BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 37


with Rick Clunn


Rico Suave is a walk- i n g bait, and this is a traditional type of topwater lure that most people are aware of, says leg- endary bass pro, Rick Clunn. The difference between these lures versus other topwaters is that the walking baits like the Suave traditionally have always been worked with a side to side action that the angler imparts using a "walk the dog" type technique. You have to basically impart an action that's kind of like an abbreviated jerk of the rod, but the instant you jerk the bait and it starts to move forward, then you have to feed line back to it. So you jerk and kind of push your pole back to the bait so the bait glides off to the side, and then you jerk again and feed your pole back toward the bait again. In other words, you sweep the rod forward which gives the bait forward momentum - but if you don't then feed it slack, it would never be able to curve off to the side to do the "walk the dog" movement from side to side. You'll have more side to side with the more slack you feed back to it. In a nutshell, that's how to create the traditional walk the dog retrieve where the bait actually is walking from side to side coming back to the bank or boat. It's something that is not dif cult to do once you try it. It's always easier to learn to walk the dog by shing with someone who has done it before, and then you'll be able to catch on quicker than trying to imagine if what you're doing is right or wrong. But either way, it's just something that you have to get out there and practice. Even with experience, it's always a visual thing. You have to visualize rst what you are trying to create, what you intend for the bait to do, and then there is a lot of hand to eye coordination to get the bait to perform how you visualize it in your mind's eye. Most of the time, you'll be walking the Suave steadily, and if a sh hits the bait and misses it, you just keep the bait walking, you usually wouldn't stop it then. The only thing that I will recommend then is to experiment with actually speeding it up the walking a little bit. If something really did strike at a shad on top, if that shad has got any life left, the ght or ight instinct is going to kick in, and ight is what kicks in since it's the prey, it is going to try to move away a little faster than it would swim normally. Now, walking side to side with the Suave, this is not a normal, healthy bait sh that you are trying to simulate; you're trying to simulate something that is incapacitated. Still once something swipes at it, it's still going to muster the energy to try to speed up a little bit to get away. That to me is the best overall sequence of techniques if I only wanted one technique that seems to be the one. It is to keep a pretty slow, steady side to side action with it, until I see sh ei- ther waking on it or coming up behind it, or swirls on it, then I will speed it up a little bit and all the while, not stop it. BW


Walking on water


#519 Absolute Absolutely the best color for 20 years.

January/February 2011