Review by Walker Smith | Photos by Jason Sealock
What’s not to love about fishing topwater baits? The long casts, the multiple retrieve cadences, the bone jarring blowups from hungry bass—that’s why we all love topwater fishing. Over the years, many anglers have become enamored with the art of fishing walking topwater plugs while overlooking a hugely effective and timeless lure in the process—the wake bait. As wake baits push a large “V” through the surface of the water, it disperses large schools of shad, making them much easier for bass to locate than traditional walking topwaters.
For several years, Jason and I have had a great deal of success on the Buckeye Wake Up wake bait. At the times when other topwater lures just don’t cut it, the Wake Up shines as it fools even the most cautious bass. I have caught bass all over the country with this bait, from the Coosa River to Lake Lanier, while Jason has caught countless bass using it on fisheries such as Beaver, Table Rock and Kentucky Lakes. If you love topwater fishing as much as we do, you need to check them out.
The design of a wake bait is absolutely crucial, with two characteristics being paramount. It needs to float and it needs to cast well. Buckeye has hit the nail on the head with the Wake Up, as its solid balsa wood body allows the lure to stay on the water’s surface at all times. The buoyancy gives anglers the versatility to fish it slowly or burn it back to the boat for vicious reaction strikes.
The Wake Up is a fairly large bait, measuring 5 1/4-inches and weighing in at 1/2-ounce. The sheer size of the lure allows for long, pinpoint casts when targeting finicky post-spawn fish throughout the late spring and early summer. Although it is possible to throw the Wake Up on casting gear, we have experienced the best results while using spinning gear paired with 8-pound Sunline Super Natural monofilament line. Any solid balsa wood bait is going to be light, so we recommend using a medium-action rod with a fast tip that will load well and whip the bait a long way during casts. With a similar light tackle set up, you will fall in love with the castability of the Wake Up.
While bass are proven suckers for big wake baits, it can be tough to get a solid hookup. Buckeye has found an answer to the problem, however, as the Wake Up comes equipped with three razor-sharp Mustad Ultra Point hooks. We’ve noticed that the majority of our Wake Up fish tend to suck at the bait from underneath, which usually means big problems when it comes to getting a solid hook in the bass. Fortunately, the three treble hooks have been a lifesaver for us, producing some really impressive hookup ratios.
Sometimes to get to the bass, you’ve got to put your baits in some pretty nasty areas, and the Wake Up allows you to do just that. This lure is extremely durable, with a very high resistance to scratches and chips. I have a few chips on mine from hitting rip rap, but they have showed no signs of cracking whatsoever. Jason has been using the same Wake Up for four years and it looks brand new. If money is a little tight, don’t hesitate to grab one of these—they are some seriously tough baits.
I can’t stand having to tinker with baits when I get them out of the box. I love baits that come right out of the package ready to catch big bass, and fortunately for me, the Wake Up doesn’t require any “doctoring” in order to put the hurting on fish. It tracks well in the water, it doesn’t come with cheap tinfoil hooks and it floats cast after cast. You can’t ask for much more in a wake bait.
If you’re looking for an outstanding wake bait that will catch the fish that other topwater fishermen are missing, we definitely recommend the Buckeye Wake Up. Priced at $19.49, it offers dependable, durable and fish-catching performance that makes it worth every penny.
To see the entire line of the Buckeye Wake Up, please visit TackleWarehouse.com.