Topwater fishing is probably one of the most exciting ways to fish if you are targeting Garrick (Leervis), Grunter, Kob or any other species you can find at your nearest estuary. Seeing the fish chase your lure down or having a fish come up and smash your topwater lure is such a delight to see. One of my preferred topwater lures to use in my arsenal is the Z’Killer 90R, for its erratic tight turns and unique rattling sound – it’s one of the best topwater lures you can get.
Grunters are probably one of the most exciting fish to target on topwater, seeing them blow up on your lure, time and time again is enough to get the heart racing. These fish can test your patience with multiple fish having a go at your lure and missing it still, which makes it even more rewarding when you finally make a catch. Here are a few tips when fishing for Grunter, as you’ll need to find what retrieve works on the day. I have noticed that colour isn’t always an important factor but it’s more about the action. On days with calm flat waters, I recommend a slow but constant walk the dog action with the odd 5-10 sec pause, which can get you a quicker bite. On days with a bit of a chop on the water, I recommend you pause for up to 20 secs and twitch your lure 5/6 times and let it drift for another 10-20 secs. Lastly, having hook assist which is two smaller hooks tied with a piece of braid or Dacron to a split ring, instead of a treble hook on the back of your topwater lure can improve your hook-up rate. The best times for targeting Grunter are throughout the day in overcast weather and this is usually dependent on tides and weather.
“Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to fish topwater”
Targeting Garrick (Leervis) can be just as exciting, as I often find smaller fish congregating, in large schools, here you can have some fun using ultra-light tackle. When fishing for Garrick (Leervis), colours can play a role and it’s also dependent on the weather and water conditions, one also needs to figure out the correct retrieving speed to make the fish bite the lure or plastic bait. Typically, chartreuse, pink, or white lure are the colours to go for to entice the fish to come on the bite. They prefer a constant walk the dog action with the odd 2-sec pause. I recommend a slower retrieve on calmer days and when the conditions are a bit rough a quicker retrieve will be better. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to fish topwater, especially for Garrick (Leervis).
The tackle that I use is a 7ft Assassin Tempest II MH paired with a Shimano Sedona 3000 and 15Ib braid. I typically tie a fluorocarbon leader (also 15Ib) with a simple uni knot with the leader around a meter long. I do know some people who prefer fishing with a normal mono, but this all varies from person to person. A quick-release clip is used to clip on your Z’Killer, I prefer the quick release clip as one won’t run out of leaders on breakoffs, you can also use a simple Rapala knot, to tie the plug.