Wake em Up

By Joe Sheaffer

The excitement of a crushing top water bite from one of the many inshore predators can really be the highlight of a fishing day. This time of year, the fish are shallow and eager to bite an artificial presentation. Many anglers prefer a top water plug because of the excitement factor and it can be very productive. As the sun comes up or the wind picks up that bite can slow down. Usually we still have plenty of time left in our day and coming up with a complementary lure or presentation can make a good day into a great day. Waking lures and techniques can be very effective and, in many cases, provide similar excitement as a top water plug. Many lure companies have created waking plugs that are very easy to cast and use in shallow water. The shallow water presentation that cruises just under the surface pushing water can entice violent strikes from Snook, Reds and other shallow predators. The one drawback with plugs like top water lures and wake baits would be the grass factor. Floating grass can definitely negatively affect the action and can be frustrating. When the grass is a problem, a productive substitute is a jig and paddle tail. Waking this bait works very well and definitely is a great change up. After making your cast simply hold your rod tip high, reeling the lure fast enough to cause the waking action. The advantage of this presentation, the lure isn’t fouled up by the floating grass like the plugs. Adjusting the weight of the jig, the size of paddle on the paddle tail and the speed of the retrieve, may be needed to get the wake just right. One other advantage with a jig, the fish will definitely have a tougher time throwing the hook during the fight. When the top water bite slows down, casting a wake bait in the shallows can be an exciting way to keep the day going. Enjoy your days on the water and keep casting!