Walk with a Splash

"I want to take advantage with a bait that'll walk and splash around a little bit at the same time."

Savvy anglers know that fall often produces some of the hottest topwater action of the year. Those same anglers also know that some of the most effective fall topwater lures are walking sticks and prop baits. Each year they trick countless numbers of bass.

There's a problem, however. They only work one at a time. You can walk a stick, or churn a prop, but you can't do both at the same time. It just doesn't work. The blade(s) destroy the easy side-to-side swishing action that characterizes a well-made walking stick. Try to walk one and all you get is a big splash — most of the time just before the nose dives under the water.

That's an unacceptable situation for any serious bass angler.

"Fall is a great time to fish topwater. The fish are shallow, the water's clear and they're on the feed," says Russ Lane, Elite Series pro. "I want to take advantage of that with a bait that'll walk and splash around a little bit at the same time. Customizing a Heddon Tiny Torpedo is just the thing. It's the only lure I know that'll do both."

Lane's modification is simple and straightforward. Basically, he swaps ends on this old standby by removing the screw tie from the front and the screw, prop and hook from the back. Then, after putting a little Super Glue on the threads, he reinserts the line tie into the skinny end of the bait and the screw, prop and hook into the fat end. That's all there is to it.

The result is a walking prop bait.

"The shape of the front and the fatter, heavier rear makes the bait sit nose up in the water. It'll walk like a Zara Spook but spit a little water in the back too like a good propbait. It's easy to do — takes about 10 minutes at the kitchen table — and works great," he says.

"The best time to fish it is when the water's clear and the sun's bright. I tie it on with a loop knot and toss it during the middle of the day over sunny, shallow banks starting in September. It catches fish for me all the way into early winter."

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