Ron's Catch: Topwater Magic

If you are a bass Angler, there is nothing to that gets your adrenaline going more than watching the strike on a topwater lure. Something about the ferocity when a bass explodes on a surface lure makes it one of the most exhilarating ways to catch fish. Depending on where you are in the country, what I call “Topwater Time” can vary because it is all about the water temperature. Although bass will strike a topwater when water is around 50 degrees, it is not a pattern that produces a lot of fish in most cases until the water warms up a bit. Once water temperature moves into the mid-60s, and after the spawn takes place, the bite really picks up and will last through the summer well into the fall.  The next question is what style of Topwater do I use?

Here is the basic break-down for my top 3 favorite topwater lures.

Like most artificial lures, there are times when one may excel or produce more than the others. Being able to identify when and where to throw each of these presentations can be key.

Topwater Popper: The popper is a floater and typically excels when working with a slow pop and pause technique. With short quick pulls or twitches the lure will splash water drawing attention as it appears to be a feeding or injured baitfish on the surface. In early spring, I like to move shallow working the popper in areas where bass are known to spawn or patrol the warming water in search of food. Bass cannot stand a bluegill colored popper near their spawning beds and will quickly attack any threat or easy meal.  Clear or chrome colored poppers are preferred when fishing clear water where shad or other baitfish are present. Anytime you get around cover, let the lure pause for a few seconds which will allow hiding bass time to stray from its protective cover to strike. If you happen to see bass schooling or chasing bait in the area, this would be the perfect time to cast this lure. The Popper works great in low light conditions and will usually work better than other topwater lures when the water is calm.

Walking Bait: A “walk the dog” retrieve is typically used with this style of lure. Some of the common lures in this style would be a Zara Spook, Yo-Zuri Pencil, or a Vixen. With the rod tip closer to the water, a constant reel and twitch cadence will cause the lure to walk side to side creating noise and irregular topwater movement which can be deadly. This is a great lure to cover water quickly and usually draws a bigger bite. Although the morning and twilight hours can bring fast action, this lure can produce anytime should conditions be right. As long as you’re not fishing high winds or rough water, the Walking Style lure should be tied on and ready to fire anytime especially if you see surface action.

Buzzbait: A very versatile lure and almost weed-less at times, the Buzzbait has been an all-time favorite for most anglers. The buzz style lure is a simple cast and reel presentation which makes it easy for anyone to fish.

The lure works great in shallow water where it can be brought along the surface over shallow weed beds, grass, pencil weeds, or across pads or logs where bass may be waiting to strike. The Buzzbait can be skipped under docks, or low hanging branches where most would not attempt to cast other lures because of all the open exposed hooks. Be sure to experiment with the different sizes of blades which can change the sound and speed that the lure moves across the surface of the water. In addition, the colored skirts can be changed out for the current water conditions or even swapped out for a paddtail swimbait or a frog trailer as well.


Equipment of choice would be a Duckett Fishing 7”3 Medium Heavy Baitcasting rod paired with 30lb Seaguar smackdown for my Poppers, 40-50 lb Seaguar Smackdown Braid for Walking Style Bait and Buzzbaits. This combination will give you the power you need for solid hooksets on long casts and ability to pull fish up and away from cover to help you increase your landing success.

All your tackle needs for topwater fishing are available at Shoppers Supply.


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