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The 3 Hottest Topwater Summer Bass Fishing Lures | Catch Big Summer Bass With Topwater Lures

The 3 Hottest Topwater Summer Bass Fishing Lures | Catch Big Summer Bass With Topwater Lures
August 8, 2022

By: Dylan Hayward

Why Do Bass Bite Topwater Lures?

If you have ever experienced a bass explode out of the water to swallow a topwater lure, you know the feeling of the adrenaline rush that all anglers crave. There’s something about the nature that they target topwater prey that is pretty remarkable.

From my experience, bass will bite topwater lures when they are lethargic and notice that there is an easy prey floating on top of the water surface. During the warm summer months, it’s quite common that bass will become lazy and linger to cooler and deeper waters, making them seemingly uninterested in most lures that you cast out. This can be a great time to tempt them with an easy meal such as a topwater frog or popper.

When Do Bass Bite Topwater Lures?

I like to use topwater lures in late summer and early fall, when the water temperature seems to cool off slightly from the dog days of summer, and most importantly, using them in the early morning and late evening, as lowlight conditions can bring bass closer to the water surface.

Another great time to throw out a topwater lure is on an overcast day. Cloudy days can essentially provide excellent bass fishing with topwater lures throughout the entire day, despite the golden rule of fishing mornings and evenings in the summer.

Check your water temperature and avoid days of extreme heat when the bass are unlikely to travel any sort of distance, even for an easy meal.

3 Best Topwater Lures

Popper- Topwater Poppers are consistently the most popular topwater lures and it’s easy to see why. They are designed to mimic baitfish such as shad and even small bluegills. The slow retrieving method for poppers allows anglers to get on lethargic summer bass when a challenge meal doesn’t seem all that interesting to them.

Buzzbait- Buzzbaits are an extremely effective topwater lure year round. They typically feature a trailing skirted jig with a blade at the front that creates a “buzz” and signs of a distressed prey that drive bass wild. There are different varieties that will produce different sounds and visuals, but overall, they are tough to beat when it comes to topwater lures.

Topwater Frog- Topwater Frogs offer an amazing presentation of a go-to meal for big bass. They are typically weedless making them great for fishing in heavy cover, especially around lily pads where Bass love to ambush prey. If I find a prime area of heavy cover, the topwater frog is generally what I am sticking with.

Best Ways to Present Each Topwater Lure

Presenting a Popper- One of the keys to fishing a topwater popper is to pick the right style. Look for poppers that imitate the baitfish in the area that you’re fishing. Poppers that resemble shad or small bluegills are great options.

Reel in slow with small jerks. The caved face of the popper will make it pop along the surface which resembles a fish in distress and will entice even the laziest bass. A lot of times bass will toy with these lures first, so don’t be too hasty to set the hook. Instead, let the bass fully commit and take the lure underwater before setting the hook.

Presenting a Buzzbait- With buzzbait, you want to always remember to keep the lure on the top surface, so aiming your rod high at first and slowly lowering it as your retrieve the buzzbait will create the presentation you’re looking for.

Again, these lures will sink if you aren’t careful and that’s not the way you want to present them. So as soon as they hit the water, you should start reeling in a fast but steady pace.

Presenting a Topwater Frog- The greatest thing about using a topwater frog is, you’re pretty much never got to get snagged on something. Use this to your advantage while mimicking a frogs actions.

Use some flicks of your rod to skip over downed logs or rocks. Short, sporadic hops over vegetation, specifically lily pads is another great presentation. I love using a frog in thick vegetation, especially this time of the year. The action can be nonstop.

Best Rod & Reel Setup for Each Topwater Lure

Best Popper Rod & Reel Setup - For a popper, it’s imperative that you have a fast action rod tip to create the action needed for the popper. A medium casting rod will be ideal for using poppers, but there is room for heavier setups.

A standard size casting reel is perfect for almost any type of popper fishing. Some of the more compact reels will give less resistance when casting further out, but any reel in that 45-70 size range is more than plenty.

Best Buzzbait Rod & Reel Setup - A heavier action baitcasting rod will likely be the best way to go for buzzbaits. A 7’ rod with 10-15lb mono line, and you’re going to want to make sure you have a high speed reel. As we touched on before, a fast and consistent pace is key for using buzzbaits.

Best Topwater Frog Rod & Reel Setup - When fishing with a topwater frog, more than likely you’re going to be casting into heavy cover, so an accurate rod setup is pretty crucial. A fast action baitcasting rod will work the best, as the soft tip will allow you to pop your frog around the debris. A rod somewhere in the range of 7’-7’6” will be ideal.

Using a reel with a high retrieve rate is very important when fishing with a topwater frog, as it allows you to quickly get out any line slack, and allow you to set the hook much quicker when a bass does strike. Most professional anglers will suggest a gear ratio of 7.5:1 to 8.0:1.

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