First Classic champ talks topwater

The Zara Spook has played a big role in Bobby Murray's fishing career. Here's why

David A. Brown
Bobby Murray has a special place in his heart ... and his tacklebox ... for the Zara Spook.

Throughout a career spanning more than four decades, Bobby Murray has experienced a lot of spooky situations. But not to worry, the inaugural Bassmaster Classic champion hasn't been plagued by the paranormal. Rather, the spooks that have kept him company all these years are the ones in his tacklebox.

Indeed, the Arkansas pro has enjoyed much of his success thanks to the smooth-talkin', surface-walkin' creations by Heddon. In fact, Murray thanks an original Zara Spook for earning him the distinction of being the first angler to win a Bassmaster pro event on his home lake — referring to his 1972 win on Lake Ouachita.

"If you're a bass fisherman and you don't have a Zara Spook in your box, you don't know what you're missing," Murray said. "With just about every type of game fish — largemouth bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, musky — you will never get as vicious a strike as you will on a Zara Spook."

Versatility, Murray said, forms the foundation for his longstanding Spook appreciation. With models ranging from 3 to 7 inches, this topwater clan covers a broad range of presentations. Throw in the different sound options and there's no question: Spooks got game.

Summarizing the bait's range, Murray said. "There are times in the spring when you can catch fish on a Spook in 4-5 feet of water. But there are also times that I can be sitting in 90 feet of water, throwing over a 30-foot hump or some submerged trees and call fish from 30 feet all the way to the surface."

Spook specs

Murray said he's found a use for every model of spook, but for seasonal progression, he follows this general plan:

Spring: Murray looks for fish moving in the shallows, but doesn't expect a very active bite. He'll go with a 3 1/2-inch Super Spook Jr. because he doesn't want a big silhouette while baitfish are still small.

Summer: The original 4 1/2-inch Zara Spook is Murray's choice during the warmer months. For deeper fish, he finds the One-Knocker's low-pitch sound can pull bass up from a good distance by providing an audible trail that helps the fish acquire a target lock. Conversely, when he spots schooling fish, the more intense sound of multiple rattles mimics the frantic commotion of a bait pod under attack.