Surface Sizzlers Seven styles of top-water lure to help you enjoy some explosive predator action.
Crawler Pictured is the Heddon Crazy Crawler, an all-time American classic, with a red head and flexible front fins that create havoc, throwing water all over the place as the lure effectively swims (or crawls) across the surface. One of the easiest lures to use and brilliant fun! Also very effective at night.
Jitterbug Another classic from across the Pond that weaves and ‘splurts’ across the surface layers on a slow retrieve, making a ‘glub, glub’ sound, and which triggers a predator’s naturally aggressive behaviour. It’s actually a type of crawler but is worth a mention in its own right and is regarded in the States as a superb night-time lure as well as being effective in daylight.
Frog These are very realistic, usually made from soft rubber and often include a weed guard to allow them to be fished through lilies and weeds. The Berkley Frenzy Power Pop (pictured) has a wooden body and unique curly legs, which kick out and retract just like those of a real frog! It comes in several patterns, including ‘leopard frog’ (also pictured). The other pictured frog is the all-rubber Rubberneck Froggie which comes with a weed guard.
Popper These wooden or plastic lures have a concave head which creates a ‘popping’ sound when you jerk the rod. They come in endless sizes and colours, and are good for fishing alongside surface weed and reed beds or above sub-surface weed. Pictured are the Rapala Firetiger Skitter Pop, which includes feathers on the rear treble, and a big-eyed silver Bullet Popper from the Double MM lure range.
Prop Bait These feature one or two propellers and create a massive disturbance when drawn across the surface layers. They can be continually retrieved or worked through the water by jerking and leaving them for a few seconds. Some have great names, too, like the Cripple Killer, Devil’s Horse, Tiny Torpedo and the Cisco Kid Topper (pictured).
Do-Nothing Lure As you would imagine, these don’t do a lot until the angler puts some action into them by jerking the rod from side to side and twitching them across the top – so they are best fished with a stiffish rod. However, they also catch fish on a steady, slow retrieve. The lure pictured is The Ghost and is a rattling, hollow, soft, plastic lure with a double hook designed for fishing around heavy vegetative mats, and is very good on overcast days.
Buzzbait A top-water category that takes a bit more work as the lure does not float. As the lure is pulled through the water the blades chop the water’s surface and create quite a commotion. Buzzbaits are similar in physical appearance to spinnerbaits. They are built with a blade that resembles a butterfly with its wings outstretched and is cupped on the tips. Two-bladed aluminium buzz blades are the most popular, with silver or chrome the most common colour.