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As you will probably have discovered, there are lots of different styles of fishing that can work, for example, on different types of fish or at different times of the year.
Making your lures walk is just one of the many ways you can catch fish but what exactly does that mean and how do you do it?
We’ve put together this quick guide to help you walk the dog with your lures on your next fishing trip and help you discover when this tactic might come in handy.
Why “Walk The Dog”?
What Is It?
Being able to walk the dog with a lure means you are effectively moving your lure in a way that makes it look like it’s a real baitfish that might be struggling at the surface.
In order to create this appearance, you have to make the lure move from side to side by moving your rod.
Lures used to walk the dog tend to be topwater lures, which can allow you to fish closer to the surface. This means that you can see the fish take the lure, which can add to the excitement of the catch.
It can also make your fishing trip more active, as it is up to you to make the lure move. This walking action can make the lure appear more appealing to your target fish, as it might look more like a struggling baitfish than if you were to not move it all.
Catch More Fish
With a walk the dog style of fishing, you could potentially catch more fish, as it can often work well when other styles of fishing might not be working.
It can be a good tactic to use if you’re fishing in open water or in shallow areas and can be ideal for targeting bass from spring through fall. When fish might be more likely to be feeding near or at the surface, such as during warmer weather, this can be a good time to walk the dog.
Early morning and late afternoon can be good times to use this technique, as well as in areas where shad spawn or where bugs are hatching.
Do I Need A Special Lure?
Topwater lures can be ideal for walking the dog techniques, with the topwater stick baits or walking baits being a good choice because of their longer and perhaps more cylindrical shape that better mimics the appearance of a minnow or other small baitfish.
These baits are designed to be fished on the surface, and should either float or be very shallow divers.
What About The Line?
Monofilament line can be a good choice when it comes to walking the dog, as it should float, just like your lure. However, braided line can also be a good choice because of its reduced stretch, which can help you set your hook more easily.
How To “Walk The Dog”
Step 1: Cast Your Line
Topwater stick baits will often cast quite far, which can help you cast the long distance that walking the dog usually requires. A long rod, around 7 feet, can also be useful.
Step 2: Wait For A Few Seconds
Once you’ve cast your line, give it a few seconds to allow the lure to settle before you start your walking technique.
Step 3: Angle Your Rod Towards The Water
Hold your rod so that it’s pointing down at a slight angle towards the water.
Video: Tips On How To “Walk The Dog”
Step 4: Jerk Your Rod
Jerk your rod but keep it slight, short and quick, using your wrists to create the action. This should move the bait on the water. Jerk your rod slightly from side to side to create a side to side darting movement on your lure.
Remember to keep your line slack, not tight, or there may not be enough line to let you move your lure from side to side and it may instead just come back towards you.
You should be able to feel your line get tighter with each small jerk of your rod, letting you know when you can twitch it back in the other direction. Small twitches of about 6 inches should be enough to get your lure to move in the desired way.
Step 5: Reel In The Slack
As you’re twitching your line, you can reel in the slack but be careful not to make your line too tight.
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Step 6: Repeat The Process
Remember it’s a rhythm you’re aiming for with your rod jerking and twitching and it will likely take a few attempts before you can feel that you’re really getting into the swing of things.
Repeat the steps and keep the lure walking and you should attract the attention of an opportunistic fish.
While it can take some getting used to, walking the dog can be a useful technique for topwater fishing. It can be an ideal technique to use when other methods might not be working for you.
Remember it may be worth using monofilament or braided line, as opposed to fluorocarbon, for walking the dog, as invisibility may not be as much of a requirement when your lure is likely to be splashing at the surface.
What’s your topwater fishing set-up like? Let us know what you’ve caught. And don’t forget to share this to let your fishing buddies see how easy it can be to walk the dog.