How To: Topwater Bass

Where to Throw It: Trees and standing timber. How to Fish It: Use a sharp, downward rod motion on a slack line to grab air and create maximum pop without too much forward movement. Contrary to walkers, a fluoro leader can help here by pulling the popper down for a deeper blooping sound. In either case, a loop knot allows for maximum motion. How to Fish It: Same as with poppers, twitch these baits on a slack line to get those blades sputtering while maximizing the commotion with short spurts. How to Fish It: Leave the fringy legs intact for maximum profile over bass beds. Hooks that Hold Thrown hooks are the bane of topwater fishing. Red Alert When fish are short-striking, a red front hook presents a target point and often improves hookups. Know Your Knot Walkers and poppers do best with relaxed motion, so tie up with a loop knot. Remember, the first thing you see is the fish pushing a wall of water toward your bait, so stay calm and let the fish come tight before reacting.
Popper

Where to Throw It: Trees and standing timber. Typically smaller than walkers, poppers can also play the short game with brief, targeted casts to structure. A concave face pushes water and air on every twitch for a bold display that pulls deep fish topside.

How to Fish It: Use a sharp, downward rod motion on a slack line to grab air and create maximum pop without too much forward movement. Contrary to walkers, a fluoro leader can help here by pulling the popper down for a deeper blooping sound.
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Walker

Where to Throw It: The classic side-to-side, walk-the-dog saunter excels in any open-water scenario, but it’s especially productive when bass school on bait pods or target early-morning shad spawns. Also, use these lures to probe points and bluff ends, and crisscross reefs (killer smallmouth structure).

How to Fish It: A braided main line can gather in front of your walker and foul the front hook. A short monofilament or fluorocarbon leader remedies this. But understand, also, that too much fluoro pulls the bait’s nose down and mars the presentation. In either case, a loop knot allows for maximum motion. Try using both high- and low-pitch rattle options to determine daily preferences.
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Prop Bait
PROP BAIT

Where to Throw It: Near bass beds in deeper water, or shallow bluegill beds later in the spring and summer. Both long and slender, and short and stubby configurations prove highly effective for irritating…

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