Zara Spook

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Old-timers called it Zaragossa; newcomers say it looks like a cigar butt with hooks. But by any name this is probably the best topwater plug ever built. It’s also one of the oldest, with wooden versions dating back to 1922 or so from Heddon’s in the early days of plugcasting. The lures still come under the Heddon label, but now they’re plastic and made by Pradco. The plug casts like a rocket, allows lots of water to be covered quickly in searching for fish, and has a seductive wig-wagging action that drives all sorts of fish absolutely nuts. Fish don’t just strike this plug; they try to kill it. It’s best known as a largemouth bass lure, but works equally well for smallmouths, pickerel, pike, muskies, and stripers.