Tag Archive: topwater

Topwater Fishing

By Jeff McGovern

This is a republication of the original article that Jeff contributed to our website in 2007

Fishing with a topwater or surface lure is lots of fun.  Out of a W kayak, it’s down right exciting, since you are so close to the action.  The equipment required is fairly simple and there are many topwater lures to choose from.  For the purpose of this short article, we will look at hard baits (also known as “plugs.”)  These are lures made of wood or plastic that float on top at rest.  When fish attack them, it looks like a giant hole just opens on the water and the bait disappears.
The basic types are:
walking, popping, minnow, and prop baits.  These lures have been around for years and still consistently catch large numbers of fish.  There are variations, but these are the ones most commonly available.  All four types can be used in freshwater or saltwater and for a large variety of game fish.  Let’s take a look at a few examples.

WALKING BAITS

The best example is a Zara Spook.  A newer version is the Spit’n Image. The angler provides the action this lure has on the water. This plug looks like it could have been carved from a broom handle, and, indeed, the originals were.  Worked properly with a side to side wiggle, fish will blow them right off the surface in their effort to grab them.
This bait requires practice to use.  The angler must work their rod hand wrist and turn the reel handle in cadence to create the walking motion.  It will wear you down at first, but the results of practice time are well worth the effort.

Walking baits

 

POPPING BAITS OR POPPERS

These lures are just plain fun.  With a large exaggerated mouth on them they pop and gurgle when the angler pulls their line.  Some of the cupped mouths on these baits throw water a few feet in front of the plug as they move.  Classic examples are the Chug Bug and the Rebel Pop-R series plugs.  To work these lures, you cast out to a likely spot and let the lure settle down.  Then “pop it” and hold on for the strike.

Popping baits

 

MINNOW BAITS

These lures are best represented by the classic floating Rapala minnow. The history of this lure could fill a book-suffice it to say it’s every bit as effective today as it was 40 years ago.  These lures have a slim profile and resemble a minnow.   They have a small clear plastic lip that allows the lure to dive a short distance on retrieve. Their life-like wiggle is very attractive to game fish.  To work the bait, throw it out let it sit for a moment.  Then begin a slow retrieve, briefly pausing from time to time.

Minnow_baits

 

PROP BAITS

These lures are some of my all time favorites.  Propellers are located at the front and/or back ends of these fun lures.  Simple to work, they are represented today by the Devils Horse, Tiny Torpedo, or, in handmade excellence, by the Lil Zip from Sam Griffin. They can catch fish just sitting there.  The moment they are moved, they get crushed by aggressive game fish.   Work them by throwing to a likely area and allowing the bait sit until the water calms down from the splash.
Then begin working the bait back in short, soft jerks until you find a pattern the fish like.

Prop baits

 

Photos: Jeff McGovern

 

The equipment you use for topwater water fishing can be any that throws the lure properly.  Spinning, casting, or spincasting gear will all work just fine.  Line sizes can range from 8 to 20lb test (depending on the angler’s preference) and good old monofilament line is fine for these lures.  The best piece of advice I’ve ever had for fishing topwater lures came from Sam Griffin himself.  He told me “give the fish time to read the menu.” In other words, fish them slow for the best results.  This is the best way to start out– you can always speed things up later if the fish are ready to order.
So, this season, try a topwater water lure and prepare for excitement.

 

Copyright © Jeff McGovern, 2007 – 2015

Read more about Jeff’s kayak fishing trips and observations »

Fishing for bass and bluegill – two action movies

By Paul Malm

Malm Fishing Services, Iowa

A little top-water fun for bass. This was a great afternoon on the water! Lots of action,…lots of fun!!

 

 

 

Fishing for some big bluegills for a few minutes, while out kayak fishing for bass! –

 

 
Both movies were filmed on the same day I got that huge carp! That was a very good day!!

 

More fishing with Paul Malm, the Musky Guy »

Bassin’ a lake where the big boats can’t go (video)

By Joe Stauder

HBBCO Stand Up Fishing Kayaks

My Wavewalk got me to a honey hole! The Bass were hungry on a lake where the big boats can’t go! The Top water bite was on, what a blast! I tied on a chug bug first thing and I caught six but did not get them all on video. I did manage to get three on video By switching between a do nothing worm & a chug bug I just hammered them. They were taking both with a vengeance. What a morning!

Joe