The Best Topwater Lures and How to Fish Them

The Best Topwater Lures and How to Fish Them

A bass striking a topwater bait is one of the best moments a bass angler will experience. It is hard to match that excitement, and it is what keeps bass anglers wanting more. There are many different topwater baits, but these are the top five topwater lure styles and how to fish them.


Topwater Popper Bass Fishing

The popper is one of the oldest bass fishing lures there is. They have evolved with more realistic finishes and better hooks, but the same principle remains. The cupped mouth on the front allows the bait to pop and spit water as the rod is jerked.

Most of the time, it is best to fish these topwater baits slowly along the surface. One of the best approaches right after the cast is to wait for all of the rings and ripples to subside before popping the lure. Often, bass will hear the lure splash and go to inspect and then pounce on the first movement.

Another general rule is that these baits are best on calm days and during the early morning and evening hours. During the day when the sun is out, try casting these baits close to shade and targets like bushes and docks where bass may be hiding.

Walking Baits

Walking Bait Bass Fishing

This category of topwater lures includes a wide variety of baits, but the general theme is they walk side-to-side. “Walking the dog” is a popular term and applies to all of these baits as they slowly walk back and forth on the retrieve.

Try to match both the size and color of the baitfish in your waters and change up your speed depending on conditions. Some days the bass want them moving slowly, and other times you can’t reel them fast enough.

Prop Baits

This class of bass fishing lures are topwater baits with either plastic or metal props attached. Some baits have props on both the front and back and others feature them only at the end of the lure. The lures stay on top of the water, and the propellers help to add some commotion as the bait is worked back towards you.

One of the best ways to fish these lures is by pulling the rod sharply to get the bait to dart forward and allow the props to rotate. Generally, these lures are fished more slowly than a walking topwater bait, and they do exceptionally well around shallow cover. Fish them around submerged grass, over brush, and around docks for best success.


These buzzing lures have great action on the surface and have a knack for catching monster bass. The buzzbait comes in a host of size and color options and even different blade configurations. Some feature a single blade, some have two, and some incorporate small clackers to add new sound.

When fishing a buzzbait, one of the keys is to get the lure to the surface immediately after the cast to get it to rise to the surface and allow it to start buzzing and creating sound and a bubble trail. These are the keys to success with these bass fishing lures.

There are many places that a buzzbait will work, but generally shallow cover is your best bet.


While frogs are often seen as lures to only use over matted vegetation, they can be used anywhere including around docks, brush and even in open water. But, one of the best approaches with hollow belly frogs is fishing them around lily pads and holes in the vegetation.

Utilizing short hops, as if imitating a frog works great, but walking them side-to-side can fish them and mixing short pauses is one of the best ways to fool a monster bass.

Topwater bass fishing is one of the most exciting parts of bass fishing, and most would agree that there is nothing better than an excellent topwater blowup.

Tyler Brinks
Tyler Brinks is an avid bass angler from Spokane, WA. He works full-time in the fishing industry as a writer and social media marketer and fishes any chance he gets and everywhere he goes.

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  • Top water is as exciting as anything I’ve done. I have caught some of my biggest fish on a buzzbait and missed I’m sure the biggest fish as well. I do best on that bait if I wait until I feel the weight load up and then set the hook. The popper bait is a fun bait and time on the water is all a guy needs to become successful. I like the spook for walking the dog and love that prop bait for small mouth. Frogs are fun and you sent me to school with this video good frog, heavy rod fast reel and braided line. Thanks for the info and educating me today. LATS ALL SAY THANKS TO OUR MILITARY FOLKS AND REMEMBER THOSE WHO HAVE SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES.

    Thanks MB happy fishing

    Ronnie Boss |
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