Topwater lures: Walk-the-dog

Topwater lures fall into a variety of categories, all of them designed to mimic baitfish. Probably the most common type of topwater lures are walk-the-dog type baits. These are torpedo-shaped lures with two or three treble hooks and swim in a zig-zag pattern, when retrieved with a consistent twitch of the rodtip. 


These lures swim with their nose slightly up and tail down, so that a striking fish will grab the rear hooks. The baits come in assorted sizes, and at times it’s important to match the size of the lure to the baitfish in your area. If you’re seeing mullet six or seven inches long, then you might want a lure of similar size. Going to a bait that’s slightly smaller-say four or five inches-will draw strikes as well, but the larger baits will usually catch the biggest fish.

One of the best applications for walking the dog is fishing around shoreline structure like mangroves, seawalls, docks or bridges. Cast parallel to the structure and swim the lure down it with a side to side swagger; many game fish can’t refuse this. You can also cast to the structure at a right angle, in which case you want the lure to land as close to the structure as possible. In many cases, the predators will be tight against the structure and not willing to move very far away from it. A cast that lands five feet from the mangrove branches might not ever get tangled in the trees, but it won’t get hooked up with a snook, either.