in your line. Rather than taking the time to untangle or retie, simply pick up the 2nd rod while the fish are blowing up and keep fishing!
10. Always make sure your hooks are NEEDLE sharp. Bass often slap at the bait in an attempt to kill and stun so you WILL miss them on dull hooks.
11. If a bass strikes and misses, hopefully you didn’t try to set the hook (read #6) and jerk the lure 10′ feet away! Keep the Spook there. Let the ripples die a little and resume walking. HOLD ON!! Bass don’t like to miss!!
12. Use black or white/bone colors in low light. Use ghost minnow or chrome type of colors when the sun shines.
13. Consider using a sub-surface or wake style bait when the surface gets too choppy for effective Spook presentation. When waves get too busy, it reduces the effectiveness of a Spook. When the surface is flat calm, and the bites slow on the Spook, consider using a Lucky Craft Gunfish or Jackall Mudsucker, which has a more subtle walking action.
14. Experiment with walks that have a wide swagger and slower rhythm as well as walks that are tighter and faster.
15. Try to stay off the trolling motor while you work an area thoroughly. Rely on drifting and use your PowerPoles if you have them. Sometimes the bass need to have time to “forget” that you are there before the bites come back.
16. The clearer the water, the deeper you can effectively work a Spook.
17. While the Spook is a classic must-have bait that is proven to work — especially the Super Spook — consider trying something like the Jackall Bowstick. The Bowstick has a different sound, high gloss colors, and it sits lower in the water. These also come with ultra sharp Owner hooks and a cool water channel near the head that creates bubbles and a different water-sloshing tone.
I’ve had days where the Jackall Bowstick outproduces the Spook 2:1. The Bowstick rides “at” the surface and “in” the ripples. In contrast, the Spook rides up “on” the surface a little higher and seems to work well when bass are really active. It’s subtle, but slightly different. They may look similar, but it’s worth owning both and experimenting when the topwater bite is hot!! If you think everybody else is throwing a Spook, it may be well worth a try to offer them something slightly different without being too different. That’s where the Bowstick comes into play for me.
Do you have any more tips to add?