Fishing topwater lures for bass is definitely one of the most fun and exciting way to target bass. The best topwater lures will force a bass to strike hard from below.
Nothing beats seeing a lure hit hard as a bass moves quickly up from the depths.
Topwater fishing is one of the most visually rewarding ways to fish for bass.
For a lot of fishermen however it can also be one of the most frustrating.
If you have ever targeted bass in this way you will know that you need to use the right lure at the right time and to use it in such a way that the bass cannot help but hit it hard.
Best Topwater Lures
There are a number of different types of topwater lures available they all have one thing in common; they try to imitate some form of natural food that a bass might feed on.
You can find a lot of lures that are designed to imitate an injured baitfish that is making small disturbances on the water surface. These can be called poppers/chuggers or walkers.
Then there are those that directly imitate a type of small animal of insect that bass feed on like frogs, small ducks, grasshoppers and jitterbugs.
Chuggers or poppers have a small concave shaped mouth on them that as they are retrieved causing the lure to make a small splash and a little noise referred to as a pop. The pop is caused by the shape of the head of the lure and the noise that the bubbles it forms make.
The attachment point for your line is actually in the concave mouth which helps to give them their distinctive movement.
Both popper lures and chugger lures are usually fished quite slow in comparison to most other bass lures.
Walkers as the name suggests are designed to be “walked” along the surface by flicking your wrist as you reel them in. The flicking causing the lure to dart from side to side. The darting makes a small wave on the surface of the water which the bass are attracted to.
The are commonly called "walk the dog" lures. The swim action is caused by flicking and jerking the rod tip. The end result is that the lure will dart from side to side.
Although the are shaped like a stickbait or long thin crankbait the absence of any lip(or dive bill) stops the from diving when being retrieved just like a crankbait would.
Small plastic frogs and other such imitations are really great for bass. The bass will tend to strike these types of lures really hard as they are generally larger than the poppers or walkers above.
Frog lures will come with different build designs like soft body or hard body. Some will include an internal rattle to help attract the bass.
The soft bodied lures can have the hook hidden. It is only when the bass actually strike the lure that the hook is exposed.
This makes the great for working over deep vegetation and cover, without running the risk of snagging any weeds.
Other types food they will imitate would be small mice, ducklings and other such aquatic amphibians or small mammals.
4. Prop Baits
The bass lures as the name suggests have a small spinning blade or propeller on the back and occasionally on the front. The propeller will spin as you retrieve the lure through the water.
The propeller creates a small wake behind the lure as it runs just under the water surface. This disturbance in the surface will drive a bass crazy.
It is both a visible stimulus and also the bass can feel the vibrations that are given off.
The best time to use a topwater lure like a prop bait is generally on a calm day without much surface ripples or waves.
Buzzbaits are probably some of the weirdest looking freshwater lures you are ever likely to see.
The lure is nothing more than a shaped piece of rigid wire with a blade and a rubber or plastic jig at the hook.
They have a spinning blade or propeller just like on a prop bait, that is used to create a small wake through the water.
The bass will actually strike the smaller squid like jig that hides the hook in it's skirt.
When to Use a Topwater Lure
Traditionally the main times of the year to use a topwater lure is late spring and early summer. This is when bass can be at there most active.
The reason why bass are most active during these times is mostly down to water temperature. They tend to be quite inactive below 55 degrees and above 80 degrees.
Between these temps and during late spring and early summer is when bass will tend to reproduce or spawn. During this time the male bass become very territorial and will strike hard at any kind of intruder near their nesting area.
The best time of the day to fish a topwater lure is either dawn or dusk. Bass unlike other fish and mammals cannot adjust their eyes to the changes in light from the sun during the day.
At the height of the sun between morning and evening bass will generally hide in the shade away from the intense bright light of the midday sun.
You can of course target them here but you will have much better luck by getting up early or waiting until later in the evening.