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Finesse Topwater Bass Tactics for BIG Bass Results

Learn when topwater bass fishing calls for a finesse approach and how to downsize effectively to catch more fish.

I’ve fished the Zara Puppy for many years. It stands as one of my favorite topwater bass fishing lures for catching smallmouths and spots from creeks and small rivers. I’ve rarely tied one on to target bass in large rivers or lakes, though, because the Pup lacks the weight to cast efficiently on the tackle I favor for those settings and because the hooks and hardware are a bit small for bigger bass.

I typically choose a Super Spook Jr when I want to walk the dog for bass with a finesse topwater lure in bigger water, and often the Junior size provides the perfect answer. At times, though, I’ve wished I’d had even more of a finesse topwater lure that still could be cast efficiently and that was made as tough as the Super Spook Jr.

Seemingly, I was not alone. The folks at Heddon Lures heard about the need for such a topwater bass fishing lure enough times over the years to put engineers to work designing a new Spook. The result was the creation of the Super Spook Boyo, which is only 3 inches long but is built tough like the other Super Spooks.

The 3-inch length matches that of a Zara Puppy, but the Boyo has a Super Spook profile and weighs 50 percent more than the Puppy, making it suitable to cast on typical topwater bass baitcasting gear. The Boyo’s single-ball rattle also serves as a weight transfer system, further enhancing castability, and it and it flies astoundingly far for its small size. The Super Spook Boyo is equipped with strong No. 4 trebles, which are a good match for bass and even for larger predator species, such as stripers.

Conditions for Downsizing

Various situations dictate a finesse topwater bass fishing approach, and having a walking bait that is legitimately small provides a significant advantage for those situations.

Arguably the most important application is that of matching diminutive forage. When bass are breaking on the surface and won’t take traditional topwater lures, very often it is because shad and herring are plentiful and small. When all the natural forage is the same size and there is plenty of food available, bass instinctively become much more size selective.

Having an extra-small topwater bass fishing lure also provides major value anytime the fish are feeding on the surface but are extra finicky. Possible causes include high pressure systems, heavy fishing pressure (especially if most bass anglers are throwing topwater), extra clear water and slick conditions.

Sometimes the reason isn’t obvious. You simply notice that bass aren’t acting right. Anytime the bass push up swells but won’t quite commit to hitting or they repeatedly strike short of the lure, that suggests that they kind of want your bait, but not quite. In such cases, tying on something smaller, such as a Super Spook Boyo, can make all the differences.

Mop-Up Duty

Super Spook Boyo BassSuper Spook Boyo Bass

A true finesse topwater lure like a Super Spook Boyo also works wonderfully as a clean-up or follow-up lure, allowing you to catch more bass.

A clean-up lure is one you throw after you finish working an area with what you considered your primary lure. If the Super Spook bite in a location tapers off, before you move, try fishing the same area with a Boyo.

A follow-up lure is one you throw after a fish blows up but misses. Often anglers use soft-plastic lures for this application. However, a Super Spook Boyo, which looks like such an easy meal to a bass, provides an excellent follow-up option when fish are orienting heavily to the surface.

Keeping a larger size of Spook or some other topwater lure AND a Super Spook Boyo tied on and using both strategically can help you catch more fish than you would have by fishing either bait exclusively.

Super Spook Boyo Presentations

Like other members of the Heddon Spook family of topwater lures, the Super Spook Boyo was designed for “walking the dog,” and it slides from side to side with ease. Rhythmic snaps of the rod tip, with the line semi slack, make the Boyo walk, engaging its rattles and pushing out a wake.

While quick steady snaps create the basic walking motion, learning some variances and paying attention to what triggers the strikes can help you catch substantially more fish.

Easy variables are to experiment with are the length and sharpness of each rod movement. Short, sharp snaps cause the bait to turn hard but not move very far and allow you work specific spots more thoroughly to coax fish into attacking. Longer, softer sweeps make cause the Boyo to glide farther with each movement, allowing you to cover more water to find fish.

Overall waking speed is another important variable. Mix up presentation speeds and note what prompts attacks. Beyond varying presentations speeds from cast to cast, be certain to speed up the walk partway through a retrieve on occasion to trigger strikes from fish that might be following.

Other important variances that can help you trigger strikes include pausing the walk briefly from time to time and mixing sharpness to make the presentation intentionally erratic.

5 Fish Catching Tips

finesse topwater lure bassfinesse topwater lure bass
  • Keep the line slightly slack for the best walking action.
  • Keep a Boyo tied on ALL DAY. It is NOT only an early-morning or late-afternoon lure!
  • When you catch a bass, repeat the exact catch. Often one or more other bass will be set up the same way.
  • Set the hook only when you feel the bass to avoid yanking it away from a fish that misses.
  • Be intentional about variances. Change your prestation to prompt strikes as your lure reaches high-percentage areas.

Boyo Basics

Heddon Super Spook BoyoHeddon Super Spook Boyo
  • 3 inches long
  • Weighs 3/16 ounce
  • Stout, sharp No. 4 trebles
  • Single-ball rattle
  • Available in 13 colors