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Want To Get Into Topwaters

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...and believe it or not, there are plenty of articles out there saying topwaters work in the winter!  I found that a bit surprising, but I have faith that those authors know a heck of a lot more than me.

 

I have one topwater -- a Rebel pop-r, and I have caught fish on it, but hardly ever use it.  This is a whole class of lures I haven't really explored but would like to.  The Zara Spooks, for example, seem to be very popular.  

 

Any guidance would be appreciated.

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When I began working topwater I started with the Zara Spook and learned how to "walk the dog".  It took some time but it has paid off in some big bites through the past two years.  I prefer the Strike King Sexy Dawg's now.  I use a 6'6" MH Biatcaster, 7.1:1 reel and 15lb mono as a minimum.

 

As for other topwaters ...

 

Buzzbait - My favorite from last year.  I use the exact same setup and throw a Cavitron (3/8oz white).  Reel just fast enough to get the blades going.  Vary the speed until you find what they want.

 

Pop-r - The slowest for me and believe it or not I have yet to catch on a popper so maybe you can give me pointers there.  :)

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caught my PB on the rebel pop-r.  popper style baits are my favorite topwater, you can work them really close to cover.  i find a lot of strikes come after the couple pops and go to rest it.  after resting the bait 2-3 seconds, then comes the strike.  sometimes it's more of a "slurp" than a strike you get from other topwaters.  THEY ARE FUN.

although pricey, the most productive one i've found so far is a yellow magic popper.  and if you look into a megabass popmax or popx you will see those are just a work of art.  i have another en route this week.

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MegaStrike Cavitron (black on black)

Megabass PopMax (Tonosama Frog)

Rage Tail Shad

Zara Spook

LC Sammy

LC Gunfish

Jitterbug

Devil's Horse

 

 

 

:party-096:

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A buzzbait is without a doubt the most versatile of all topwater baits including winter fishing...work as slow as possible

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Buzzbaits- Black is a great color at night, White/Chart during the day. Work it just fast enough to keep it gurgling on the surface, so it says in the strike zone longer

Walker-White/Shad colors are good most of the time. I like the Savage Gear ones because they are easy to work, they have better actions than original spooks.

Popper- I like the original Rebel Pop-R in white, chrome/blue, and other shad colors. I like a 3 pop pause cadence. Change it up throughout the retrieve. These are good for targeting specific areas, and can left in place for a long time, while spooks aee good for covering water

I fish all of these on a 6'6" medium casting w/a 6.3:1 reel (lo pro, because palmability is key) w/12# mono

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I started with the Zara spook and learned how to fish that comfortably. It's probably my favorite top water presentation. I bought some LC gunfish to try this year. In my area I've had my best luck on the bass patterned spook. I've not really fished many other top waters but I'm looking to get some buzzbaits to give those a try this coming year also.

I used a 6'6" medium fast to fish these lures with pretty decent luck with 12 pound CXX.

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Super Spook, Sammy 115, broke-back Jitterbug, Cavitron Buzzbait, Rage Toad, and Ricos are my favorite topwaters.  Hollow frogs too, but I always think of them as their own category.

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Buzzbaits are hard to beat. For walk the dog baits spooks and sammy's are my go-to.

As for topwaters in winter, it's possible depending on water temperature. I wouldn't waste my time throwing a topwater around here when water temps are in the 30's and 40's. Sure it may be possible to catch a fish on top but there are much better options.

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Buzzbaits are hard to beat. For walk the dog baits spooks and sammy's are my go-to.

As for topwaters in winter, it's possible depending on water temperature. I wouldn't waste my time throwing a topwater around here when water temps are in the 30's and 40's. Sure it may be possible to catch a fish on top but there are much better options.

 

It's in the 60s here...not much winter in Dallas.  Last weekend I was fishing at dusk and saw fish breaking the surface.

 

This afternoon I went out and bought a War Eagle buzzbait and an H20 Xpress TWS topwater today http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/h2o-xpress-model-tws-topwater-bait/pid-22353?color=Ghost+Shad&N=4294963713+97009336

 

Will try them out this weekend!

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For the most explosive violent strikes with a top water bait: Storm Chug Bug.

Google: Chug Bugging by Hugh Crumpler III

Promise.

 

Old school basser

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For the most explosive violent strikes with a top water bait: Storm Chug Bug.

Google: Chug Bugging by Hugh Crumpler III

Promise.

Old school basser

Absolutely! Chug bugs will draw some heart stopping explosions for sure especially from riverine smallmouth.

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It's in the 60s here...not much winter in Dallas. Last weekend I was fishing at dusk and saw fish breaking the surface.

This afternoon I went out and bought a War Eagle buzzbait and an H20 Xpress TWS topwater today http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/h2o-xpress-model-tws-topwater-bait/pid-22353?color=Ghost+Shad&N=4294963713+97009336

Will try them out this weekend!

I'll be out this weekend also, but I'll be dragging hair jigs in high 30's water temps. No topwaters for me.

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MegaStrike Cavitron (black on black)

Megabass PopMax (Tonosama Frog)

Rage Tail Shad

Zara Spook

LC Sammy

LC Gunfish

Jitterbug

Devil's Horse

 

 

 

:party-096:

 

Don't forget your toads, too.

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Super Spook, Sammy 115, broke-back Jitterbug, Cavitron Buzzbait, Rage Toad, and Ricos are my favorite topwaters.  Hollow frogs too, but I always think of them as their own category.

 

Never heard of the Ricos before, did a little research, man are they pricey for a popper.  But the reviews say just how awesome they are.  I might have to pick one up.  I too am looking to improve my topwater game.  Other than buzzbaits, I haven't been too successful.  

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Rage Toad has worked well for me for top water, bad part is small bass try and eat them too and all they do is tear a foot off making the lure junk. My most productive buzzbait has been from Booya, it a bleeding color and they really respond to it. My other buuzbaits (in differnt colors includding all black) don't seem to have the same affect. I tried using a trailer and they just seem to hinder my cast or the way the lure tracks. Could be I'm just not putting the right trailer on or I'm not putting them on right. Pretty sure it's me and I just need to practice with them.

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For the most consistent action the hollow body frog has been the best to me.  I love the spro popping frogs the best.  I have a r2s spitting wa but have almost no time on the water with it to give it a rating.  Frogs are so versatile and changing the color can change what your trying to mimic.  White black and brown will cover most situations but once you start it will be hard to stop.  I do not fish these in the winter and i have put them away for the season, but they will produce some of the most heart thumping strikes in all of fishing as the bass or pike explode out of the water on the take.  

 

Sammy's are cool but i like the DUO pencil the best of the rover type baits.

 

Walkers like the r2s bubble walker are great.  I dont use poppers but a lot of people love them.

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Such a slippery slope that i bought a megabass popmax the other day just because i love topwater and it looked so cool lol

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I would say the Chug bug is my favorite to throw since I find it the easiest to walk or to pick apart structure so it doubles as a walking bait and a popper, however it has a flat bottom and is great on Southern lakes like  Stick Marsh where Hugh Crumpler guides, it has alot of areas where the grass grows to the surface but you can work a chug bug supper shallow, it is bouyant, and loud....

 

Chug Bugs and floating Minnow lures/Wake baits are where I start, so I usually start with the smaller Red Fin early in the year and the 7" for post spawn females, and the redfin is the most bouyant minnow ripbait and the key is to reel slowly so the v wake is still present. If the V wake is not presentt then it is being worked to fast. However, if a fish missed the lure, often pulling it under a few feet with a sweep gets that fish to hit it again....The Ripplin Redfin is also great, gold early and silver in summer, I like the gold and silver and that was my favorite topwater up north as I call Wake baits and lures like the Rapala minnow topwaters...

 

I usea  a lure called the Yo-zuri Banana boat in silver 100mm size, add a silver and red dressed treble on the rear, and it walks fantastic and is silent which I prefer, but if you want some noise the one knocker spook is great, I don't do well with the big spooks, I use the middle size 100mm I guess, and last but not least, Devils horse for slow, Cordell Crazy shad for a double prop in silver is a killer since it is also bouyant and seems to have a better roll than the others.

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I would suggest starting out with spooks, buzz baits, and poppers. I'm not afraid to throw a more expensive topwater because you hardly ever lose them! On a side note, I think it's interesting how many posts there are about topwaters in the middle of winter, when topwater fishing is at its worst. I guess everybody's preparing for spring:) But I've never seen so many posts about topwaters and buzz baits!

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May also look into River 2 Sea's Whopper Plopper. They have a couple sizes on TW and both produce really well. 

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Topwater is my bread and butter. I fish late evenings alot and i dont worry about them getting hung up. Being a bank guy top water is necessary.

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Topwater is my bread and butter. I fish late evenings alot and i dont worry about them getting hung up. Being a bank guy top water is necessary.

They get stuck in trees just as good as any other from what i have found.  Frogs are the exception to this rule!

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They get stuck in trees just as good as any other from what i have found. Frogs are the exception to this rule!

Trees yes, my reference was to junk on bottom, rocks, logs, etc. Frogs do seem to snag less. I lov. Top water. My favorite to fish hands down

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