Topwater baits are in season as late summer approaches; here are seven must haves for every tackle box.
You know there’s a plethora of choices when it comes to summertime bass baits, but as the warm days of July drag on, topwaters can be deadly.
We’ve picked a few topwater baits that absolutely, positively, must be in your tackle box during this time of year. Most are able to be fished in similar ways, and all can be found easily at any tackle shop or online.
As far as hollow-bodied frogs are concerned, the Live Target models have very detailed, realistic profiles, and are designed specifically to sit with the nose higher above the water, making them easier to walk or bob. All hollow-bodied frogs will retain water and will require some regular maintenance to squeeze it out as you’re fishing. Some brands will flood out quicker than others, but the Live Target models have a less rigid plastic body that not only increases hookups but require less maintenance.
The features of this particular frog won “Best of Show” at the ICAST sportfishing trade show in 2010, and its distinct characteristics have proven it to be far superior to its counterparts.
The GrassBurner is a unique design that creates a flat profile that rests on its side, and not only flawlessly skims the surface at slow speeds, but casts further and more accurately than a standard buzzbait. The combination of the skirt and attention to detail on the patterns truly makes this bait stand out from the crowd.
Realistic patterns on these 7-inch baits are available in a wide variety of colors. High quality components like the dual treble hooks are super sticky and increase hookup ratio by comparison to a single hook on a standard buzzbait as well, and the bait itself is lead-free.
3. BOING Lures
Named on Wide Open Spaces as one of last year’s Top 5 Innovative Baits and Tackle Boing lures have many features similar to their popular topwater predecessors. What sets it apart from the rest is the sound: it’s designed to stimulate a fish’s sound-receptor by creating both high and low spectrum frequencies, unlike any lure on the market. This creates a burst of acoustic information and electrical signals that are conveyed directly to a fish’s brain and causes them to react violently.
Boing Lure’s offers three different styles: the G1, a walking bait that some say resembles a Heddon Spook style bait; the G2, which is a popper, but also walks with ease; and the new G3, a prop walker with blades on the front and back.
Boing Lures are made of a durable Lexan material, guaranteed not to break or come apart. The eyelet is pre-tuned for superior walking action. They also feature high quality custom paint and Gamakatsu hooks, including a hand-tied, feathered rear treble.
For many of the same reasons the Live Target Frog is a must have topwater for any tackle box, so is the Live Target Mouse. Its realistic, detailed pattern offers a lifelike presentation and performs in the water more like the real thing than any of its predecessors. The silicone legs give off the feel of a field mouse scurrying to safety.
Where you might normally fish a frog in the pads, fish the mouse near grassy edges. Cast at the bank and drag it into the water to get the attention of fish cruising the shoreline for an easy, filling meal.
The Live Target Mouse earned honors for the 2011 ICAST “Best of Show.”
War Eagle Custom Lures have been around since the mid 1990s. What started as a couple guys working in their garage to supply a small group of local tackle stores then began to create quite a buzz in the bass fishing industry.
Pro angler Mike McClelland won two back to back B.A.S.S. events on a War Eagle spinnerbait. A few months later in the Spring of 1997, pro angler Gerald Swindle won a major FLW event on a War Eagle spinnerbait.
The spread of the War Eagle empire has slowly grown in popularity, partly because their products are still made in the USA by people who fish, using the highest quality components.
The specially designed flat keel head allows them to quickly rise to the surface and get on plane. While the basic white, black and chartreuse are standards, the War Eagle line of buzzbaits feature blades in a wide variety of colors, including prism blades for additional flash. They’re also equipped with custom slip-on skirts, light wire for better vibration, and Mustad Ultra Power Point Hooks.
Once again, Live Target makes the list for its detailed appearance of sunfish or bluegill that creates a realistic presentation in a wide variety of colors. The body of the bait is designed to float perfectly on its side, and the double Trokar hooks will increase your hookup ratio where cheap imitations will leave you disappointed.
There are very few bluegill imitations that can even be fished in as heavy cover as similar hollow-bodied frog and rat imitations, so you can present something new to fish that are deep in cover. As the summer progresses, the water temperature rises, and oxygen levels are depleted, a dying bluegill struggling near the surface is an easy meal for a hungry bass.
The Jackall Pompadour is fitted with metal wings that collapse on the cast and flare out once they hit the water. The design is similar to the classic Heddon Crazy Crawler, but a little modern engineering has created some new elements that make this one of the loudest topwater baits around. The metal wings clack and clank, walking the bait along while making a unique sound with the addition of dual rattle chambers. The Jackall Pompadour also features a rear, free-swinging hook, and a prop blade that generates noise and water disturbance.
When it seems like the bass have already seen it all, the combination of new and old school elements on this bait create a one of a kind presentation that makes a huge difference when it matters most.