This article will walk you through how to know when the best time is for topwater fishing. Almost everyone agree’s fishing topwater for largemouth and smallmouth bass is a blast. Most people miss out on this They don’t recognize the best opportunities for when to use a topwater lure. In here you will find several key factors to help you not miss those epic topwater fishing days. Follow this simple formula contained in this post, and you will find more magic days where you catch 20+ bass on topwater baits. Enjoy!
When Topwater Fishing Is The Best
There are 6 key elements to know when topwater fishing is the best. All 6 of these items are crucial to getting the timing right on that magical topwater bite window. Write these items down somewhere in your tackle box, so you can recognize the topwater bite next time it is on. What you need to know about topwater fishing is water temperature, weather, season, depth, cover, and visibility all play a role in when the bass are going to hit topwater. Continue reading to see how these factors will help you know when the topwater bite is in full swing.
Water temperature is the main clue you need to understand to dial in the timing of the topwater bite. Bass are cold blooded—their body temperature is about the same as the water temperature—so their metabolism is higher in warm water. When bass metabolism is high, they need to feed more often and need bigger meals. This is the time for tying on a topwater. A good rule of thumb for determining when to use topwater is any time the water is around or above 68 degrees. At that temperature usually they start feeding more frequently to want to attack the surface.
Weather has a powerful affect on whether bass will hit topwater or not. One of the best times to catch bass on topwater is right before a cold front moves in. The warm air associated with pre-frontal conditions usually offer rising water temperatures which increase the bite. Another important piece to a topwater bite is relatively calm water. If it’s to windy bass have a hard time seeing or identifying your topwater on the surface. Remember these 2 things. Before a front in the weather and relatively calm water. You are now in for an epic day of topwater fishing.
Bass have seasonal patterns which play a role in their ability to strike a topwater bait. Certain times of the year bass prefer to live in shallow water and are generally more aggressive. The best season for a topwater bite is late spring. The bass are still shallow after spawning and want to eat at this time. You can also get on a good topwater bite in the summer because of the warmer water temperatures. Lastly early fall before the water temperatures drop to cold the bass chase bait heavily to feed up for the winter. Late Spring, Summertime, and Early Fall are the best times to catch bass on topwater.
Depth & Cover
Where the bass are hiding is crucial for a good topwater fishing day. The general rule is if the bass are shallower, the easier it is for them to hit a topwater. Bass just don’t have to travel as far in shallow water to hit on top. Sometimes topwater is the only way to get to those extremely shallow fish. Cover is important too. Bass love shade. If there is matted vegetation, a bass will lay underneath to ambush prey. Sometimes a topwater frog is the only way to entice those bass to come up out of the thick nasty weeds to eat. Thick cover and shallow oriented bass are a perfect recipe for catching bass on topwater.
The visibility or clarity of the water makes it easier for a bass to locate a bait on the surface. A bass can see better when the water is crystal clear, and will often travel farther to hit a topwater. Comparing clear water to stained and poor visibility conditions, bass have a harder time seeing the bait. Bass will need a little more to help them recognize the bait. In order for you to get a good topwater bite, the fish will need to be living shallow when the water is not clear. There’s a fine line with visibility. The water clarity is usually the best way to determine what type of topwater to use. With clear water you need to make long casts with light line to get good topwater bites. On the other extreme in stained water line type doesn’t matter. Baits with a lot of commotion work best in these dirty water conditions.
One more important thing about visibility. To find a good topwater bite look for low light conditions. Early morning, late evening, and overcast skies tend to produce the best topwater action. Bass regularly feed more in those situations. Remember when you have low light visibility outside throw the topwater plug. It will get chomped!
When Best Topwater Fishing Can Occur – Video
This video illustrates the perfect combination of these factors for when the best topwater fishing can happen. This video transpired in the early fall the first weekend in October on a place in Idaho called Crowthers Reservoir. It’s a little pond that has a good population of bass. Not only did these items work on this trip, but they will work for you on your spots when the conditions outlined in this article are right. Knowing when to catch bass on topwater is easy. Especially if you follow the formula in this post. The intro of the video was filmed before we even made our first cast. I could tell conditions where just perfect. See if you can see why this topwater bite was so good after reading this article. Enjoy!
Baits In Topwater Video;
Good Topwater Lures For Various Conditions
Not all topwater lures work the same in various circumstances. Here’s a list of some of the best popular topwater lures. This list has affiliate links to where you can purchase some of my favorite topwater baits in each category. Plus, this list will help you know which lure will work best in the different situations you encounter on the water.
- Spook Style Bait – A spook works best with it’s slashing back and forth action in open water. It creates good commotion to work in both clear, and dirty water conditions.
- Popper – The popper is the first bait you should try if you’ve never fished on top before. It get’s a ton of bites. A popper works best in open water in both clear and dirty water.
- Frog – A frog is best for fishing heavy vegetation. Thick cover. You will miss fish on a frog. A treble hook bait is better in open water like the popper or spook.
- Buzzbaits – Baits that plop, and chop the surface are best for fishing fast. In addition, use a buzz bait in windy, dirty or anytime you need more commotion to get your bait noticed.
Additional Topwater Timing Considerations
One more thing to keep in mind for when the best time is for fishing topwater. Don’t be afraid to try topwater. If you know you are in an area with good concentrations of fish, give it a try. Usually a topwater bite is the most effective thing you can do. It will draw fish from a larger area than a subtle finesse presentation. Many tournaments in professional bass fishing are won on topwater lures because they draw bites. Throw a bigger bait for bigger fish, and get stoked for some epic topwater action.
Lastly, The links above and below in this post are affiliate links were you can pick up baits, rod’s, reels, line, and anything else mentioned here to “Krak” some bass when the topwater bite is on. Krakenbass receives a small percentage of the sales through these links. I only use links to baits, and gear I personally trust and know work. These links are here to be helpful for you, and not for the small amount I make for the sale of the products. I hope these products can help you “krak” some bass like they have for me. Thank you for your support!