• 4 Secrets to Summer Topwater Fishing

    Written by Andrew Schadegg

    It may be the hottest time of the year, but it can also be the most exciting if you know some of the secrets to summer topwater fishing.

    When you’re looking for those big surface explosions, keep these 4 tips in mind and you’ll get more bites and land more fish.

    1. Target the Shadows
    This is a major key to topwater fishing in the summer. The heat of the summer has bass looking for the coolest water they can find. Of course, low-light hours are always primetime for topwater, but it doesn’t have to end when the sun comes up. Go after those spaces under over-hanging trees, next to bushes, matted grass or under docks. Follow the shadows throughout the day and you can keep that surface bite going.

    2. Watch for Schooling Fish
    In the summertime, keeping a spook or popper on your deck is a really good idea to take advantage of those times when a topwater opportunity might arise. Keep your eye out for baitfish schools flipping on the surface and toss your bait nearby, especially if you see bass busting the surface on those schools. This can put multiple summer fish in the boat, really quickly.

    3. Mix Up Your Presentation
    Just like a golfer has different clubs for different applications, an angler uses different lures depending on any number of factors. Throughout the day, it’s important to adjust your topwater baits for various situations. Frogs, rats or other hollow body baits for heavy grass, weeds and slop. Buzzbaits for weedlines, poppers for docks or walking baits for open water. Let the fish tell you what they want and make adjustments to your cadence, how long you pause or your lure itself if the conditions call for it.

    4. Hold on a Second
    In the midst of a giant topwater blowup, one of the hardest things for an angler to do is wait to set the hook. For newbies, this is even harder. However, it is really important to wait until you feel the fish turn on the bait and then rip on them. Many times, bass will miss the bait. They’ll come up and hit behind it or just knock it in the air. If you let it sit still for a couple seconds, many times one small twitch and they’ll destroy it again. With a moving bait, just keep that steady retrieve and you have a chance that they’ll come back at it.

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    • I’ve been fishing the sexy dawg since it hit the market and a tip as to sticking topwater fish and training yourself to wait. After the initial blowup, look away from your bait long enough to check the depth on your sonar and bam, nail em. I’ve lost alot of big fish by either setting the hook fast or running out of water before the bait returns to the boat,

      Daniel B on
    • I use top water lures almost every where I go. And I use them mainly from shore it’s awesome to see a big bad or pike hit and start to run. Your heart starts to pound wondering what hit

      Dan on
    • Is fishing for smallmouth the same

      Mark on
    • All very good tips for sure. I always have to reach for my absolute favorite, the Don Iovino Splash-It or Splash-It 2, the originals slightly larger twin, both in the A-2 color option which is pearl and chartreuse
      . They’re a bit pricey but well worth the money when that first attack happens!!! Gotta try one if you never have. Must be ordered directly from Don himself, since he no longer wholesales.

      Kevin H on
    • true, waiting was the hardest adjustment I had to make for successful hookups. I’m not a newbie any longer :)

      Jack on


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