Fall fishing can be a whole lot of fun, especially when the topwater bite fires up. Fish feed heavily in the fall, chasing shad, bream and other baitfish along the surface. This creates the perfect scenario for a topwater presentation, and there’s really nothing quite as exciting as the surface eruptions these baits elicit.
But topwater fishing in different seasons requires different approaches. In the early summer for instance, when fish are fresh off the bed and chasing spawning bream along the shore, a full-size, bluegill-colored Whopper Plopper is a great choice. But this bait is a bit aggressive and ill-suited for fall fishing, when bass are often targeting smaller shad. So today, we’re going to look at three solid options for fall topwater fishing.
Whether fishing in a pond, a creek, a lake or any other body of water, a popper is hard to beat in the fall. This smaller profile bait closely resembles the size and profile of threadfin shad, which are prevalent across many bass fisheries in the fall. This makes a white, bone or more natural shad pattern bait a great option for fall fishing.
But there are times when the bass are still keying on bluegill, bream and other baitfish in the fall. Even in these situation a popper is still a solid choice. These little baits twitched slowly across the surface can imitate a wide range of baitfish in the fall. The little chug mixed with the slow walking action of a topwater looks like a bream feeding on bugs or struggling along the surface, which draws a bass attention to it and creates what the bass believes to be an easy meal opportunity.
Be sure to pick a popper with a quality set of hooks, a feathered hook on the back and an appropriate color or pattern for the bait you’re fishing around. Bait is often prevalent shallow in the fall, so using a lure that looks as much like the real thing as possible is a great idea. I’ve said it several times before and I still standby it, the Mad Max Popper from MONSTERBASS is my favorite popper ever, and a solid option that meets all these criteria.
Walking bait -
Walking style baits like the Lucky Craft Sammy and Heddon Spook are great topwaters for the fall as well. These baits are often offered in 3-inch versions, similar to the size of the better poppers. And these small walking baits work well, but typically pale in comparison to the similarly-sized poppers during this season. So, if I’m throwing a walking style bait, it’s usually going to be a bigger one.
It may seem a little counterintuitive at first to go with a bigger bait in the fall, when I and others so often stress the importance of matching the hatch. But a full-size walking topwater, like a 4- and 1/2- inch Spook, is an exception to this rule. Fishing a larger bait like this slowly around docks, treetops and boulders in the fall is a great way to draw bigger bass to the surface, by offering them a bigger meal amidst the overabundance of smaller bait.
A buzzbait is certainly another fall favorite when it comes to topwater fishing. The 1/4- ounce version of this lure is perhaps the best for fall, especially when fishing around smaller shad and bream. Go with a white skirt and silver blade around shad. And an all black 1/4-ounce buzzbait works great when fishing around bream and bluegill, especially on fisheries with submerged vegetation.
Docks also hold lots of bass in the fall. And though poppers, walking baits and buzzbaits work well alongside of and in front of the docks, buzzbaits in particular create opportunity for you to fish a topwater bait underneath the docks. If you pull the skirt off a buzzbait and slip a soft plastic toad up onto the back of it, you’re left with a topwater bait that is very easy to skip. Skipping a buzzbait like this under a dock allows you to present a surface presentation to a bass that typically wouldn’t see one. This can create some ferocious strikes and tense battles.
If you’re looking for a little fall fishing fun this season, try tying on one of these topwaters and sticking with it. No matter the fishery, the forage or the species of bass you’re targeting, one of these topwaters should work well.
Want to catch bigger bass? Then take you fishing skills to the next level and get the best baits for the places you fish, delivered to your door? Hook yourself up a subscription to MONSTERBASS. We'll give you everything you need to catch your new PB the next time you hit the water. join now