No one will argue that topwater fishing leaves anglers always wanting more. It’s the most fun way lớn fish given the visual nature of your interaction with the bass. So fishing topwaters is what a lot of us anglers look forward lớn every year. And lớn have success, you need lớn be well versed on the best topwater lures and when lớn fish each of them.
About 6 or 7 categories of topwaters will cover all of your bases and get you a lot of your most memorable bites and action in bass fishing.
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Categories of Topwater Lures
Here is a quick rundown of the best topwater lures by category:
- Prop Baits
- Wake Baits
With just a few of these topwaters, you can have a lot of fun and the expanded list gives you lots of options and fun ways lớn interact with bass. We’ll go into depth by each category on when you should fish this type of topwater and some of the best options in that category of topwater lures for bass. And then we’ll talk generally about the best setups for topwater fishing.
- Best Popper: Rebel Pop-R P71 – Buy from Basspro
- Best Walking Bait: Megabass Megadog – Buy from Basspro
- Best Pencil Popper: Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Bait – Buy from Basspro
- Best Wake Bait: PH Custom Lures Wake Up – Buy from Tacklewarehouse
- Best Prop Bait: Berkley Choppo – Buy from Basspro
- Best Frog: Strike King Popping Perch – Buy from Basspro
A popper is just a small floating tapering cone shaped carved or molded bait that mimics a small bait fish with a cupped mouth that provides the bait a lot of commotion and splash lớn draw fish in for a closer look. It’s a great spring bass fishing topwater when fish are coming shallow and looking lớn make a nest near a shallow piece of cover. It can be really good in clear water and even in dirty stained water.
The most effective ways lớn work a popper are with small twitches of the rod tip on a semi slack line. You want lớn make the bait cup water and make a gulping or popping sound while splashing on the surface. Some poppers can be worked with slight twitches in a cadence and the bait will walk back and forth why popping along.
These are really effective around spawning fish, and also around a shad spawn. And are most effective fished in small areas usually around some shallow cover lượt thích wood or grass or even boat docks.
Why the Rebel Pop-R P71 was voted best
The Rebel Pop-R is an iconic popper. It’s stood the test of time being more kêu ca 50 years old. And this new revamped model comes with better colors, sharp dressed Gamakatsu trebles, has a nice knocker in it (something secret about the original P70s is the good ones had the rear weight come loose and make the bait knock) and still is only $7.99. It’s a dang fish catcher just lượt thích the original P70 was at one of the best price points for a popper.
Rebel Pop-R P71 is available at:
- Tackle Warehouse
- Bass Pro Shops
Some of the best poppers on the market would include the following baits:
- Yellow Magic Japanese Popper
- Megabass Pop Max
- Berkley Bullet Pop
- Team Ark Z-Pop
- Water Wood Sugar Baby/Daddy
- Don Iovino’s Splash It
Best walking topwater lures
Walking topwater baits are made lớn be cast long distances and then be retrieved with a series of short rod twitches on semi-slack line that gets the bait gliding back and forth in a walk-the-dog routine. Walking topwaters can cover a lot of water as fast or slow as you want lớn work the lure. They are great for schooling fish, fish on expansive flats or backs of pockets. They are great lớn work over flooded bushes and grass or along rip rap. They can as small as 4 inches and as big as 9 inches in length. Some are made out of balsa but most are made out of plastic with rattles inside of them.
An offshoot of walking baits is pencil poppers. These are generally heavier, longer and with a bulbous tail section. They are created lớn be able lớn walk in chopping conditions or less kêu ca ideal topwater conditions. This is what we throw on the big waters lượt thích Kentucky Lake on windy days lớn still provide enough commotion lớn get bit because they can still walk even going up and down in the waves.
Why the Megabass Megadog was voted best
The Megabass Megadog is a work of art. It’s really a big swimbait except it’s a solid toàn thân walking bait. But it’s designed lớn catch trophy bass. This is not a lập cập of the mill topwater. It’s a giant bait that weighs 4 ounces. So it has lớn be thrown on a swimbait rod. But you can cast it a mile and Điện thoại tư vấn up big trophy bass from a distance. It walks beautifully. Comes in beautiful designs. Has incredible strong sharp hooks on it. Yet it walks lượt thích a normal topwater. Like it literally doesn’t wear your elbow out jerking it from side lớn side. I thought that was a very cool design concept the way it glides without a lot of resistance on your arm. It’s super pricey.
Megabass Megadog is available at Tackle Warehouse
So if you are looking for a lập cập of the mill good walking bait at a much lower price point, the Strike King Sexy Dawg is a staple among most bass fishermen in the know as are the Heddon Super and Chug’n Spooks.
The other walking baits on the market right now would include the following:
- Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil 125
- Strike King Sexy Dawg
- Heddon Chug’n Spook
- Heddon Super Spook Jr.
Best Pencil Poppers
Best Pencil Poppers would include the following:
- Yo-Zuri 3DB Series Pencil Popper 135
- Evergreen Shower Blows
- Ima Little Stik 135
- Berkley Cane Walker
Best prop baits
Prop baits offer a propellor on either the back or both the front and back. The ones on the back can also be full rotating butt sections that cause the bait lớn “plop” through the water lượt thích a super slow buzz bait. They can be long and skinny, short and fat or a larger size all together.
Generally speaking the short fat ones with twin propellors mimic bluegill and shad well and are often subtle versions of topwaters that work well when fish are skittish lượt thích in clear water and later in the summer when they have been fished for a lot. The long skinny prop baits are usually really good around the spawn in shallow water on lakes that are generally pretty clear with grass. And the ones with a rear plopper can be good from spring lớn late fall and can cover a lot of water and draw fish really well. So choosing the right plopper is generally dependent on the mood of the fish and the season you are fishing.
Why we voted the Berkley Choppo best prop bait
Cost is always a big factor for us. The Berkley Choppo (review) fishes very clean, has a great sound and profile, comes in great colors, holds up well lớn abuse, and only costs $11. We’ve caught ví many bass on this bait and will continue lớn for a lot of years. The nice thing about good prop baits is once you buy a few, you’re phối. Most have limited windows where they are effective but the Choppo for us starts working in March and we don’t have it off our deck until the kết thúc of November. That’s why we think ví highly of it. We’ve literally had success with it 9 months out of the year.
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Berkley Choppo is available at:
- Tackle Warehouse
- Bass Pro Shops
The best prop baits on the market include the following baits:
- River2Sea Whopper Plopper
- Black Label Cliff Pace Tease
- Brians Prop Bee
- Rapala X-Rap Prop Bait
- Smithwick Devil’s Horse
Best wake baits
Wake baits are topwater lures made lớn be worked just barely under the surface that bulge the water and cause a V-shaped commotion for the fish lớn hone in on or the create a slow lumbering wake on the surface. Again they come in various shapes in sizes with short fat ones that mimic crankbaits with a straight down bill, and long slender minnow profiles that mimic a jerkbait with a straight down bill. And then some are swimbait shaped.
These are effective fished over grass in the summer, over shallow spawning areas on those clear water impoundments and on shallow muddy fisheries in the post spawn. So we recommend use the the minnow bodies around the spawn in clear lớn mildly stained water. Use the waking crankbaits in dirtier water and a lot in the post spawn. Use the waking swimbait type wake baits around grass, and later in the year lượt thích late summer and fall.
Why we voted the PH Custom Lures Wake Up best
Phil Hunt creates some beautiful and effective homemade baits. I’ve never seen a lure designer who spends more time counseling with good anglers lớn find out what they need a bait lớn bởi and not bởi and what the profile and colors need lớn be lớn make sure he is providing a custom tool that is as perfected for a fishing situation as you will find. The Wake Up was built from hours of research and tweaking and consulting with anglers about what they needed a minnow profile wake bait lớn bởi in the spring and what the shortcomings were of other baits on the market.
PH Custom Lures Wake Up Topwater Wakebait is available at Tackle Warehouse.
A lot of time was put into these baits and Hunt hand tunes these baits lớn get them perfect. So you will pay a little more but I have two that have been slaughtered for several seasons and still look lượt thích new.
The best wake baits on the market right now would include the following:
- Cotton Cordell Red Fin
- Jenko Wake n’ Bait
- 6th Sense Speed Wake
- Mann’s Baby 1-Minus
- Ima Rattlin Roumba Wakebait
Hollow toàn thân frogs
Hollow toàn thân frogs offer anglers a way lớn topwater fish around heavy vegetation. Whether you’re fishing matted grass, lily pads, thick bushes, overhanging trees or just water willow grass along the ngân hàng, a frog can be popped, walked and slapped across the surface of cover or water lớn entice the biggest bass out of the gnarliest cover.
We lượt thích a popping frog when we want lớn walk a frog around sparse cover or we want lớn get fish lớn bite in clearer water up really shallow. We lượt thích a pointed nose hollow bodied frog for fishing through thick cover, skipping under things lượt thích tree branches, bushes, and docks. There are lots of things you can bởi lớn make a frog fit the water you are fishing lượt thích adding weight, rattles, trimming the legs and bending hooks upward. But generally speaking, they will catch fish right out of the box.
See full list of the Best Frog Lures here
Why we voted the Popping Perch best
The Strike King KVD Popping Perch (review) has been the only frog I’ve used the last several years. I gained a lot of confidence in the frog in the weirdest place honestly. I took it with mạ several years ago lớn Table Rock Lake. Table Rock is a highland limestone line impoundment that has not one stitch of grass in it. It’s rocky banks and boat docks. But it does have an underrated amount of willow bushes when the lake is flooded. Which it was that summer.
I ran around fishing for a day and not really catching much one July. On a whim, I got in a pocket with a bunch of boat docks and started running around with a Popping Perch that looked lượt thích a bluegill. I would fire it around, over and under will bushes behind the docks. I would skip it under walk ways. I would fire it over the top of a log and get back behind stuff that was flooded. And I caught ví many big bass on it that day. It opened my eyes up lớn the bait.
Strike King KVD Popping Perch is available at:
- Tackle Warehouse
- Bass Pro Shops
- Omnia Fishing
The Popping Perch has a fanned out tail, great colors, a great water removal system, great durability and a great hook. I have long believed that frogs don’t mimic frogs. They mimic bluegill. So I treat a frog as a bluegill imitator. And the Popping Perch does that as well as I have seen in any frog. And get a white one and try it around the shad spawn too. All of that for under $10.
Best Topwater Setups
So we would probably make three recommendations for topwater rod, reel and line setups. You can get away with one good all-purpose topwater rod for sure but lớn maximize all the topwater applications, have a few options helps.
For frog fishing you need a little more backbone in your rod, braided line and a powerful reel. Because you will likely be horsing the fish through a lot of cover that requires a lot of hard pulling and drag on your line if a bunch of vegetation comes with the fish. So a wimpy action rod will make it a lot tougher. For frog fishing, we lượt thích a MH lớn H power rod 7 lớn 7-feet, 4 inches. And I personally lượt thích 65-pound braid lớn keep the line easy lớn manage and the frog easy lớn pull out of snagged vegetation which can happen on missed blowups or lose stuff floating on top.
For poppers and prop baits, I lượt thích a Medium power rod in that 6-foot, 10-inch length and a lighter line lượt thích 15-pound monofilament.
For walking baits and bigger topwaters including Ploppers, I really lượt thích a medium heavy rod, braided line but something lượt thích a 40-pound braid. It makes heaving a long cast easier and gets you walking the bait easier at distance. If your bait is coming around and grabbing the braid when it walks out wide, add a short monofilament leader. That will keep it from touching the braid and give you a little shock absorber on short-striking blow-ups.
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A medium lớn medium heavy rod in a shorter length lượt thích 6-foot, 10-inch lớn 7-foot could cover all the bases if you wanted it lớn but it would be a little tougher on long casts with a frog or a big walking topwater.
So now you have the tools lớn make a good topwater selection and have a big time catching topwater fish from spring until late into fall.