I love fishing. Everything from jigging and trolling for pelagic out in the deep blue to fishing for panfish with a worm and bobber in my favorite creek, there’s not a type of fishing that I don’t like. But there ARE favorite types! And I have an addiction to fishing topwater lures. The anticipation, the explosions, and the adrenaline rush that ensues is a feeling that I never grow tire of.
Some of the more fun topwater fishing takes place amongst the silence of your favorite lake, pond or river. The explosion sends out echoes over an otherwise peaceful landscape. The rip of the drag, the jumping of the fish, and unfortunately, sometimes, the throwing of the hook all demand respect. I’m talking topwater fishing for largemouth bass! Let’s look at some tactics to help ensure you get that explosion and hookset that we all long after.
First things first. When approaching an area that you want to fish, be stealthy. Noise and commotion is a huge turn-off when it comes to fishing for bass, especially topwater. This is where a smaller watercraft can play a huge role in moving in on these prime locations without much noise. The Roundabout Watercraft excels in this department. With a higher vantage point than most kayaks or even jon boats, you are able to get a great lay of the land and possibly even see your target. Pair it with an electric trolling motor to get in position and then push your way around for ultimate quietness. Regardless of your watercraft of choice, be sure you remain silent!
Let’s talk lure colors. When shopping for a topwater lure, the colors can be overwhelming, with some crazy concoctions to choose from. But remember, when choosing a topwater lure color, don’t get caught up in all the craziness. The fish is only going to see the bottom half of the lure. For frogs, I like a white underbelly for an overcast day, and for sunny days, try using a darker color belly. This gives off a silhouette that the bass is sure to notice. When using poppers or walk-the-dog type baits, I like chrome, gold or silver. If those don’t seem to work, try a crazy color pattern; you never know!
So you’ve enticed a strike, now what? Well, I know it may be difficult to control the reaction after an impressive blow up, but wait you must. This is probably the hardest thing to learn. Once a bass takes your lure, count to three. Reel in your slack until you feel the weight of the fish and then SET! Failing to do so will result in several missed fish, and that gets frustrating. Patience is key.
Last but certainly not least is to never rush through an area. Always make several casts in the same vicinity before moving on. The bass may wait through a couple passes before it warms up to the bait. But when ready, it’ll let you know by providing you with one heck of an explosion! Also consider casting to the same area using different angles. The fish may not see your lure due to its location within the structure or cover during your initial cast.
Remembering and practicing these tips can prove beneficial when targeting bass via topwater. Try throwing your lure near and around structure such as submerged logs, trees, stick-ups, lily pads and grass lines. Bass love to ambush their prey so they will often times hide in wait for an easy meal. Also try varying your retrieve speed. Rip lures across the water, slow them down, and use various pauses to entice that bite. Good luck and tight lines!