Wakebaiting is an underappreciated technique. Period. When done correctly, it can draw fish to your bait and provide an extremely entertaining method of fishing! Wakebaits are subsurface topwater baits that create a “V” shaped wake behind the bait. These baits often draw fish directly to the bait because of the activity both subsurface and topwater.
A wakebait looks an awful lot like a crankbait with a downward facing bill. The wobble and wake created by the bait fires signals to a bass’ lateral lines, creating interest. Fishing a wakebait in clear open water or around structure imitates a baitfish’s natural escape instinct, which is to head straight to the surface. I also like fishing a wakebait just over grasses that allow me the space in the water column. If you get hung up here-and-there, rip the bait through the grass like a lipless crankbait before killing the bait. These pauses can trigger an aggressive bite or blowup.
These baits cover lots of water well, and will get bitten frequently during an aggressive bite. This is often a better bite in clearer/warmer water. Fish the bait like a SUPER shallow crankbait or like a slightly sinking topwater bait to draw a tough bite in pressured water. I like to throw them on the same gear I fish a squarebill crankbait on, allowing me to lean into and pin fish better all the way back to the boat/bank.
Hopefully this helps demystify wakebaiting and instills a little confidence in you to go out and throw a few around different shallow grasses and structure. Remember that you are drawing in curious fish, and when the opportunity strikes, so should you! Now go out and hook into a stud! Tight lines!
Author, teacher, guide, photographer, content creator...