Some anglers destroy the fish on topwaters, some manage only a few, fishing the same waters with the same lures. Why might this be?
Tip: Fishing a topwater bait is a lot like Dancing with the Stars. You have to have all the right moves to be successful. The zig-zag action that drives fish crazy takes the right lure, rod, line and leader, not to mention a "10" in technique.
1. Choose a lure that's easy to walk. Most look like a tapered cigar. The Heddon Spook was one of the first and it's still great, but now there are many choices including the Bass Pro Shops XPS Walker topwater fishing lure, which has a slightly curved back that makes it easier to walk than straight-bodied baits.
2. Choose a lure that's heavy enough to make long casts. The farther you get the lure from the boat, the less likely the fish are to see you as they chase the lure back. Lures weighing 5/8 to 7/8 ounce are best for most bass and inshore situations.
3. Your rod action makes a huge difference in the ability to work a topwater right. Soft actions don't cut it here. Medium-heavy power with fast tips do a much better job.
4. Fish the walking baits on braid such as Bass Pro Shops XPS Hyper Braid 8 Fishing Line. These lines have zero stretch, which means when you move your rod tip an inch, the lure moves an inch. They make it possible to get some real "snap" in the action of any topwater lure. They also make hook sets much easier on long casts.
5. Add 12 to 18 inches of fluorocarbon leader in 20-pound test between the braid and the lure. This not only cuts line visibility, but the stiffness of the fluoro fishing line will prevent it from tangling the treble hooks of the lure. With no leader, the soft braid will frequently loop over the hooks. Use a double Uni-knot for the connection.
6. For most lures, the walkin' the dog action starts with the rod tip just a few inches off the water. Twitch the tip SHARPLY about 4 inches, then — and this is critical — immediately drift the tip back toward the lure a few inches, creating a slight slack in the line. Then twitch and repeat, all the way back to the boat. Jerking against that bit of slack is key to getting the lure going in a zig-zag pattern.
7. If a fish strikes and misses, keep the lure going. Often they'll come back for a second time. It's not a bad idea, though, to have a soft plastic swimbait at the ready to cast to the spot where the fish blew up. Often the change in lures does the job.
If you’re looking to stock your tacklebox with topwater lures, check out the huge selection at Bass Pro Shops.