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bigbill

Top water strikes

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I'm fishing off a low bridge I'm about 3 to 4' above the water. I can see about 75 yards to the opposite shoreline. It's mostly submerged weeds with Lilly pads to my right. A 20' wide open channel that's 9' deep in front of me. To my left it's more submerged weeds and scattered pads here and there with a small iland. I have a really good view as to what's going on. I'm watching a really big bass in the pads to my right. She has her dorsal fin out of the water while she's chasing bait. Now I cast my Topnocker past her and pop it near her. All of a sudden she slaps my bait on the side of her mouth. I thought she missed it. I froze and seen her do a 180 turn and inhaled it. She actually thought she stunned my bait. The fight was on but she dove in the thick weeds I lost another Topnocker. My judgement was off I made too far of a cast for a fish this big. So they will slap our bait to stun it first. Remember to freeze it where it is. She does come back. I've seen this before thinking OMG I missed it but I didn't.

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This is one reason I don't set the hook when I see the splash. When they actually come back they rarely make a big splash when taking it. It just disappears.  With buzzbaits, I immediately stop, drop the rod and cast my follow-up to the spot and let it free fall. 

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 With Treble hooks, I wait for the lure to go under, then do a sweep set and once the fish is buttoned for sure, then I give a good swing to burry the trebles. You can make long casts in heavy weeds, you just need to have the rod and line to get her your way and I use the sweep to not pull it away to quickly, but make sure I keep tension on the line. 

I find you can get away with much heavier line when fishing over weeds or in pads etc. Big Bass often stun prey and come back, it happens with Frogs all the time, but the key is watching the lure and once it goes under then you have to swing and get that head turned, then hopefully it all works out. If the fish gets buried and you can't get her out, use the old "Slack line" trick, and usually she will swim out after a minute or two since she is most likely tangled up as well. 

Regardless of how heavy your line is etc. you will lose big fish at times, but you have to fish in the nasty spots to have a chance, another trick is if the Bass does not come back around and hit the lure again which often happens, sometimes a few weak "Shakes" sells the "Wounded bait".

I use heavy braid as high as 50 or 65lb with treble hook lures over weeds, no leader, and if the water is stained and dark which it usually is in our area, it seems to work fine and if you need buoyancy, 20lb Mono or copoly works. Losing fish hurts, but at least you got to see what you missed, I never feel as bad as long as I get to see the fish, I hate losing big fish I never get to see. The strike alone is worth it imo.

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