Tips & Tricks

Topwater fishing is exciting when the bite is on, but how do you crank up some surface action when things aren't looking up? "A lot of time I'll go down with the ship and not catch a fish just trying to make the topwater bite work," says Chad Hoover. "Now I've got a go-to lure for this kind of situation: the Doomsday Turtle™."

The lure's flattened, turtle-shaped profile appeals to a bass' natural aggression toward nest-raiding turtles. Anglers often rig it with a 3/0 or 4/0 wide-gap worm hook, with or without a weight in front of it. A slip sinker ahead of a weightless hook works well in open water where you can make the turtle swim and dive.

Weighted-keel hooks with screw-locks work well in heavy cover and waters with lots of algae below the surface. Screw the turtle's head right down against the hook eye, line up the hook with the belly slit, bring the hook point through so that it lines up flat against the back and then just skin-hook it to keep it weedless. The keel-weighted hook ensures that the lure will fall belly-down, all legs fluttering and kicking as the bait slowly flutters downward, as though it were on a parachute.

Cast the lure out and let the bait swing or glide forward. Then reel in the slack line and slowly raise your rod tip to move the turtle forward. Over vegetation, occasionally allow the Doomsday Turtle to settle down on top of the grass, its four legs flapping like landing gear and stabilizing the descent, and then snatch it upward. This "fleeing action" sometimes triggers a strike.