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A Topwater fishing lure is a type of fishing lure, usually floating, that may be moved about the surface of water in order to attract and cause fish to attempt to strike the lure. Non-floating versions may be retrieved at sufficient speed to cause them to travel at the water's surface.
A fishing lure is a type of artificial fishing bait which is designed to attract a fish's attention. The lure uses movement, vibration, flash and color to bait fish. Many lures are equipped with one or more hooks that are used to catch fish when they strike the lure. Some lures are placed to attract fish so a spear can be impaled into the fish or so the fish can be captured by hand. Most lures are attached to the end of a fishing line and have various styles of hooks attached to the body and are designed to elicit a strike resulting in a hookset. Many lures are commercially made but some are hand made such as fishing flies. Hand tying fly lures to match the hatch is considered a challenge by many amateur entomologists.
Such lures are often designed to resemble smaller creatures that would normally be considered as food for the target fish species. (They are painted to look like the prey of the target species; usually smaller fish, frogs, or insects.) One of the key features of the topwater lure is the "action" that it imparts as it travels along the water's surface. The more effective lures have an action that closely resembles that of the actual living creature. The lure is typically fitted with one of more fish hooks (usually treble hooks) to hook the target fish as it strikes the lure. Variations exist that include internal rattles to generate sound that might be similar to the sounds created by the actual, live creature being emulated. some also include small light sources such as LEDs that might be battery powered. There are also jointed bodies, moving eyes, holographic finishes, etc. all of which are incorporated to encourage the target species to strike the lure. The lure is normally attached to the end of a fishing line that is attached to a fishing rod and reel and is cast into areas where the target species might be found and "worked" skillfully within that area to encourage strikes. This type of fishing is considered by many to be one of the more exciting methods used to catch fish. A frequent mistake when fishing topwater lures is to initiate the hookset immediately upon seeing the fish strike the lure. In many species, especially bass, it is important to wait a few seconds before initiating the hookset to ensure that the lure is in the best position in the fish's mouth to optimize the chances of a successful hooking. Black bass, spotted seatrout, ladyfish, redfish, bluefish, tarpon, bonefish, barracuda, & pickerel are examples of fish that might be taken by the topwater approach.
A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura. The oldest fossil "proto-frog" appeared in the early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago. Frogs are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to subarctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforests. There are approximately 4,800 recorded species, accounting for over 85% of extant amphibian species. They are also one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders. Warty frog species tend to be called toads, but the distinction between frogs and toads is informal, not from taxonomy or evolutionary history.
Insects or Insecta are hexapod invertebrates and the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Definitions and circumscriptions vary; usually, insects comprise a class within the Arthropoda. As used here, the term Insecta is synonymous with Ectognatha. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body, three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. Insects are the most diverse group of animals; they include more than a million described species and represent more than half of all known living organisms. The total number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million; potentially over 90% of the animal life forms on Earth are insects. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, which are dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans.
A fish hook or fishhook is a device for catching fish either by impaling them in the mouth or, more rarely, by snagging the body of the fish. Fish hooks have been employed for centuries by anglers to catch fresh and saltwater fish. In 2005, the fish hook was chosen by Forbes as one of the top twenty tools in the history of man. Fish hooks are normally attached to some form of line or lure which connects the caught fish to the angler. There is an enormous variety of fish hooks in the world of fishing. Sizes, designs, shapes, and materials are all variable depending on the intended purpose of the fish hook. Fish hooks are manufactured for a range of purposes from general fishing to extremely limited and specialized applications. Fish hooks are designed to hold various types of artificial, processed, dead or live baits ; to act as the foundation for artificial representations of fish prey ; or to be attached to or integrated into other devices that represent fish prey.
Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water. This may be behind a moving boat, or by slowly winding the line in when fishing from a static position, or even sweeping the line from side-to-side, e.g. when fishing from a jetty. Trolling is used to catch pelagic fish such as salmon, mackerel and kingfish.
The smallmouth bass is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of the order Perciformes. It is the type species of its genus. One of the black basses, it is a popular game fish sought by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America, and has been spread by stocking—as well as illegal introductions—to many cool-water tributaries and lakes in Canada and more so introduced in the United States. The maximum recorded size is approximately 27 inches and 12 pounds. The smallmouth bass is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay basin. Its common names include smallmouth, bronzeback, brown bass, brownie, smallie, bronze bass, and bareback bass.
Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial "fly" is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or "lure" requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting. Fly fishermen use hand tied flies that resemble natural invertebrates, baitfish, other food organisms, or "lures" to provoke the fish to strike.
Angling is a method of fishing by means of an "angle". The hook is usually attached to a fishing line and the line is often attached to a fishing rod. Modern fishing rods are usually fitted with a fishing reel that functions as a mechanism for storing, retrieving and paying out the line. Tenkara fishing and cane pole fishing are two techniques that do not use a reel. The hook itself can be dressed with bait, but sometimes a lure, with hooks attached to it, is used in place of a hook and bait. A bite indicator such as a float, and a weight or sinker are sometimes used.
Handline fishing, or handlining, is a fishing technique where a single fishing line is held in the hands. It is not to be confused with handfishing. One or more fishing lures or baited hooks are attached to the line. A hook, fishing lure, or a fishing jig and many times a weight and/or a fishing float can be attached to the line. Handlining is among the oldest forms of fishing and is commonly practiced throughout the world today.
Rock fishing is fishing from rocky outcrops into the sea. It is a popular pastime in Australia and New Zealand. It can be a dangerous pastime and claims many lives each year, although this may improve as more fishermen are beginning to wear life jackets.
A spinnerbait is any of a family of fishing lures that get their name from one or more metal blades shaped so as to spin like a propeller when the lure is in motion, creating varying degrees of flash and vibration that mimic small fish or other prey. The two most popular types of spinnerbaits are the "in-line spinner" and "safety pin" spinnerbaits, though others such as the "tail-spinner" also exist. Spinnerbaits are used principally for catching predatory fish such as perch, pike and bass.
Fishing tackle is the equipment used by anglers when fishing. Almost any equipment or gear used for fishing can be called fishing tackle. Some examples are hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland coarse fishing refers to angling for freshwater fish which are traditionally considered undesirable as a food or game fish. Freshwater game fish are all salmonids—most particularly salmon, trout and char—so generally coarse fish, also known as rough fish, are freshwater fish that are not salmonids. There is disagreement over whether grayling should be classified as a game fish or a coarse fish.
In recreational fishing terminology, the hookset is a motion made with a fishing rod in order to "set" a fish hook into the mouth of a fish once it has bitten a fishing lure or bait. That is, in order to secure the fish on the hook, a sharp motion is performed to push the barb of the hook into the fish's mouth, preferably in the corner. If this motion were not performed, while it is possible for a fish to set itself, the likelihood of successfully landing the fish is minimal since, without the barb of the hook secured, the fish could shake the hook out of its mouth. The motion is usually a sharp, sweeping motion of the rod, either upwards or to the side, depending on the orientation of the rod at the moment the fish bites. Some fishermen will perform several hooksets in quick succession to ensure that the fish is securely hooked, especially on fish with tough mouths such as some saltwater species. In contrast, anglers using circle hooks needn't set the hook, since the hook's design allows it to set itself when the angler reels in.
A bass worm is an artificial fishing lure which comes in a variety of different colors and body types and is usually scented with a salty, garlic residue. Bass worms are more effective than other rubber worms primarily because bass are attracted to a particular worm depending on the environment in which they are being used.
Plugs are a popular type of hard-bodied fishing lure. They are widely known by a number of other names depending on the country and region. Such names include crankbait, wobbler, minnow, shallow-diver and deep-diver. The term minnow is usually used for long, slender, lures that imitate baitfish, while the term plug is usually used for shorter, deeper-bodied lures which imitate deeper-bodied fish, frogs and other prey. Shallow-diver and deep-diver refer to the diving capabilities of the lure, which depends on the size and angle of the lip, and lure buoyancy.
A surface lure is a fishing lure designed to waddle, pop, lock, drop, pulse, twitch or fizz across the surface of the water as it is retrieved, and in doing so imitate surface prey for fish such as mice, lizards, frogs, cicadas, moths and small injured fish. A typical surface lure has a solid body made out of wood or plastic, carries one or two treble hooks, and has an eyelet at the front of the lure body to attach the fishing line. Waddlers get their action from a scooped metal dish attached to the front of the lure body. Poppers get their action from a cupped face carved or molded into the front of the lure body. Fizzers get their action both from the fisherman manipulating the lure with the fishing rod and from one or more blades attached to the lure body, that spin when the lure is pulled and create a fizzing noise said to imitate the buzzing wings of a drowning insect.
Zara Spook 9260 (1939–present) is a topwater type fishing lure. The lure is cast out and retrieved in a "walk the dog" fashion. It is supposed to mimic an injured fish and comes in many different fashions but the most prominent is the minnow type. Any fish that takes its prey from the water's surface would be considered a targeted species with this lure.
Fishing techniques are methods for catching fish. The term may also be applied to methods for catching other aquatic animals such as molluscs and edible marine invertebrates.
The popper is an effective and proven lure designed to move water using a concave or hollowed nose. Poppers aim to simulate any sort of distressed creature that might be moving or struggling on the surface of the water. Originally this timeless lure was crafted from wood and painted or shaped to match the pattern of baitfish. This quickly evolved into more intricate patterns that mimicked a broader scope of the common prey of predatory fish. Along with different imitations, different materials and technologies have been integrated with this classic platform like rattles, soft bodies, and other synthetic body materials. This iconic pattern has been used to create topwater commotion for many decades, but has been most notable for its presence in bass fishing throughout America. Though this pattern is used for many other species of fish the bass is often tightly connected with topwater poppers. Another species often targeted with poppers is the GT. Catching GT on poppers is becoming more and more popular due to the GT's aggressive surface take. Used by fly and conventional anglers alike this pattern has not failed fishermen since its creation around a century ago.
Drop shotting is a high finesse technique for fishing plastic baits, and consist of a small thin-wire hook with a weight attached to the tag end of the line. This is in contrast to the more traditional Texas Rig, where the weight slides inline, resting on the nose of the bait, or the Carolina Rig, where the weight is fixed above the bait. The drop shot rig provides the ability to keep a lure off the bottom, with weightless action. Usually the bait is fished by letting the weight hit the bottom and then shaking the lure by twitching the rod. But can also be flipped, dragged, hopped, or jigged along the bottom. This simple, but versatile technique has endless combinations with the different hooks, soft plastics and weights that can be used. The aim is to present a free floating, slow twitching lure to induce a strike from non-aggressive fish.This rigs known use is in bass fishing commonly used for catching Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Spotted Bass. But can also be used for a variety of other fish species.
Fishing bait is any substance used to attract and catch fish, e.g. on the end of a fishing hook, or inside a fish trap. Traditionally, nightcrawlers, insects, and smaller bait fish have been used for this purpose. Fishermen have also begun using plastic bait and more recently, electronic lures, to attract fish.
This is a glossary of terms used in fisheries, fisheries management and fisheries science.