Techniques for top water will vary and it is worth trying all of them at some stage. The first technique is popping, which is what I favour when the bite is quiet. A large popper with big “bloops” and splashes seem to be irresistible. Make sure though when working the lure that your Pops are consistently as big as possible. The part that I find the most tempting to the Spanish is a pause. Don’t be afraid to extend the pause either as so many hits occur when this is done.
The other more natural option is working stickbaits which can be used in a couple of different ways. Fast burning a floating stickbait across the top will work a treat around large bait schools. This will represent a fleeing morsal. Again though, a pause between fast burns will be very tempting to them. Another good technique is slow sweeping your stick either sinking or floating. This is done by pointing the rod at the lure and making a full low sweep of the rod, just past 90 degrees. It is important to let your lure rest and settle between sweeps. Any quality stick bait will provide a natural action through the water using this style. My personal favourite is the Shimano Ocea Rocket Dive which seems to give a unique tight action that will prove deadly on these speedsters.
While working either a popper or stickbait one of the most important things to remember is staying in touch with the lure. So many times a Spaniard will hit you out of nowhere and if you’re not ready to take the slack and strike, you’ll lose that fish.
If I am targeting Spanish, I’ll always fish a lighter drag which can be difficult when you know the by-catch is usually a beasty GT! The blistering initial run can sometimes catch you unaware and can leave you skiing across the front deck if the drag pressure is locked down too tight.
Be ready for some frustrating hits and misses, bite offs and hook shakes, but that’s all a trade-off for what can only be described as impressive action from these topwater speedsters.