For the average person “catching the blues” is something they try to avoid. But for the east coast angler spring is all about the blues working their way from Florida to New England. Although live bait is a method of limiting out with feeding blue fish there is something to be said for taking them off the top as well.
If you’ve ever caught a hungry bluefish off the surface you know how exciting it is to see and feel the action at the same time. For those of you who have yet to do so let me share some of my favorite lures with you. Then I want you to go out and catch your own case of the topwater blues.
Blues are aggressive feeders and one of the most effective ways to catch then is to make them hungry. The good news is they are almost always on the verge of hunger so it only takes the idea of an easy to catch meal to flip the dinner switch. One of the most effective ways to flip that switch is to imitate wounded baitfish by throwing poppers.
Poppers are loud, flashing and easy to detect – just what you want in a would be blue fish meal. Poppers can be used in a variety of conditions but I prefer to bring them out when the water is calm and flat. This is when I have found the action is at its peak and the ability to draw fish out of hiding greatest.
Shallow diving, floating jointed lures are a favorite among those chasing a variety of species and that includes blue fish. The shallow dive, pop to the surface, repeat action coupled with the twitching of the jointed body imitates a wounded baitfish and for blues that means something to eat.
I have found that floating jointed lures work in many different situations and can be especially exciting on flat, high tide evenings. But, I have also found that they make an excellent option when the chop picks up a little bit too. When this happens the shallow diving allows pursuing blues to better see the lure than poppers or other strictly surface models.
Tear Drop Spoons
Spoons on the surface? Yep, that’s right. Although spoons are not a buoyant lure and generally designed for deep water fishing they can be adapted to take advantage of hot surface action as well. The key is speed. As soon as the lure hits the surface start reeling while keeping your tip high. This will cause the lure, which normally runs deep, to stay just below the surface. It also produces a lot of action.
This combination can be especially deadly when blues are in a feeding frenzy and you find yourself out of bait. Toss the spoon into or just beyond the baitfish ball and retrieve directly through where the feeding is taking place. As you near the peak action add a few twitches to the lure tip and make it resemble the wounded fleeing baitfish. If you do not get a strike continue the retrieve and work the edges for blues which may be positioned to intercept baitfish separated from the school.
Good luck, good fishing!