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June 18, 2018

There are professional anglers who have argued that topwater is one of the best ways to catch a big fish. They however caution that casting blindly would not be a good idea and doesn’t usually lead to a big catch. Jason Sealock offers these tips to make your topwater angling more fruitful.

1. Shake your Tail Feather – many topwaters today come out of the package with tail feathers on them. The effect of a tail feather on a topwater is well documented. In fact, some tournaments have been won because the importance of a tail feather was made public during the event. The draw is that while your bait is sitting motionless on the surface, the feather or dressing is moving ever so slightly from the current in the water from wind and waves. It lets the fish know it’s alive.

2. Walk or Hop – The two most common topwater baits would have to been walking topwaters like the Heddon Zara Spook and poppers like the Rapala X-Rap Pop. But we have definitely seen days where a walking bait caught more fish than a popping bait. Poppers have advanced a lot in recent years and now you can get poppers that walk well while spitting and chugging. But read the fish and see if they need to bead in on a topwater moving in a line across the surface or if they prefer it to sit in one place for a while. This can help you choose the right bait for the bass.

3. Get in Step – Just like your local high school marching band, staying in step can be critical to their success. Getting a cadence with your topwater lure and staying with it can be a key to catching more bass. The old staple is twitch-twitch-pause. But it can also mean the speed at which the bait moves or how long the bait sits motionless on the pause. To be good at fishing any technique you need to believe a bass is watching your lure all the time. He’s getting agitated with every movement. Just letting the bait sit makes his blood boil. Then when it moves again he triggers and the fight is on. Figure out the cadence that angers the bass and you’ll land more fish.

He also points out the timing of your cast as a critical component especially in clear water, suggesting it could actually be more critical than how you work the bait. Take a breath to calm your excitement, go big with your bait and, pull into the fish with braid and keep your pull steady to avoid losing the fish.

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