YUM ambassador Scott Larsen, better known by his YouTube subscribers as “Topwater Scott,” says far too many anglers overlook one lure when it comes to catching bass on the surface.
“The YUM 10-inch Ribbontail worm is a deadly topwater bait,” said the Florida angler who’s built a reputation, and a following, as a surface specialist. “I think a lot of fisherman know, or have at least heard of the technique, but when it comes down to it, not many of them actually use it.
“It’s action is very subtle compared to other types of topwater lures, but when you wake it across the surface, its long tail really creates vibration bass can pick up,” he said. “I’ve seen fish come from a long way off to attack this lure.”
Larsen recommends using 15- to 20-pound braided line with a short (12 inches) fluoro leader. The braided main line helps keep the lure on the surface, but more importantly it saws through vegetation after a hook-up — a critical factor since he often throws it into water just 2 or 3 feet deep. “Fish it weightless, of course,” he added, “on a 4/0 light-wire hook. You don’t want the hook to be too heavy or it will tend to sink the worm.”
The surface worm produces any time of day or night around pads, docks, laydowns or any other type of cover, the angler said, but there are two situations where it’s his No. 1 choice.
“Early in the morning on a day after it’s rained; that’s a fantastic time to throw this lure,” he said. “It’s calm, the water is a little cooler, and I think the bass might be mistaking it for a snake. Whatever — it’s just a great producer in those conditions.”
He also goes for the Ribbontail when faced with a dense mat of hydrilla. “You can skim a hollow-body frog over the weeds, or drop a jig or Texas-rig into the holes, and catch fish,” he said, “but there must be something about that big worm that makes bass react. ’Cause when they see it swimming over an opening in the plants, they come up and absolutely crush it.”
Keep Topwater Scott in mind next time you’re on the water, and when you reach for a frog, popper or buzzbait, stop for a second and remember the Ribbontail.
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