Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Understanding Topwater Baits

Ask any angler what their favorite way to fish is and odds are your answer will be topwater fishing. Why? Because there is nothing like seeing a fish explode out of seemingly no where to engulf your bait.   The adrenaline rush it gives anglers is unparalleled and will have you eager to throw your bait back in the water after landing that fish.                

Not only that but depending on what bait you're using topwater baits give you a great way to fish areas blanketed with fish harboring weeds and lilly pads.  So just to simplify things a bit for you here is a list of the different types of topwater baits available.

Hollow Frogs & Rats:  Hollow bodied frogs and rats are probably the ultimate lilly pad fishing bait. This is due to the fact that they are weedless and easily crawl across weed mats and pads producing a big silhouette for fish to see from the underside of pads.  Don't be afraid to tie a frog or rat on and give it a whirl, fish love them and trust me you will too.

Poppers:  Poppers also known as chuggers and spitters have concave faces that cause them to pop, gurgle or spit water when you twitch them.  Unlike frogs and rats poppers are not weedless and need to be fished in relatively open water or in water where the tops of weeds haven't reached the top of the water yet (I've had great success in this case).  Poppers are retrieved with a series of rapid twitches but don't be afraid to vary it up.

Stick Baits (Walkers):  I believe the Zara Spook might be the most widely used stick bait there is on the  market.  It's cigar shape and weighted rear end allows it to have a walk the dog (side to side) action as your twitch the bait.  Stick baits are also baits for open water or waters where the weeds have not reached the surface as they, like poppers, have treble hooks at the front and rear end.

Crawlers: The Jitterbug is the standard for crawling topwater baits.  The wide concave lip causes the bait have a side to side action accompanied by a "plop plop" sound that fish can't resist.  Simply cast it into open water or waters that have weeds below the surface and hold on.  Crawlers are great baits for night time, heavily overcast and rainy day fishing.

Propbaits:  Propbaits look similar to stickbaits with a more narrow profile and small propellors at each end. They're fished with twitches and frequent pauses that make props spin simulating feeding baitfish.  Like many others on the topwater list they are good for open water and water with below surface weeds.

Buzzbaits:  Buzzbaits are great baits for covering large amounts of water within a short time.  They have a large propellor like blade that throw a lot of water making the buzz sound across the surface. Retrieve them slowly and steadily as they sink when you stop reeling.  As well you want to retrieve the slowly in order to keep the bait in the strike zone longer avoiding missed strikes.

Topwater baits are a great choice for fishing as any fisherman will tell you.  However don't get drawn in to the belief that they are only a bass fishing bait because almost all fish will take bait off of the top you just have to chose what they want.  In fact my preferred method of fishing for panfish is with a small flyfishing popper or a foam spider.

Thanks for reading

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