In 1939 the first plastic "Zara Spook" hit the market. After more than 80 years it has undergone quite a few changes but it is still the most prevalent walking bait on the market. Until recently, there were not a lot of competitors in this category but seemingly overnight the flood gates have opened. With significant sections of wall space in every tackle shop covered in walking-style topwaters its difficult to know where to start.
Even we had a difficult time narrowing it down to just 5 baits. Frankly, we fudged a little in the end anyway but who can blame us? You may be surprised by the list we came up with. There were some baits omitted that definitely would have made the cut if their availability were different but you can't make the list if no one can get the baits!
In no particular order our list of top 5 baits are as follows:
The Rover: The Rover is a fairly new addition to the list but it has earned its place. On multiple occasions I have been able to "fine tune" my pattern and catch bigger fish by switching to a rover. Here's a tip... get the "tuned" version by Scott Martin, you won't be sorry.
The Vixen: While sporting the same body style as a rover, the high-pitch sound emitted is completely different. The recent prices on EBAY, if nothing else, show the power this bait holds over bass (and fishermen). Now that they are widely available again this bait should be added to your arsenal.
The Gunfish: With its unique cupped face and slender body the gunfish has a unique spitting action that turns followers into biters. I sometimes wish they had more than two hooks on the smaller models but the fish eat it, it cannot be denied.
The popper: (I told you we fudged a little but to narrow it down were talking about the Yellow Magic, Rico, and Splash It) How does a popper make a list of talking walking baits? Easy! Try it and you'll find out! They walk, they move water, and they get eaten just like they're larger relatives. If your fish are finicky, especially in shallow water, walk a popper. Its an action they rarely see and they will ERUPT on it!