Topwater Time for Bass


No matter where you’re located throughout North America you’re most likely saying goodbye to cold nights and saying hello to sunny days. We all know that with longer, warmer days comes the blood pumping thrill of topwater fishing. From California to New York there are some tried and true baits that produce big stringers this time of year but what about the topwater that you don’t hear much about? We’ve got a few baits that might just make you rethink your arsenal of topwater tactics.

whopper-plopper-130One of my favorite, and most explosive, types of topwater lures is a buzzbait. I’ve even found a more exhilarating version of this technique in the River2Sea Whopper Plopper. This beefed up topwater bait is like a buzzbait on steroids. It was derived from the Muskie fishing side of the sport and has carved a place for itself with bass fisherman across the country. With its long torpedo shaped body and cupped spinning rear prop/tail making a loud “plopping” sound as you reel it in, bass just come up and smash the Plopper with a voracious strike like you’ve never seen. It’s literally blood pumping. I fish these types of baits along weed lines, lay downs and docks. The noise created by the Plopper calls the fish from the cool hideouts with ease.

DWBAnother underground, unknown and underutilized type of topwater bait is the wooden walking bait. What makes these types of lures different? Wooden topwater walking baits are a very subtle approach to wary bass in clearer water. During the high-pressure days and the blue bird days of summer, bass can be very sensitive to their surroundings. The stealthy approach of these wooden plugs is often what makes the difference between a lifeless day on the water and a day filled with exploding bass action. There are several custom topwater makers out there but my favorite is made by Delta Wood Bombers. These baits are handmade 5″ and 6″ torpedo type walking baits they glide, dive and splash depending on how you work your retrieve and the action of your rod. See what’s available in your area and have a blast.

rsPerhaps the oldest and most productive post-spawn topwater technique is a popper type bait. My favorite time of year to throw a popper is during the post-spawn when bass are recuperating from the rigors of the spawn. During this time of year, typically late spring to early summer, bass are also very protective over the fry that have hatched.  When the bass is presented with a smaller profile bait that sits subtly over theirs heads and then pops erratically, their instincts take over and they inhale it. My favorite popper type bait for this technique is the original Splash It by Don Iovino. Again, the popper is a classic topwater and there are seemingly endless types on the market. Try one that you feel would best in your area and be sure to work it slow at first. Let the fish tell you how fast or slow they want the bait presented.

When the sun is out and temperatures are sky high, try throwing one of these topwater baits and hopefully you’ll experience some heart-pumping topwater action. And remember to keep you colors simple. Try throwing darker colors and noisy baits in stained water and lighter, subtler baits in clearer water. The noise crated by most topwater baits is enough to draw bass to them but if you find yourself struggling, trying some of these tips and I know you’ll catch more fish.