Bass Fishing Topwater Techniques
By Paul Reinbold
Top water bass fishing is probably the most popular way to catch big bass during the hot days of summer. During the months of July and August the growth of aquatic vegetation is at full force. This is a great time to use top water baits to catch big bass.
One of the most popular baits around the country to use for top water bass fishing is a “buzzbait.” This lure has been around for decades and has been catch very large bass ever since it hit the market. However, this lure is not used by many bass fishermen, especially up here in the North Country. Many anglers will not purchase this lure simply because of its goofy design. Those anglers are fooled by their own eyes, because this lure is deadly, especially around moss pockets or mossy flats. The buzzbait is a great bait to use when the fish are not active. This is because the buzzbait creates a reaction strike from the bass around ambush points such as moss pockets, under water trees, and rocks. Anglers must remember that bass or aggressive feeders, even when they are not biting. Using a buzzbait around ambush spots, anglers will be able to watch a bass explode on the surface to eat the bait. That is probably the biggest reason why top water bass fishing is so popular.
Buzzbait’s are not real simple to use straight out of the box, especially if you have never used one. The key to using a buzzbait is to start reeling as quickly as you can as soon as the bait touches the water. This will get the lure to come to the surface and start getting the prop blades turning. This will create the buzzing noise the bass can’t resist. The reason why this bait is so successful in landing big bass is because it imitates feeding and fleeing baitfish. The splashing and buzzing sound that it makes are hard for a bass to resist.
When anglers first start using this bait, they often throw it awhile and then give up. The more you practice with this bait the better you will learn when and where to use it. Another tip that I can give you is to buy different types of buzzbaits. I prefer using a 3/8 oz. Strike King Tri-blade with a white silicone skirt. This type of buzzbait makes a great soft and subtle buzzing sound on the water that I seem to have better luck with. If that is not working, then I will use a buzzbait with a regular big prop to create extra loud noise. Sometimes the difference of sound of the surface can mean the difference of catching more bass. On days when the bass don’t seem interested in either of those two, I will tie on a tiny buzzbait and cast that. These types of buzzbaits are a lot smaller and create a quieter noise on the surface. They also seem to go through the moss a lot better than the bigger buzzbaits.
Other types of great surface baits for big bass are the new buzz frogs. These frogs hit the professional tour last year and have a been a big hit. Buzz frogs are fished similar to buzzbaits. After you cast and the moment the frog touches the surface of the water start reeling to keep it up onto the surface. The back legs will start kicking and create a subtle buzzing sound. These baits can also be fished just below the surface and retrieved in a jerking motion. During this type of retrieve the frog will swim below the surface and mimic a real frogs swimming technique. A real good company to purchase these buzzing frogs is Sizmic, Mann’s, and Berkley Bait Company. The best way that I have found to rig these great baits is to use a 3/0 wide gapped hook rigged Texas style without any type of weight.
No matter what surface bait you prefer whether it’s a buzzbait, buzz frog, Pop –R, or a hula popper, anglers need to be patient when a bass strikes on the surface. One huge mistake that all bass fishermen do (even the Pro on ESPN) when using surface baits is the jerk the rod to set the hook as soon as the bass strikes. This will create many miss opportunities for the angler to set the hook on a fish. Angler must pause for a second as soon as the see the bass strike the bait. After this brief pause the angler can set the hook. If you can train yourself to do this you will get a lot more bass in the boat. Just remember to release the big fish. This will create a trophy lake forever.
If you really enjoy bass fishing and would like to try the competitive edge of bass fishing then you need to join the Badlands Bass Bandits. This is our first year as a club and so far it has been very successful. We have members from all across the state of North Dakota as well as a few from South Dakota.
If you are interested in are club and have any questions please feel free to contact me at
-Badlands Bass Bandits President