Witnessing the blowup of a big sow speck can be the most impressive or underwhelming thing an angler can witness.
Sometimes they strike with such vigor they force the lure into the air causing the heart to skip a few beats. Many times, the signature of a super-sized sow will be a simple “slurp” and the disappearance of the plug. The challenge in both scenarios is in the hands of the angler.
Do not let a blowup fool you. Specks, even huge ones, can miss a plug and anglers probably miss most of them by attempting to set the hook before the fish has its mouth on it. Big predators push up a lot of water when they are hitting at something on the surface. It is best to get hit, count to two and then set the hook.
And if you miss the fish, it can pay to let the plug sit there and then gently twitch it.
Capt. Jim Onderdonk a Baffin Bay guide said he often rigs up clients inexperienced with topwaters with a topwater/Bass Assassin combo. He rigs the Assassin as a trailer for the surface lure and most of the time when the trout comes up toward the surface it takes the Assassin first.
“It works really well, especially for people who just don’t have a lot of experience fishing topwaters. It’s exciting for people to get a blowup but heartbreaking for them to miss one of these fish because down here it really could be the trout of a lifetime.”
(Photo by Chester Moore, Jr.)
Adjusting topwater tactics to include a plastic can pay big dividends.