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NJ Topwater Bite - Too Early?

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Hey, anyone in NJ do any well with topwaters yet, or do you think its still a little early?

I gave a black buzzbait a try, but it was after a cold front, so who's to say.. What about you guys?

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havent tried topwater yet but i would think its still a little too early...water is still pretty cold up in morris county but after this weekend is should be warming up a lot. ive been using wacky rigged senkos around rocks and getting a bunch of hits

whats working for you so far?

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I got a nice one last Saturday night on a Heddon Torpedo, although to be honest with you I think I must have smacked her on the head with it because she immediately nailed it after about half a turn on the reel.

This weekend with the hot weather coming in should improve the topwater game big time.

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I got a nice one last Saturday night on a Heddon Torpedo, although to be honest with you I think I must have smacked her on the head with it because she immediately nailed it after about half a turn on the reel.

This weekend with the hot weather coming in should improve the topwater game big time.

Yeah it was like summer out there. I gave the topwater another shot today. Landed 1 fish about 1lb on a luckycraft wakebait, and had many fish miss and short strike it. Even the 1lber I landed was skin hooked by 1 of the hooks on the treble...just barely hooked. For what ever reason they just weren't hitting it good. I must have missed like 5-6 fish. Including a nice fish that followed it up 2 times, boy you should of seen the wake, and when she turned... wow.. lets just say it was a big fish, broke my heart she wouldn't eat it..   :'(.

Once dusk hit I switched over to a 3/8oz black Jitterbug. Had another small fish miss the bait, and then a good fish (I'm guessing 3lbs - 3 1/2lbs) engulfed the jitterbug as I was working it through some pads. Gave a nice hookset, and had the fish on for about 3 secs before she came unbuttoned... :-/ d**n jitterbugs and their crappy hooks! All in all a bad day, really made me mad to miss so many nice fish. I gave the jitterbug's hooks a run through the hook hone once I got home, to sharpen em up a bit. So all in all their hitting the topwaters (atleast for now), but their mostly short striking em.

By the way, what do you do when you have fish short striking your topwater, and missing alot? Do you switch to another bait? Or whats your take on this?

Thanks!

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I would change bait color if I wanted to stick to catching them on top. More than not tho. I would use the same bait to locate the fish and toss a sinko to the short strike area.

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By the way, what do you do when you have fish short striking your topwater, and missing alot? Do you switch to another bait? Or whats your take on this?

You're right on when you mentioned the crappy hooks. Going up one or two hook sizes helps, as does going with better quality hooks. They recently had a discussion on the tackle thread about this. Someone was griping about top $ baits with crappy hooks out of the box. So it's just not the cheaper baits.

Here's something I started doing last year with a lot of success: On this type hook -

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20166-cat20291&id=0030842113363a&navCount=4&podId=0030842&parentId=cat20291&masterpathid=&navAction=push&catalogCode=IK&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20291&hasJS=true

I crimp a split shot behind the hook eye. Then feed the eye end up through a tube and poke the eye through the top center of the tube from the inside. The splitshot is only to keep the tube from sliding down the hook. I use very small shot, a 1/0 hook on a 3" finesse tube. I should mention I use the thin wire hooks to a) keep the weight down and :) they are brutally sharp. When the topwater bite is on, this rig can be worked close to the surface and they will kill it. I'm not telling you I have 100% hookups, but darn close. The fine wire hooks practically set themselves.

I can't tell you why this works so good for me, maybe it's because they're not used to seeing a tube worked on / near the surface. They usually inhale it. Also easier to remove than multiple treble hooks.

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I was out at Spruce Run and they were hitting the top like crazy.  I wouldn't get a strike at all though.  I tried the tiny torpedo and a small jitter bug but nothing.  I never thought of using a wake bait this early either.  Next time I will.

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