When fishing topwater lures on braided line, many anglers tie directly from the braid to the terminal eye or split ring on the lure. Although it gives a more direct connection, adding a short trace of fluorocarbon leader (15- or 20-pound test) can help improve the action of your baits. The higher-density fluoro actually sinks in the water, creating a different line angle. In the case of Spook-style walking baits, this means a better side-to-side motion; for poppers, it translates into a louder fish-attracting pop. Also try making the connection with a fixed loop knot to give the lure more action.
Texas has a lot more to offer than cattle and oil, so if you're a redfish nut like me, head to the southern end of the Laguna Madre. You're bound to strike it rich. And you don't have to worry about the sharks.
- Rods: 712- to 812-foot light- to medium-action spinning and baitcasting rods.
- Reels: Spin and baitcasting models holding 150 yards of line.
- Line: Monofilament or braid, 8- to 12-pound.
- Lures: Topwater lures, including the Zara Spook Jr. or Bomber Poppin' Shrimp. Soft plastic jerkbaits, including the YUM! Houdini or Samurai shad, either rigged weedless or on jigheads.
- Other: Wading boots and a chest pack or utility belt to hold pliers, stringers and a BogaGrip.
- Fishing the Laguna Madre involves a lot of wading, with the boat acting primarily as a transport vehicle from spot to spot. During the winter months, Shuler recommends that fishermen invest in waders, but most of the time, anglers can get by with quick-drying shorts and wading shoes.
- Quailty salt water wading boots like Patagonia's Marlwaker ($140; patagonia.com), Orvis' Wet Wading Shoe ($89; orvis.com) or Simms' Flats Sneaker ($99.95; simmsfishing.com) are solid investments that your feet will thank you for after a long day on the flats.
- A pair of neoprene wading socks with gaiters is another good investment. The neoprene flap serves as a shell guard, keeping unwanted debris out of your boots. Some of the better ones include Chota's Gaiter Sock ($29.95; chota.com), Simms' Guard Socks ($29.95) or Patagonia's Insulator Socks ($30).