Summertime is here, and along with the heat, comes some of the hottest topwater action of the year. No bait instills more hostility in predatory fish than the sloshing, sputtering and quivering of a crippled deceiver. While most everything that can be written about these baits has—here’s five odd topwater tricks you might not have heard before.
1. Don’t fish topwater. When fishing baits other than topwater, keep one rigged on a spare rod and ready-for-action. If fish begin banging baitfish pods, toss your topwater into or near the frenzy. Work the bait on a rapid cadence to mimic fleeing bait. Never, never pause.
2. Follow up. Always have a follow-up bait rigged when fishing topwater. If a fish misses your lure, follow the cast with a jig, suspending jerkbait or whatever else strikes your fancy. In most instances, you’ll raise the fish on the follow bait.
3. Scare face. When fishing new baits, make it a habit to scuff up the bait’s paint job with some coarse sandpaper. A roughed-up surface mimics an injured baitfish to a predator—a much tastier looking target than one with a flashy, hot-rod looking paint job. Remember, you’re bait is supposed to be wounded, not primped to win a beauty contest.
4. Lighten up. Wooden (lighter) baits should be fished on light line. Light line allows lightweight baits to cast farther than their heavier cousins. Additionally, light line is considerably limper, providing a livelier, more enticing action.
5. Propped up. When tossing lipped minnow baits, should the bite slow, swap out for a prop-equipped topwater bait. In many cases, the frenzied water displacement of the prop will coax hesitant fish back into the strike zone.