It’s topwater season throughout the country, especially on our northern grass lakes.
The bluegills are spawning nationwide and mayflies are hatching – all good ingredients for a good topwater bite. Anytime I find decent water visibility this time of year, I’ve got a topwater ready to play.
There are various styles of surface lures, but my favorites are the walking stick baits like the Strike King Sexy Dawg and my KVD Splash popper. That’s not to say propped topwaters aren’t good, but these are my mainstays.
I love fishing the popper when there is a bluegill spawn and mayfly hatch. It’s got tremendous drawing power and the hook-up ratio is really good, even with smallmouth.
We have two sizes of KVD Splashes. The small one is a finesse popper that I like to fish around shallow targets, clear water and when it’s calm. It walks well and has a nice blooping sound. It can spit, too. It’s my bread-and-butter popper.
I use the larger one if there is some wind, the water is dirtier, or if around big bass. It makes more commotion and has a bigger profile.
Topwater fishing isn’t just about the bait. Line type matters; it’s best to throw these with mono. I use 14 pound on the small model and 17-20 on the bigger one.
For rods, I use my Quantum KVD Tour in a 6-10 medium action because it allows me to cast with accuracy and skip it under willow trees and docks.
I prefer walking baits like the Sexy Dawg when trying to cover water quickly. I use it in clear water and in more open areas, over big grass flats and rocky points where I need to make long casts and cover water. That walking action really draws them and it can be good during shad and herring spawns. For clear water, I prefer the translucent colors.
One thing I do to improve hook-ups is change the stock round bend hooks with my Mustad KVD trebles, swapping the Size 4s for 2s. I also throw it on 40-pound braid because I can make longer casts and it works better.
Another topwater I throw is the weedless, floating frog. At the Texas Toyota Bass Classic on Ray Roberts, I finished in the Top 10 by skipping a frog way back in the bushes.
Strike King is coming out with a new one at ICAST that we call a “Poppin’ Perch.” It will be excellent for matted vegetation and skipping under docks and trees. It’s got a cupped mouth with phenomenal action that I know is going to be deadly in some situations. You should see it later this fall.
In the meantime, don’t forget to tie on a topwater this summer. It’s a bait you can fish all day long and will produce some of the biggest bass of the year!
Just remember, it’s all about the attitude!