The topwater retrieval technique known as “walking the dog” is a critical skill to possess in order to consistently catch prized redfish, trout, snook, and other gamefish throughout the Space Coast. It’s a relatively simple maneuver, but it can be difficult to master. Watch this video as Capt. Alex masterfully and simply explains the proper way to retrieve the lure, and you will not only “walk the dog” like a pro, but you might also starting slaying Brevard’s speckled trout and redfish like a pro.
A Walk-the-type lure is cigar shaped with no cupface and no propellers, thus allowing it to work in a zig-zagging motion. Any time your lure is not making the “clack, clack, clack” sound, or does not have an internal rattler, and is not making that side-to-side motion, it is not working correctly and is not catching fish as effectively as it could be.
Certain conditions will dictate what size, type and color lure you will use. Red and white is always a good choice. For sea trout fishing, a sea trout color is by far the best choice. Topwater lures are usually most effective in shallow waters in the rivers and estuaries, particularly in low light conditions (evening and morning).
Gear used to Walk the Dog
You should use a 6ft – 7ft Light Action Rod with a Soft Tip. Captain Alex prefers using Mono Line with a 3 ft section of 25lb test tied with a line-to-line knot. Do not use a swivel. A swivel will impede the action of the lure. Always use a loop knot when tying a lure. Alex always uses a uni-knot.
The Retrieval Technique
When working the lures, start with a nice long cast and begin your retrieve by picking up the slack in the line. With a steady reel retrieval, bounce the rod off the weight of the line. Make sure the line is taunt, but not tight. Use short snaps of the wrist. Lock your upper body, and just use your wrist to bounce the rod off the weight of the lure as you continue your steady retrieval.
Be careful not to use your entire body in your retrieval motion. You just want to use your wrist as a pivot point. Also be sure not to work the lure too fast and/or too erratically.
Landing the Fish
When you feel the strike of the fish, do not jerk the rod. Lots of fish are lost this way. The hook will not be set, and the fish will lose the lure and not be able to continue pursuit. So when you feel the fish strike, just continue your steady retrieval. Do not try and set the hook until you actually feel the weight of the fish on the line.