Let’s Talk TopwaterSubmitted by Full Limit Outdoor Media
With fall fast approaching, the involuntary thoughts of many bass anglers are centered around an explosion. An explosion of water. Something akin to dropping a cinder block from an airplane into their favorite lake. Except, the target of this explosion is their favorite topwater lure. The cause of the explosion is their favorite gamefish.
As fall temperatures and shorter daylight periods impact the water temperature of lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds and reservoirs, the baitfish change their patterns. They tend to group up and congregate in shallow areas. That can be around the shoreline, in the backs of bays or pockets, or even on main lake flats. No matter the locale, one thing is certain; hungry bass aren’t too far away.
These bass have a lot going for them. Oftentimes the forage base is fairly mature at this point in the year, so their meals can offer more bang for their buck. The bait they are hunting is usually in big schools which translates into bass hunting in big schools. The water temps are favorable for a bass’ comfortability. Meaning that cooler water equals less stress and more energy (they are more efficient as predators). The bait that they are feeding on is often found in shallow water, which adds the unique element of the surface to the attack of the predator. Baitfish can swim side to side and even down deep, but the surface is pretty much the ceiling and bass are very adept at using this “ceiling’ to their advantage.
Fishing for these surface hunters can be very productive and very exciting. They can sometimes be easy to find as, unlike their underwater feeding frenzies, their topwater feeds are often visible to the angler’s eyes. Also, birds can sometimes tip off observant anglers to the whereabouts of bait and the bass that are hunting them.
Once the bait and bass are located, few if any methods deliver a more exhilarating way to catch them. A bass exploding on a topwater with reckless abandon is the gateway drug that has caused the addiction of many bass anglers. There just aren’t many things that rival the fun and excitement of a good topwater strike, or better yet a great day of topwater fishing.
The next part of the puzzle that so often faces anglers is how to choose the right topwater lure. The possibilities are nearly endless. There are poppers, chuggers, and wake baits, walking baits, glide baits, hollow-body “frog type” baits, soft plastic “toad type” baits, twitch baits, buzz baits, and so on. I think because topwater fishing is so much fun, anglers and lure designers have tried hard to find as many ways to catch them on top as possible.
Now that we’ve established why and where we should fish topwaters as well as what all types of topwaters are available, lets narrow down which style is best for what scenario.
Walking Baits: KVD Sexy Dawg & KVD Sexy Dawg Jr.
Popping, Chugging, Spitting Baits: KVD Splash, KVD Splash Jr & the Spit-n-King
Wake Baits: Wake Shad
Hollow Body “Frog” type Baits: KVD Popping Perch & KVD Sexy Frog
Buzzbaits: Double take, Swinging Sugar Buzz, Tour Grade Buzzbait, Mini Pro-Buzz
Soft Plastic “Toads”: Rage Toad, Rage Shad, Super Toad
This style of bait has been prominent for about 15 years now. It can be employed in just about all the same places and ways that you would a buzzbait. It is most commonly rigged “Texas” style with a wide gap, or screw-in hook. It excels around, through and in vegetation. It is fast becoming a staple on the back of a buzzbait on the tournament scene. Shallower, colored water seems to be best for this style of bait. Braided line aids in solid hookups and fighting fish out of grass.