Like any red-blooded bass angler, I simply can’t get enough topwater fishing action. Something about the anticipation, adrenaline and the gargantuan splashes never get oldâ€” and if it ever does, it’ll be time for me to find a new hobby. Maybe professional putt-putt or knitting.
The topwater bite has been pretty solid for the last month or so on my home fisheries, so I’ve been grinning like a mule eating briars. Just last week as I was chunking a Lucky Craft Sammy in the back of a short pocket, I had a realization that left me a bit dumbfounded. Wired2Fish has never reviewed this lure and I can’t, in good conscience, let that happen.
I can confidently say that this is one of my all-time favorite topwater plugs. I’ve used it extensively for years and in my opinion, there are a few specific things that make it special.
- Walks very easily
- Sharp hooks
- Durable and beautiful color patterns
Simple to use
On occasion folks will ask me about “walking the dog” with topwater lures. For beginners it’s not a very natural cadence or motion, or at least it wasn’t for me. It feels a bit awkward, so there’s bound to be some frustration along the way. But you can significantly curb the vexation by choosing a lure that will do some of the legwork for you.
The Lucky Craft Sammy‘s ability to easily walk on the water’s surface is one of the primary reasons I suggest it to both my fishing buddies and guide clients. Even if you’re an experienced topwater angler, it’s nice to use a lure that doesn’t require constant babysitting.
When the Sammy first lands in the water after a long cast, you’ll notice the head perched prominently above the surface. I don’t think this feature has any particular fish-attracting qualities, but I do believe it makes it very easy to begin your cadence. I’ve used many topwaters in the past that require several feet of open water to “get going”, which wastes a large portion of your cast in close-quarters situations. The Sammy, however, begins walking side-to-side on your very first downward twitch of the rod tip, every single time.
This may not seem like too big of a deal if you’re fishing large expanses of open water, but it has made a huge difference for meâ€” especially in the spring and fall of the year when the bass are inhabiting shallow water. If I skip my topwater lure underneath a dock walkway or an overhang, I need it to start walking the minute it touches the water. If it takes 10 feet to find its sea legs, guess what? I’m totally out of the strike zone and have likely spooked any potential suitors away from my offering.
I’m sure some readers will look at my photos and tell me to attach a split ring to the line tie of the lure. Everyone has different preferences, which is fine, but one of the biggest reasons I use the Sammy so frequently is because it really doesn’t need one. I’ve tinkered around with it in the past and unless you want it to walk like a slalom skier, I wouldn’t even bother with it. I use 30-pound braided line and the lure is incredibly responsive to each and every movement I make with my rod tip. But again, you certainly won’t hurt the action by adding a split ring if you so choose.
The Sammy is also very versatile in terms of retrieve speed. You’ll find some topwater lures that, when worked at a frantic pace, start diving beneath the surface which ultimately tangles your line with the front treble hook. I don’t recall ever having this issue, which is a major “plus” in my opinion.
When you get a big blow-up and the bass totally whiffs on it, this lure is very easy to maintain a rhythmic cadence with. Yesterday evening I had a big ol’ fat girl knock my Sammy about two feet into the air and right when it landed I was able to resume my cadence and put her in the boat.
I’ll admit that I take a small amount of pride in being a simple angler. But one thing that I routinely preach aboutâ€”sorry if you’ve read this from me beforeâ€”is the importance of really sharp hooks. You can have the sexiest-looking bait in the county and if you don’t maintain your hooks, you’re toast when ol’ big decides to chew.
The Lucky Craft Sammy, however, comes with some serious hooks and I’m particularly fond of them for two reasonsâ€” they’re sharp (duh) and they’re not wimpy.
I’m not sure why they last for such a long time, but I’m not above using the stock treble hooks for several weeks before changing them. As long as they still catch the skin on my fingertips and scratch my thumbnail, I’m all in.
They’re also constructed from fairly heavy wire. I very rarely have a net in my boat. They get in my way and there’s too much that can go wrong with a bunch of treble hooks flying around a mesh material. As a result, I swing a lot of my fish into the boat and catch the line with my hand. I’ve been known to bend my fair share of trebles with this approach, but I’ve yet to screw up an original Sammy treble.
Durable and gorgeous color patterns
Again, I do my very best to keep my color selection very simple, but I believe it can potentially make a large difference in topwater fishing applications. Think about itâ€” you’re usually fishing these walking lures in fairly clear water and I think it often takes an added touch of realism to make a fat, lazy bass belly-flop on it like Free Willy.
Just scrolling through Tackle Warehouse, you’ll see 34 available colors. You can choose from basic shad patterns, bluegill patterns, disco ball-looking patterns and many more. Regardless of where you fish or your fishery’s most prominent forage, you’ll probably find a Sammy color to match it.
I’m also impressed by the durability of the finish on these lures. In the photo above, you’ll see some hook rash and teeth marks, but the majority of the colorâ€”the important partâ€”is still totally intact. I’m willing to bet I’ve caught over a hundred fish on this very Sammy and it’s hard to believe just by looking at it.
If you like topwater fishing, you owe it to yourself to check out the Lucky Craft Sammy. They’re priced starting at $14.99 but since I throw ’em on braided line and never really break them off, I don’t have any complaints about the price.