Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Rio Rico For Top-Water Fishing Fun

Oh there’s one,
right there!Little smallmouth,
it looks like. It is; it’s a
little smallmouth!Come on. On that Rio Rico;
look at that. He hit it hard, too. Dude; you wasted
no time, son!Boy, you got it all inside
your mouth there, buddy. There we go. He’s just a little guy. He hit it with some
ferociousness, though. That boy was ferocious!Folks, today we’re
at Roosevelt Lake. The lake is up!Look at all the
bushes in the water. I mean, you could call
this, you know, weedless,Texas rig, flipping,
top water, buzz bait;whatever you
want to throw. We’re here late spring. And uh, you
know of course,I love around the
outside of this;to see if those females
or the bigger fish havepulled out a little bit. You know; just to see
if they might be on theoutside of this stuff; or
throw up in the pocketswith one of my favorite
top water baits,the Rio Rico. You can get the Rico, too,
but this one’s a littlebit bigger. You can cast it
a lot farther. That’s the Gold Digger. Brand-new color
we have here. And uh, it’s awesome. And I love it because it’s
got that little chartreusetip tail. Almost has that
bluegill- you can see,with the eyes and all
that- that bluegill color. And. . This time of year after
the fish have spawned,a lot of times they’re
watching their fry bythese trees;
things like that. And uh, a lot of times
they can’t stand the
bluegill or anything
around them- anything that
comes around them- and
they’ll just crush baitslike this, so. I just thought ‘well,
we’ll pull this out andsee what we can’t do’;
it’s the first time I’vethrown it. We’ve taken maybe 10 or
20 casts on it just comingdown this little
pocket here,just to see
what’s going on. The water is dingy
a little bit. We gotta find a cadence
that they like, obviously. That one kinda hit
it- I was moving it,not real fast, but I
was chugging it along. And it’s funny; because
when you first come outhere, you’re trying
to figure out, ‘okay,how do I throw this bait’?You know, a lot of
people, you know,the old school
‘throw it out there;let the rings disappear’,
which is good. If you don’t see a lot
of shad action going on;a lot of fish busting;
things like that,then you can slow it down
a little bit and justkinda throw it out there
wherever you’re gonnathrow it; by a
bush; whatever. I threw it in the bush;
but it’ll come out ofthere, too, if you really
ease it out of there. Pop; just popped
it out of there. And I’ll let the rings
disappear a little bit. And then I’ll just give
it a couple of chugs likethat; let it sit there. Couple of more little
pops; let it sit there. You don’t need real
heavy pops like this. At times you can get away
with that when they’rechasing shad. And this bait will
‘spit’ up in front of it;and you can see how it
looks like little fry orsomething that’s moving. Sometimes you can get it
by a bush and just pop itonce like that, and
have all that fry there,and have one just
come up and crush it. But a lot of times it
comes down to- with topwater like this- finding
a cadence that they mightlike. We’ll play around
with it a little bit. We’ve got other baits
we can throw, for sure. I’m just trying to see if
there’s some kind of topwater bite going on. That’s my first top
water fish of the year,to be honest with you. So we’ll uh, we’ll go down
the bank here a little bitand just kinda throw
this thing around. I like to kinda parallel
alongside the trees andthings like that. And just see if we
can’t get a big blowup,you know? This is a lot
of fun to throw.
And there’s nothing more
fun than watching a fish
explode on your bait. I’ve had the bait
just sitting there,
after popping it
once like that,
and had fish just
come up and whack it. So you just gotta find
out what they want. A lot of times it’s not so
much the bait that you’rethrowing, it’s the cadence
that you’re throwing it. And so that’s what
we’ll find out. They’re either
gonna, you know,bite the few cadences
that I’m gonna do,or we’ll have to
try something else. But I’ll tell you what;
this bait can be a lot offun to throw. And if you’re catching
quality fish on a baitlike this but you’re not
getting a lot of bites,it’s still worth throwing. You know?So we’re gonna go down the
bank and see what we can’tdo here, and
catch us a fish. Oh there’s one, there!Oh that’s a little bit
better fish, folks! Little Rico bass!Oh he slapped at it and
he’s got it underneath hischin!Got it underneath
his chin!Oh no no no no; I don’t
want him tearing off thosehooks. That’s why you use a-Look at that. One of the
reasons you use a-Look at that; we got him-
let’s see if I can get himin. He slapped at that thing. Little largemouth. Hello, buddy. What happened there, is he
came up and slapped at it. Little bit better
fish, right there. Boy, you can tell they’ve
already spawned out there,but. Anyways; ol’ uh. . One of the reasons
you want to use like,a medium action rod. And there’s a couple of
tricks to throwing a baitwith really small
treble hooks like this. Treble hooks are
fun to throw. You would think
that, ‘wow,once they grab the treble
hooks, you got them’. But they can tear
from them, too. So. . Couple of things: I like
to use that medium actionrod for my top water. Okay?So I’ll use a- I’m
using a Taipan. And this is a 7′ 6″. Okay?Medium Taipan
rod right there. Okay; and one of the
things that’s reallyimportant is that I put
monofilament line on myreel. I’m using the Ardent
bait-cast reel. It’s an awesome reel. These reels are awesome;
you can get a real longcast with them. But I put the monofilament
on there because I likesomething, number one;
that floats a little bitand has a little
stretch in it. So this is a
15 pound test. Okay?Monofilament line. And uh, I use green line;
I like the green line. We’re in dirty water; I’ve
always kinda liked thegreen line. The clear line has a
tendency to put off alittle shine to it. So when I’m around
the trees and stuff,I don’t want something
that’s glistening so much,but- with the sun. But it allows
enough stretchbetween the rod and the
line to be able to getfish like what we just
caught, on the back hook. Barely had him hooked;
because he slapped at it. Now a lot of times what
these fish will do,is they’ll come up, and
instead of just actuallyeat the bait, they’ll
go up and slap it. Especially; especially
if they’re guarding fry. Because all’s they’re
trying to do is get thething out of the way. So they’ll go up
there and smack at it,
and try to threaten
the bait or whatever.
And a lot of times,
sometimes they’ll go up
there to kill it and then
turn around and come back
and eat it. But these treble hooks
that they put on these
things are pretty
dog gone sharp.
They’re really
ultra-sharp treble hooks.
Having the right equipment
to throw with this: youdon’t want a
real heavy rod. Because if you
use a heavy rod,then the odds of you
pulling the hook out ofthe fish are pretty good
when you’re trying to reelthe fish in; especially
when it surges. You have to worry about
when the fish surges. Because when it actually
makes that initial surge,like when it sees the boat
and starts going down, that’s when the rod
tip and the line and
everything come into play. So you want to make sure
that you’re good for that.
This isn’t the kind of
bait you want to throw out
there, catch the fish, and
start reeling him across
the top of the water
and hope he don’t dive;
and then he’s gone, so. One thing I love about
this bait is it’s got-
you can hear it- it’s got a little
rattle in it. So you can kinda walk
this bait real slow,and it’s got those
little rattles. And especially
in dingier water,if they’re on one
side of the bush,they can hear it. They can hear it over
there and they’ll runaround to the other side
of the bush and go grabit; you know? You know; one thing
that’ll really help you incatching some of
these fish, too,is to be sure that
when your casting,and you’re targeting a
little bush like we havehere: I want to
cast past the bush;I don’t want to be right
on top of the bush. There’s nothing wrong with
casting ‘by’ it, like so,okay; and then bring
the bait by the bush. And get it as close to the
bush as you can withoutgetting too hung up. But the thing is: you
usually get a littleforgiveness; like I’m
in the bush there?Let’s see if it’ll-
there it comes;see how it came loose?A lot of times, you pop
it loose; you catch one. But bringing it by the
bush is always better thanslamming it right
on top of the bush. Because a lot of
times these fish,especially if they’re
watching fry or anythinglike that, are subsurface;
they’re just right upunderneath where you can
almost see them in thebushy part of the bush. And they’re watching
around it and everything. So if they see
something coming in, you got a better chance
of getting that fish to go
out and target it. So that’ll help you a
bunch when you’re throwing
this kind of bait
around those areas. Sometimes it’s tough; when
you find the lanes andthings like this and
you’re throwing in,you’re gonna hit a bush. But you might be trying
to hit a different bush. But all- you know; you
got to hit them all. You gotta find the ones
that hold- just like thestags; I call these
‘stags’ back here;they’re twigs. And they could be
holding in there. Or they might be holding
in the green stuff here;these green bushes. And it’s just a matter
of you going around andthrowing to all of them
to find out which one theymight be hanging out in,
or where they might be. I find that when
they’re watching fry,they tend to like
bushier type bushes;the fry tend to
gather in that area; unless the only thing they
do have is a stag, so.
With all the bushes that
we have now in the flooded
Roosevelt, the way it is,
you can find a lot of this
green stuff all
over the place. Now, trying to pick and
choose what color you wantto throw: now remember;
early in the spring or midspring when these
fish have spawned,a lot of times they’re
watching their fry aroundthe bushes. So that’s kind of what
we’re targeting a littlebit today. Now, you’re going to have
a couple of things goingon; you might see- start
seeing shad up in theshallows. So if you see them
busting a lot of shad, then you want to be
throwing more shad colored
baits. But right now I’m
throwing more bluegill,
perch colored baits; frog
colored baits like this;
my Formula color. You know; anything that’s
got a little blue andchartreuse in it;
frog colors; you know. Anything kind of
like that, okay?I like this because I’m
using the- this particularone here; the Gold Digger. It’s got that
chartreuse tip on it. I like that. But if I’m gonna
go for the shad,I like the Lightning Shad
patterns or just the shadpatterns of these Ricos. And those work good when
they’re actually bustingthe shad. So the deal is, if you
think they’re reallyfeeding on frogs, or
they’re feeding onbluegill and perch, that’s
when you want to go tothose perch colors. And as soon as
that’s done,I usually all the time
throughout the summer,will throw that shad color
and I’ll do really good onit, so. Shad in fall when they’re
really busting- or uh-summer and fall, when
they’re really busting onthem shad, and
late spring,then I’ll switch over to
the shad colors becausethey have the white
bottoms on them. And they’ve got the little
white tails and things. But I’ve designed this
more for clear water. You want to use those
translucent colors whenyou’re in real
clear water. Right now we’re
not in clear water. That’s why we’re
throwing the Gold Digger. And you can see the
bottom’s kind of perchcolored; and that’s
what we’re looking for. So that’s what
I’m gonna throw. And uh, just kinda go down
the bank and find someareas. Now one thing you will
learn about this type offishing is you’re gonna
find pockets and cuts andstuff that just aren’t
as good as others. You just gotta keep
casting and going. You know; until you
find some areas. You’ll come into an area
where you will go boomboom boom; catch
fish; they’re active. You’ll go into another
area and you’ll go,’what happened’?Somebody shut
the lights off. It happens at every lake. You know; and for some
reason- that’s why theycall it fishing. You gotta keep ‘finding’
until you find the fish. Oh there’s one!There’s one!Oh! Catching a lot
of the buck bass. Little Rio Rico
bass; look at that!And he’s a little- little. Get in here son!There. And there you have it. He exploded on it. Good fish. One thing you’ll
learn about top water,more than
anything, is boy,talk about catching you
when you least expect it,man. These fish will-
you’ll turn your head, and all of the
sudden your lure’s gone.
I’m looking for
my next cast,
and all the sudden
I heard the splash;
I look over and
my bait’s gone.
I’m like, ‘aah. . ‘
There he is!
What I’m doing with the
cadence on this particular
bait right now, is just
kinda keeping it coming. Real light,
though; real light. Not real big splashes;
I’m not spitting way up infront of me. I’m letting the rattles
do the work and uh,just kind of
walking it, almost. Just kinda- just enough
twitches to- and I’ll stopit for a second; but I’ll
kinda keep it coming;not giving them a good
chance to get a good lookat it. But it- I don’t know;
maybe it acts a littleinjured or
something to them,and they just come
up and crush it. Hey folks, one thing
that’s really tough aboutthrowing this bait, is it
does have a lot of treblehooks on it. And it’s hard- you would
think that it’s hard toget it through the brush. And, say, you’re not
a very good caster andyou’re worried about
that kind of stuff. Well, number one: when you
throw it over a tree orbranch or anything
like that-like I just threw
right in that area-I know I’m over
this next bush. My line’s hanging
over this next bush;coming up to it. Now what I’m gonna do
instead of jerking realfast, realizing that
I made a bad cast andgetting it all caught up,
I’m just gonna go aheadand work the bait to the
bush- you might initiate astrike through there- and
then just kinda pop itthrough. You lift your rod tip up
a little bit and kinda hopit through, and a lot of
times it’ll come rightthrough there. Now granted, if it’s a
big stick or something,that might be
tougher to do. But the thing is, is a lot
of these branches are realsoft. So what ends up happening
is the bait will workthrough that. But if you try to give
it a hard jerk as you’recoming through that tree,
you’re gonna bury the hookin something and it’s
gonna be tougher to getout. Now that’s gonna help you
a lot when you’re fishingthis kind of bait
around the bushes. Because this bait works
around the bushes,and you want to be
able to throw it. That’s my Tip of the Week. You know this
is the time- Oh!There’s one, there! That one’s a little
better fish now, son!Let me tell you!Whoa!I love this
kind of fishing!There is nothing more fun
than throwing up behind abush. . and catching a fish. That is a blast. Come on in here, Moby. That’s one of the
bigger ones today. Actually. Come on in here;
I’ll bring you in. I just don’t want
you to hook me. There you go. All right. Beautiful little fish. All right buddy. You know, one thing that’s
really helped us out alittle bit, too, is-
sometimes you really gottatarget your casts. And what I mean by
that is- you know,a lot of folks will go
down the bank- and youlearn this in tournaments-
is a lot of people will godown the bank and they’re
hitting the outside,mid-lake part
of the bushes. And that’s one of the
reasons you see a lot oftournament fisherman
kinda angle themselves;parallel the bank and
fish behind the bush wherenobody else is fishing. You know, I was recently
fishing a tournament at
Lake Pleasant and
didn’t do so well,
but I did get a
limit every day.
And my ticket was, is I
was in an area where it
felt like there was 15
boats in there at alltimes; just one
little cove. The only area I
could really see in. But a lot of them, just
were missing where thefish were. And- you know, I lost an
eight pounder- but whatI’m saying is, is a lot
of those fish were beddingbehind the bush, and
everybody was looking infront. And they’d just keep
going down the bank;and they wouldn’t turn
and look behind the bush. And if you saw
behind the bush,there’d be some
back there,and nobody saw them. And so in saying
that, you know,the Rico’s the same way. When you’re going down the
bank and you’re tossing,for example, you can
see this bush here;a lot of guys would hit
the outside of the bush. You need to parallel,
and get behind the bush alittle bit. You know; way back there. I didn’t make the
greatest of casts,but that’s pretty much
what I’m talking about. And get behind where the
bait’s not normally at;where people don’t
normally throw a bait. And that angle- because
fishing is about angles-that angle will really
help you in maybe gettingthat fish that everybody
else is passing up. Well, it’s been
a fun day today. You have to go pick
up some Rio Ricos. The new uh- the new bait-
look how they’ve tore thatbait up. I’ve had quite a few that
we didn’t even- didn’teven get, but we tore
them up pretty good;had a lot of fun. A lot of little ones, but
the big ones will startmoving up. That Gold Digger
is the way to go,let me tell you. It’s an awesome-
awesome color. And uh, like I said; when
you see them start goingto shad, then go to
the shad patterns. Lightning shad is
another great color. But that’s a brand-new
color for this year andit’s a lot of
fun to throw. Thanks for joining
us on the show. We’ll see you next week,
I’m Johnny Johnson.

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