I’m not sure I’ve met a fisherman – especially when bass and muskies are the targets – who doesn’t enjoy catching fish on topwater baits. In fishing, few things rival the excitement of a fish nailing a bait at the surface.
I’ve caught several muskies on topwater baits right at the side of the boat, and I’m convinced now that, as a result, I probably use topwaters in too many situations when other baits would be better. The thing is, you just can’t beat the rush.
For years, buzzbaits were one of my top lures for bass. I’d cast them around reeds, over submerged vegetation, and around docks, where I’d run them into posts. That’s a great way to generate explosive strikes. There was a long period of time when I’d wake up at 4 in the morning and head out to big weed flats and cast white buzzbaits over the top of them. It’s hard to top a bass smashing a topwater in the pre-dawn darkness or just as the sun starts to rise.
But far too many fishermen ditch topwater baits when the first hints of fall arrive. I’m not sure why that is, though it may have something to do with them thinking topwaters are active baits that work best when the water is warm.
The thing is, fish feed heavily in the fall, even as the water temperature is falling. Oftentimes, they’re feeding on fish, and topwater baits – especially buzzbaits – do a good job of mimicking a school of baitfish on the surface. They’re plenty willing to hammer a bait that’s moving quickly across the surface.
The other advantage fall topwater anglers have is that most other fishermen have put those baits away for the year. Anglers always have an advantage when they use a technique that’s different from what everyone else is doing.
So as summer turns to fall, consider keeping a topwater bait tied on. More than likely, you’ll be glad you did.