In a nutshell, it's a topwater technique. And depending who you talk to, it came from freshwater fishing but saltwater fishermen found it very successful when stripers we're feeding on the surface.
There are lures specifically for 'walking the dog'. It gives a more side to side motion then the typical popper-style action.
Here's my favorite walk the dog lure but there are plenty of others out on the market. http://www.saltwaterfish.com/yozuriboat.html
I've used it more successfully from a boat but have done well from the beach if the fish are hitting close in. I've tried it from a pier but with limited success.
Keep you rod tip low and infront of you (not to the side) and create sudden light jerks with your rod (fast action rods help). The lure should move side to side by design.
I like to use a 7' Fast action rod and I prefer spinning outfit because it's easier to toss the lighter lures.
Now that you've cleared it up, that makes sense. Mirrolure started making their "TOP DOG" lure a couple years ago and I wondered why they called it that, but now I know, because that's how it moves. Been fishing a long time and never heard that one but with an open mind you can always learn something.
Used to use a lure called the Zara Spook and it would sit in the water with its tail underwater and its nose pointing up at about a 45 degree angle. Anyways, you would just plug it three or four times like a popper, but not too fast, and the head would duck underwater on each tug and come up facing the opposite way each time. So like you cast out and the lure lands looking to its left. Then you tug it, the lure goes under and comes up looking to its right, tug it again it goes under, comes up looking to its left and so on.. It walks its way across the surface..
Pretty sure this is the same thing you're talkin about. Thats what we called it back home, "walking the dog".
I could be wrong but I believe walk the dog was coined by the Zara Spook enthusiasts. There is also a rubber Zara puppy that I have used in both fresh and salt. I would descibe the technique as making a lure move side to side without as much forward motion. This technique can be deadly and can be used with many lures.
One rather 'grey' day under the Lesner Bridge, the stripers were boiling, then as a boater would try to reach 'em, they'd leave, and then within 20 mins. they'd come back, sticking close to the boat channel. A couple of us guys on the bank were trying to reach the fish with 2 oz. spoons and/or hopkins, stingsilvers, whatever...
...anyway, someone came up to where we were all wading, and tied on his topwater plug (it was a Zara Spook-HUGE! I made sure to ask about what he was using.) and started to 'walk the dog'. It was exciting to say the least, to watch this guy not be able to cast as far as I could, but have his strike be so visible as the stripers would try to hit his lure. He didn't have hookups on every cast or anything that day, but he did just as well as anyone else could have done since he had his limit along with the rest of us within minutes. Basically, he would cast the 'Spook' (Mirror Lure makes something called a 'top dawg' that is great for this too), and take all the slack out of his line, then reel it back in, jerking the rod tip up and down, slightly left/right, causing the lure to zig-zag as it was retrieved.
That's how I learned to walk the dog and why it would be a blast to try it.
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