Light tackle and small surface lures can provide you with some of the more memorable sportfishing moments you’ll ever experience, with visual strikes and hot braid-peeling sessions on the cards, even from super convenient locations. Further fuelling this addictive combination, and keeping the excitement levels up, is the introduction of new lure options, bringing fresh advantages and improved results. A much anticipated lure release of late, if you get your kicks out of throwing petite topwater presentations at whiting, bream and a host of other pack hunting inshore species, has been the Shimano Brenious Risewalk.
The 76mm, 5g Japanese-designed Risewalk is available in six already proven colours, and is stamping itself on the light tackle surface scene right around the country when it comes to catching some of our high profile flick-stick favourites that are happy to belt a bite-sized meal off the top. Pleasingly this momentum won’t be slowing anytime soon, as they find their way into many local sportfishing situations, as they just seem to get boofed!
Below is an introduction to using these lures, and getting the most from them when targeting two perennial surface favourites – whiting and bream.
Putting together an outfit to work your shiny new selection of Risewalks is pretty straightforward. You can comfortably fish these lures on your crisp-tripped bream soft plastic rod, with a slightly ‘harder’ tip allowing you better control over your lure as you slash and pop it across the top. Something like a Jewel 721 fitted with a 1000-2500 sized Stradic 1000HG, or one of many comparable size variations from the Shimano range, will have you armed and ready for action!
A lengthy leader is recommended to tie your Risewalk to, especially if using braid mainline to increase the stealth factor in shallow, clear water. Generally Risewalk are fine to fish with fluorocarbon leader, such as EX Fluoro Ocea Leader. It’s noted that mono’ leaders are more buoyant and are potentially less likely to influence/impact your surface lure’s action, however we’ve noticed no noticeable drawbacks whatsoever. In fact the extra abrasion resistance of fluorocarbon tends to make it a must-use option around structure
The Shimano Brenious Risewalk comes fitted with quality hooks and rings. As is the case with many finesse lures however you may want to further tailor the hooks to suit your target species, and with whiting this may mean small, single assists, or for bream you could reduce the hook size a touch as well. Your smallest set of Shimano JDM Pliers are perfect for the job of hook and ring changes if needed. For many species however, the fitted hooks will work just fine and you can fish them straight from the pack!
The Risewalk has already proven itself a flats weapon for bream both north and south. One of their great attributes is their castability, allowing you to easily make long and precise casts if needed. This sets them apart from many other small topwaters on the market, and allows you to search for fish, cover ground and fish in less than perfect sea conditions. Adding to this feature is the downward protruding lip design which further helps the lure track straight, and have a desirable walk-the-dog action which bream, whiting and others simply can’t refuse!
A constant retrieve will sucker bream into chasing and belting your Risewalk. Controlled downward flicks of your rod tip will have the lure swaggering side to side, and you can easily speed it up or slow it down depending on how quick you rip your rod tip. If you want to give the lure more presence in the water and utilise the ‘spouting’ bubble chamber then slightly more forceful rips of your rod tip will get the lure throwing some water. On windy and choppy days this can help fish zero in on the presentation, while in dead-calm weather you may want a more silent and subtle retrieve to trick fussier fish - this versatility is another string to your bow when fishing them!
Smaller bream may take several swipes at the Risewalk before hooking-up, while better fish tend to strike harder and with greater efficiency, usually hooking up in a spray of water or even launching out of the water at the lure - either way your eyes will be bulging at this point!
Try fishing early morning or later in the afternoon for surface bream, as they tend to feed harder in the shallows in half-light conditions and are more surface orientated with their feeding efforts, with warm, calm conditions perfect for using topwater lures. Work shallow structure such as weed beds, rock bars, sandy flats and other likely feeding zones.
Catching whiting on surface lures is all the rage at the moment, and the Brenious Risewalk is an effortless inclusion in your box of topwaters for these tasty shallow water scrappers.
Flats whiting fishos will again appreciate the great casting characteristic of the Risewalk, allowing you to fan out casts searching for packs of ravenous whiting. Wading anglers punching casts into the wind will especially be grateful.
Whiting seem to respond to reasonably constant retrieves also, and don’t mind a bit of speed, but like bream may require you to change-up your retrieve if you want to get the hook-up. If the fish are all over the lure but struggling to connect with your hooks consider momentarily pausing the lure or slowing it down for an instant, but otherwise work the lure at a steady pace back to your casting position.
Working with the tides is crucial for whiting in many areas. These fish love to push up onto the flats and fringes on a rising tide, and will retreat with the water, so keep mobile and change your position to stay in touch with them. Channels, holes, weed beds, bait beds and many other little hot spots are well worth pepping with these lures when there’s enough water covering them – and you don’t need much for a surface strike from a hyped-up whiting. Happy flicking!