I stopped by the Orlando Outdoor World to pick up a few items I’d need for my time spent on Lake Toho and I didn’t plan on picking anything up other than a couple bags of dark-colored plastics. We all know how that goes, you go in for a couple items and you leave with a basketfull. This time, just by chance, it paid off big. The hollow bodied frogs caught my eye because there was a whole aisle of realistic looking baits up on the shelf. I picked up a LIVETARGET Frog and by chance an Outdoor World employee just happened to walk by and noticed me checking out the frogs. Without prompting, he reached over the frogs and pulled a plastic box containing a hollow field mouse and handed it to me. He told me he’s gotten way more strikes on the mouse than the frog.
Impulsive? You bet. It did look realistic. So much that I thought it was kind of odd. Among the types of forage up on my home waters, I wouldn’t even guess field mice as one of them. However, I primarily fish waters of Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay which are vastly different from those of the South. The one thing I didn’t count on was the predatory nature of bass and the fact remains, they will eat any easy meal that can fit in their mouth. And even then, sometimes they don’t stop there.
Fast forwarding 12 hours, the conditions and location were ripe for topwater action. The sun was just coming up over Lake Toho and I was in an area of Maidencane, Hydrilla, and Water Lilies combined with a water temperature in the high 80’s and a matching air temp to boot. I figured I’d begin casting to secondary points trying my best to imitate a mouse that had fallen in the water from a cane or swimming pad to pad. Within the first few casts, I had a strike that missed. Then, I came up to a point that had to have a fish on it. As the mouse went airborne during my cast, I would have put money on the spot; it was that prime. Sure enough, no sooner did the mouse hit the water and the mouse walked to the left with a slight twitch of the rod, there was an explosion.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE BAIT
This thing looks real. From the tail to the molded detail to the colors. If you put this on some light fluorocarbon line and twitched it down the sidewalk, people would scatter. LIVETARGET is known for having realistic looking baits and this one is no exception. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors from white to grey to a combination of both and from sizes just under an ounce to just over an ounce.
There are many user reviews that claim the mouse won’t “walk” as a spook does. There are also many reviews that claim that the mouse will walk back and forth. Not only will it walk back and forth in a spook-like fashion, it can also roll just under water, or be retrieved in a straight line which is great news for finicky summer bass. I’ve gotten hits on all three types of retrieves proving that this is one versatile bait to elicit strikes from big fish.
It is best an angler spends some time with a new bait to learn the intricacies and with a little practice, the bait will do anything you want it to. The rod twitches to get the bait to walk are a lot less dramatic than those of a spook. Light twitches will result in a swinging side to side action whereas more of a “pull” with a real low rod tip will get the bait to roll. Not squeezing all of the water out of the mouse will also help keep the bait a little lower in the water. Of course if you’re after a straight retrieve, just reel slowly.
After ten or twelve strikes, I haven’t noticed any wear and tear other than some scratches on the side of the mouse. When the big bass hit, they hit hard and I noticed that the mouse may slide up the hooks towards the eye but that is a good thing because it leaves the hooks exposed and can easily be positioned back where it should.
Speaking of hooks, I haven’t had an issue with getting the fish to the boat once they’re hooked. Invariably topwater baits are a different animal when it comes to setting the hook, or should I say, waiting to set the hook. Once I see the bait disappear, I’ll count to two and then set the hook. They seem sharp and stout. I use 50 lbs. test braid on my topwater applications when there is heavy cover and I don’t foresee the hooks bending out at all.
Since the mouse is so realistic, there is of course a nice long tail that come separated from the body, or so I’ve been told. So far, so good with mine. Only time will tell if there are any problems that arise but with most baits, a little superglue can go a long way. The bait retails for $10.99 to $11.99 so one should expect quality at that price and this bait has delivered.
This has been a fun bait to learn and catch fish. Fished in the right spot, it will catch big fish. The first bass I pulled in from my first trip on Lake Toho was just over five pounds. My reservations were quickly erased when fish after fish struck the field mouse and I hauled them into the boat. The price may dissuade some from making the purchase but thousands have tried it out and been thoroughly impressed; and I’m no different. Give the LiveTarget Field Mouse a try instead of a frog sometime and you, too, may be pleasantly surprised.