Hitting the Bass with Topwater Lures – Lincoln Journal Star | Gmx Pharm

GREG WAGNER Nebraska Gaming and Parks Commission

Topwater lures are the most popular mid to late summer fishing lures.

These are effective lures that float and move on the water surface. They can work when other lures fail. A topwater lure can result in an uninterested largemouth bass quickly chasing seemingly easy or vulnerable surface prey.

Largemouth bass aren’t the only fish that can be caught with a topwater bait. Pike and Musk are notorious for their vicious topwater strikes. Smallmouth bass, panfish, trout, walleye and even catfish will all hit surface bait in the right conditions.


“A great time to get a topwater lure out of your tackle box is when the fish are active and feeding,” said Daryl Bauer, fishing activities program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “But even when there is no obvious sign of feeding activity, topwater hardware can be the best option to cast as search bait. Excitement on the surface is more likely to evoke a reaction than other sub-surface presentations.”

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Mimicking a single aquatic prey species is the concept behind a topwater lure, but even more fundamental is how you present it to the fish.

“The speed at which these lures can be fished on the water surface around aquatic vegetation and other habitats is critical,” Bauer said. “Some of these surface baits are designed to be fished slowly, some relatively fast and some with the occasional twitch.”

Before you start refining your surface baits in the water, understand the importance of edges. Edges indicate where different habitats meet, e.g. B. where deep water meets shallow water or along a current, mud line or weed bed. All types of fish and wildlife are naturally attracted to edges.

Here are some other factors to consider when fishing with topwater baits, according to Bauer.

Type: There is a wide variety of topwater baits on the market. Matching the Luke involves more than one prey that eats fish. It also includes realistically mimicking the behavior of these prey animals on the water. Some of the basic topwater bait types are popper, stick bait, prop bait, frog, toad and buzzbait.

Colour: The color of a headwater often makes more of a difference to the angler than it does to the fish. Black or black-bellied lures give a distinct silhouette to fish that are looking up at the surface and are usually effective. Professional anglers recommend sticking to natural colors in clear conditions.

Weed free: Another big difference with surface baits compared to other lures is how weed or hook free they can be. Some topwater lures are designed to be fished right in and over the thickest aquatic weed or seaweed mat imaginable. Others are not weed-free at all and are likely to contain multiple triplets.


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Time: The best times for fishing topwater baits are when the fish are most likely to feed. That means dawn and dusk. Early morning when the light is low is a traditional time to fish a topwater lure. However, don’t be afraid to try a surface edge with topwater at any time of the day and even into the night, especially in the second half of summer. Cloudy days can be productive when fish head for the shallows. Watch the surface for a feeding frenzy and toss your topwater nearby when it occurs.

Wind: Less wind is best for fishing with topwater baits, but don’t be afraid to try some waves on the water. The subtler, slower topwaters are least effective when the wind starts to blow.

fish hook: Anglers notoriously set the hook early when water erupts and miss the fish. This means a surface bait will fly back to you through the air. Pause until you feel the fish before setting the hook.

No matter what topwater pattern you use, a fish pounding the water’s surface is still one of the most exciting ways to wet a line. Cover a lot of open water, fish the thickest of weed beds, and produce fish when nothing else works with these surface baits.

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