My most recent pond outing with my oldest son yielded topwater action only. We actually began with classic spring offerings, but the fish didn’t want them. They were looking up and didn’t bite until we switched to surface lures.
Late spring/early summer is topwater time, and some days there’s no better way to make fish bite that to tease the top. Topwater lures come in many forms, though, and too often anglers just grab a default surface lure for every situation. Let’s quickly break down major categories of topwater lures, considering what each does best.
- Walker – Fabulous for working flats or the tops of points or humps because it keeps moving and covers water, and the fish can hone in on it. Often draws fish from far away.
- Popper – Works nicely for hitting specific targets or casting into eddies in smallmouths streams and working with long pauses. Fished rapidly, with a quick, steady series of short twitches, a popper suggests a fleeing shad.
- Prop Bait – Arguably the best topwater for casting to trees, stick-ups, docks supports, points along weedlines, etc. because you can make major commotion without moving the lure far and can aggravate fish into attacking. Excellent for working around bluegill beds.
- Buzzbait – Outstanding for working cover-rich, shallow banks because you can keep the boat moving and cover water and because you can bring the bait through many different types of cover.
- Frog – Best bait for fishing matted vegetation and other thick stuff you simply can’t fish with any other surface lure. Creates heartbreaks due to missed fish, but draws heart-stopping strikes and tends to attract a larger grade of fish.
If you like topwater strikes, you’ll enjoy this video shot on the legendary waters of Lake Fork.
Check out my blog to keep up with fishing travels.