Top 5 Topwaters

Top 5 Topwaters

Written by: Coley Meck

Topwaters are great for catching bass from the spring clear through the fall. Topwater bites are explosive memory makers that keep us coming back for more time and time again. This is the one bait category that most any angler is willing to commit to for extended periods of time without a bite, knowing that when the bite inevitably comes, it all be worth it.

But topwater bites don’t have to be few and far between. The best way to up your production with a topwater is to educate yourself on the different types and when each of these baits is better to throw the others. That’s what we’re here to help with today, as we embark on the journey of laying out the best five topwater baits of all time, and when to use each.

Popper -

A popper is probably the best topwater bait to get a bite on, as well as the best topwater for a beginner to throw. Make no mistake, the seasoned veteran needs this bait in his or her box as well, but these baits are typically a little smaller than other topwaters, which makes them easier to manage and means they draw more strikes. And poppers are really easy to work for a new angler too.

One of my favorite poppers of all time is actually the MONSTERBASS Mad Max. This is an awesome popper because it pops and walks with ease, and it comes rigged with a fantastic set of hooks, with the back one even sporting a feather. These baits are also a good deal, at $8.99. The ARK Topwater Popper is another great bait, for a lot of the same reasons.


Walking bait -

Walking style baits are also fantastic fish catchers, and among the two most popular styles of topwaters—the other being the popper. Though there are some big poppers and some small walking baits, most walking baits are a little bigger than most poppers. These baits are designed to “walk”, which basically means to glide back and forth as they are twitched.

Walking style topwaters like the Heddon Spook and Lucky Craft Sammy have been catching big ones for decades. And we also have our own offerings like this here at MONSTERBASS—the Ragnar 3.0 and smaller Patriot 3.0—which are are quality baits that catch fish as well.

Buzzbait -

Buzzbaits, like the famed Lunker Lure of old or more modern Strike King Tri-Wing Buzz Bait, are great topwaters too. These baits are designed to be reeled continuously, as opposed to worked along little by little like poppers and walking style baits. This makes a buzzbait the perfect bait for covering water.

You can tie a buzzbait on and just go down the bank, knowing that any fish in the vicinity will quickly be alerted to its presence by the loud, gurgling sound of its prop churning up the water’s surface. These are great baits for fishing across flats and down grass lines.


Prop bait -

There are two different styles of prop baits really, those that are twitched along and those that are designed to be reeled continuously. The former are baits like the Bagley Sunny B Twin Spin, which has two small metal props that send little bursts of water spurting into the air each time the bait is twitched. Then the reeling baits are more like a River2Sea Whopper Plopper, which has a big prop on the back end that gurgles and slings a bunch of water as it’s reeled along.

The twitch-style prop baits are designed more to fish around isolated cover, as are the poppers and walking style baits. Whereas the Whopper Plopper style baits are better for covering water, like buzzbaits.

Now this is not to say you can’t catch fish around cover with Ploppers and buzzbaits—you absolutely can. Nor are we saying that you can’t cover water with a twitch-prop bait, walking bait or popper. It’s just that each of these baits is better suited for one or the other.

Frog -

Hollow body frogs are the all-terrain vehicles of the topwater tackle box. You can throw one of these baits into the thickest stuff you can find, and then usually work it right through and out of that cover—unless a big bass eats it first. There are two main types of these baits as well: walking frogs and popping frogs.

Walking frogs are designed with a pointed nose and better suited for… you guessed it, walking. Popping frogs have a cupped mouth so that they can spit water when they are twitched, though these baits can still be walked easily as well. The biggest thing to keep in mind when selecting between these two is the water temperature.

The more subtle walking frogs work better in cooler water, where the popping frog show out more in the summer. The SPRO Dean Rojas Bronzeye Frog 65 (walking) and the SPRO Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog 60 are two fantastic baits. They are both available in the Ultimate Frog Box that I put together for MONSTERBASS.

In conclusion -

Knowing when to select each of these baits from this list of the five best topwaters will be key to your success on the water. Remember that buzzbaits and some prop baits (like Whopper Ploppers) are better for covering water. And then there are the poppers, walking baits, twitch-style prop baits and frogs that are designed to be fished slower, which makes them better for throwing at targets.

The frogs are the best for heavy cover like thick grass patches and mats. If the cover is a little more sparse, buzzbaits work great too. And then save the treble hooked baits like prop baits, poppers and walking baits for fishing in open water or around isolated or hard cover, like stumps, seawalls, docks and rocks. If you take all of this into consideration when selecting your next topwater to throw, you’ll be on the right track and catching monster bass in no time.

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