6 Topwater Fishing Tips for Summer Bass: Tactics to Learn and Master

Topwater fishing tips come and go, but these most tried and true methods will never fail you.

Topwater bass fishing is a way of life for most anglers. The first time any of us had a bass hit our favorite topwater plug, the game was on. Soft plastic lures have their place in our tackle bag for sure, but when you want to catch and land more fish, it's time to ready yourself for that big time topwater bite that makes bass fishing such a joy.

Here's a short list of topwater lures that give long casts and frightful strikes. Tie those on, and be ready with some good braided line and a stiff action rod, because you're about to enter the bass fishing Twilight Zone. There are walking baits, prop baits, and even plop baits to satisfy your urge to not only feel that massive strike, but see it as well.

This is why we bass fish: Not only to feel the bruising, lure-thumping strike, but to remind us that there are things in this world worth waiting for. Here are a few of the ways to do it using your eyes as much as your hands!

1. Jointed Rapala Abracadabra

Here is a great method that I've used for many years that requires some stealth and some good casting technique. It's your best bet when fish are in shallow water earlier in the summer and are nice and aggressive.

Let your cast rest for a moment and then give the rod tip a short, sharp flick to pop the bait and leave some rings in the water. As you can see by my video, it works quite well even in a moving stream!

2. Super Frog Shuffle

This lure is almost as old as I am. It's not so easy to come by a Bill Plummer Super Frog anymore, but this is a lure worth looking in to. You can throw this bad boy into the thickest patch of weeds and it will land with a beauteous plop every time. Bring it back slowly and let its legs extend behind it in an enticing fashion by simply using the rod tip... and hang on!

3. Spinnerbait Swarm

The method of making your favorite spinner into a topwater bait is as old as the bait itself. Reeling it in quickly enough to give it a tremendous boil just under the surface can entice some incredible strikes. It can be done in cover that is normally too thick to fish because you can simply see it better, and therefore work around obstacles.

4. Buzz Bait Blitz

First came the spinnerbait and the spinnerbait swarm, then came the buzz bait and we've never looked back. These style baits are as good on open water as they are in the lily pads, and they catch bass both ways.

Early morning around shallower heavy cover is your best bet, but don't discount water as deep as 10-feet to get strikes from the venerable buzz bait.

5. Jitterbug Jig

This is one of the best topwater baits with treble hooks that you can possibly try. When water conditions are right, the jitterbug can produce a big strike and big fish.

There are so many fish that will hit it you may found yourself trying for multiple species. Try, alternately, a slow and steady retrieve and letting it rest after the rings around it from hitting the water go away. Then jerk it a few times and wait.

6. J-Walker Jerk

The J-Walker, Zara Spook, Torpedo, and the Smithwick Devils Horse are all types of surface dwelling (sometimes with a prop) baits that easily make themselves known to fish, especially bass. These are as good for smallmouth bass as they are for bucket mouths. When water conditions are right they produce rod-jarring hits.

Sometimes just letting them do their stuff and reeling straight in is the key, and at others you need to simply be patient and jerk it in the water before waiting for the bubbles to stop.

When it comes to fishing gear, your favorite topwater lure can be your best friend. They're used by professional anglers everywhere and have stood the test of time. These fishing products will stretch line and raise the hair on the back of your neck, but one thing that they won't do is disappoint you.

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