I was fishing a small lake in central California back in 1980, I think it was that year. I had been fishing for a couple of hours and doing ok, catching some 1-2 pound fish and in a far distance I could see this man walking up with a bright red jacket. The closer he got, the more I noticed his jacket and all the patches on it, one said 1978 World Top Water Bass Fishing Champion, along with about 20 other patches.
We began to talk, of course, I wanted to know all about him and he began to tell me about how he became champion. Now, I do want to say one thing here, I forget what he told me and I don't even know for sure if there is such a tournament for the World Top Water Championship but I watched this guy fish.
He was probably in his 50's or early 60's at the time and fished this lure different than I have seen before so I paid special attention. Finally, after seeing him catch a half dozen fish while I caught two I asked him what he was doing and what bait he was using that he was doing so well. He said he only used one kind of bait and opened up his tackle box. Can you imagine my surprise when the only lure he had in there was Rapalas. I mean bunches of Rapalas, every color and size you could imagine. I said where's the rest of your lures, he smiled and said this is all I use. By the way, at the time I was fishing with a Rapala, that was ironic to me. I said "that is what I'm using now".
He said "yeah, I see that but you're not fishing it right". Well, I had fished for bass for about 25 or so years then and wondered what in the world he was talking about, me not fishing it right. I had fished Rapalas for as long as I can remember. So, I said "what are you talking about not fishing it right?". He said "well, all you're doing is throwing the lure in and reeling it back. I said "yeah". He said" have you ever noticed a minnow or shad or whatever, he said they never go very far, they usually move a few inches at a time and they dart." He said "that lure of yours is supposed to imitate the baitfish the bass is after so make it act like one." Then he showed me and guess what? He was right!
His acted just like a baitfish and even looked like one swimming the way he did it. As he stood there twitching the end of his rod and letting it sit every two or three twitches then twitch it two or three times more and let it sit, I saw his point. I also saw him catch another bass, which made me a believer. Now I don't know if this man was the top water champion or not but I do know one thing………his technique works.
I have used it on most of my retrieves anytime I fish top water and it works. Cast the lure, let it sit, twitch the end of your rod two or three times and let it sit again. The only thing I have done is add one additional move. I throw the lure out and let it sit, twitch the rod two or three times and let it sit and then I move the lure so slow it barely cause a ripple and that is when I get most of my hits.
Try this technique the next time you fish your favorite top water lure and see the results.
Charles E. White has fished for almost 50 years for bass. It is estimated that he has caught over 6,000 bass in his lifetime. His biggest bass is a 12 pound 14 ounce bass that hangs on his office wall. He has also fished with the pros in Florida.
Charles E. White
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