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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My top water has been off for the last several trips. The wind has been tough and there is always a chop. At what point does a chop make top water hard baits ineffective? Last PM I saw drum chasing shrimp against reeds and grass. The water was calm by these spots but not a sniff. I also threw on some choppy water and I can see the plugs just don't swim properly. I finally gave in to the wind and sat on the edge of a large grass Island after seeing shrimp jumping. It was flat calm next to the grass but I had to cast over it and let the wind blow the plug back. This was OK but the wind also blew the line in a huge arc. You get the idea. At dusk the wind laid down and I got a hook up with a real strong fish which I had on for about 15-20 seconds but then lost it. Barbless treble hook syndrome.
I guess I'm trying to determine if sometimes the wind should make me either stay home or leave the top water alone?
Next question is about opening the bail on a spinning reel. I often open the bail when it is out of position because I like to throw with a certain amount of line hanging. Is it possible that this can cause a snag on the spool? I just got a new stradic and the line snapped the leader/braid knot five times? I got I am yesterday and the first cast "Crack!". This happened four more times. I honestly don't recall if I had the bail out of position of each time. There are other variables of course but it isn't the rod because I've had my battle on this rod for a year and never had this issue??
Thanks

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Not sure about the line breaking issues. I do know that we all can get a little lazy with our knots from time to time, but I am definitely not saying for certain that is your issue.

I honestly don't pay attention to where my bail is positioned on most casts, but I feel like it is in the correct position most of the time. I make a habit after each retrieve to pull what I need for the next cast out against the drag.

As far as the wind. If you and your boat can take it, go fishing. I very very rarely turn down a day fishing unless it is dangerous conditions.

A couple recent trips with papadave were rough water adventures and there were more than a few flounder put in the boat.

Admittedly, I love topwater but certain conditions may not be conducive to topwater success. IMHO, windy conditions call for louder baits and maybe even larger baits.

I like to remember reds are not by nature perfectly equipped topwater feeders. So any disadvantage for you fishing on top will likely affect them feeding up top.
 

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Bail position should have no effect on casting, only retrieving.

Major disclaimer - mostly freshwater experience forming this opinion - I think topwaters are mostly visual. The sound may help, but I think it is mostly the silhouette and the way it moves that triggers strikes. The frogs that are almost silent work for bass even on moonless nights; there is still enough ambient light for them to see that something is moving across the top of the water. In the shallow weeds sound may have more importance but I think visibility is still #1. So I would be less worried about whether they can hear the pop than whether they can easily see it.
 

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Maybe you are right, but when fishing a frog do you try to keep it silent in the water? What about the lateral line? Not an expert but I think it is used to detect vibrations(sounds)

Although I do believe that there are species that are primarily sight feeders.

Again IMHO I think in adverse conditions you need to exploit every sense the fish could possibly use to find you lure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The knot isn't the problem I am sure. I wouldn't cancel a trip into the creek with my kayak due to wind but I may consider not using top water hard baits in choppy conditions. I have had almost zero looks from drum on top when it's choppy so maybe that's should tell me but I'd like to hear more here as well.
As for the reel issue I need to find out the deal for sure. The spool was filled where I bought the reel (a sponsor here BTW and they did a great job). I spool was under filled but I can understand that because an over filled spool is just looking for trouble. I'll get to the bottom of it and report back.
Thanks

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Brenardo,
I think both sight and sound matter, but I think sight matters more and it is an opinion base on experience that might not translate (but I think it likely does for the most part). I am just saying I would still try it even if there was some chop. Are you saying you would not try topwater if there is some chop? You have more experience with the specific species and circumstance.
 

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louder larger profile bait in choppy conditions, smear it with procure . Anything else you could possibly do to help the fish find it.
 

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I've had some very good topwater bites on days with a lot of chop and wind (chop of 4-8 inches and frothy). On those days I fish a larger lure with rattles. You'll have to experiment with different lures to find one that will have decent action in it, but just because the lure isn't doing that perfect walk the dog action doesn't mean the fish won't wack it either. Cordell pencil poppers are my go to topwater lure when surface conditions are choppy.
 

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Red X Angler
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I think sound and scent is more and more important as water clarity deteriorates. You are seldom tossing a bait right at a fish, they have to locate it (sound, scent), then be attracted to it (scent, color, presentation), then hold it once they strike (scent, texture, "flavor?") long enough for hookset.
Topwater provides an excellent visual target as it is a dark spot against a light background, a popping or chattering bait makes a lot of noise helping get there attention to locate the bait. Winds cause ripples and that hurts vision, those ripples make noise, which distracts from the baits sound, ripples and whitecaps stir sediment in the water and that effects visual and disperses scent quicker thus also effecting locating the bait. I think there is a point where all of this distraction makes topwater the wrong bait for a given set of conditions. You also have to consider whether the winds have caused enough disturbance to force fish deeper making topwater a poor choice as well.
 
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Not to move off the issues Challenger raised but only a couple of years ago it seems topwater for Reds was a seldom used tactic and it was quite a challenge catching them on these. Now it seems that during the summer months it's the go-to method. Any ideas why that might be?
 

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I'm not sure. I caught my first Topwater red in November of 2002. I was in Pensacola FL going to school. It was one of the first reds I had ever caught and when asking around for tactics on how to catch them it was recommended to me. Having grown my roots bass fishing, I welcomed it with open arms. I think Brenardo is onto the most likely answer.
 

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People have been using topwaters for reds for years, especially in the gulf states. Seems to have gotten more popular with the advent of all the redfish tournaments & fishing shows promoting redfishing that came along a while back and the push by tackle shops and manufacturers to sell more baits.
 

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Next question is about opening the bail on a spinning reel. I often open the bail when it is out of position because I like to throw with a certain amount of line hanging. Is it possible that this can cause a snag on the spool? I just got a new stradic and the line snapped the leader/braid knot five times? I got I am yesterday and the first cast "Crack!". This happened four more times. I honestly don't recall if I had the bail out of position of each time. There are other variables of course but it isn't the rod because I've had my battle on this rod for a year and never had this issue??
Thanks

You are right to open your bail to let line out. Pulling against the drag will cause twist/windknots in braid. When you close the bail pull on the line, make sure the line is not laying on top of the reel and it is in the line roller. The clicker when you open the bail on a stradic is not very loud IMHO and probably can't be heard if fishing the surf. I assume your chief complaint is the bail is closing on you so I would make sure you are listening for the 'click' as I feel the bail goes back a little more than I am used to. I cut my teeth on the Penn Z series reels and with them the bail position is critical if you do not go bailess. To this day I still always make sure the bail arm at the 12:00 or no more that the 3:00 position looking down at the reel.
 

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You are right to open your bail to let line out. Pulling against the drag will cause twist/windknots in braid. When you close the bail pull on the line, make sure the line is not laying on top of the reel and it is in the line roller. The clicker when you open the bail on a stradic is not very loud IMHO and probably can't be heard if fishing the surf. I assume your chief complaint is the bail is closing on you so I would make sure you are listening for the 'click' as I feel the bail goes back a little more than I am used to. I cut my teeth on the Penn Z series reels and with them the bail position is critical if you do not go bailess. To this day I still always make sure the bail arm at the 12:00 or no more that the 3:00 position looking down at the reel.
He said it seemed like it was snagging on the spool and wondered if it mattered where the bail arm is while it is open. I don't think it matters. It might matter when it flips (or is flipped; another discussion) closed on the retrieve, but I read his query to mean the bail is open and line is coming straight off the spool not touching the bail, which is why I don't think it matters where it is in the rotation.
 

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If I want a different amount of line to hang than I am getting for a cast, I usually twist the spool instead of pulling the line. Not because I am smart but because I cut myself a couple of times yanking on the high tech lines. :eek: :D
 

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Imply away, I am only human. It is also common practice to wear clean underware for the nurses in case you are hit by a car. But I used to be a paramedic in the mean streets of NY and let me assure you before being hit by a car... First they say it. Second they do it. :eek:
 

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Red X Angler
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I think an old cedar plug was one of the first saltwater baits. Wood floats = topwater..
 
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