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Loomis13

Top Water Small mouth

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Hopefully this is an easy question but we go to lake of the woods the 1st or 2nd week of august and last year we got on a good square bill bite. I am wondering how something like a zara spook would work this time of year? I am slowly graduating from strictly cranks for my bass fishing and could use some input! 

Thanks

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I fish a lot of topwater for smallmouth on the rivers here in Oregon. There's some key factors to catching them on topwater. First being cloud cover. You can throw a topwater on a sunny day, but they tend to do the best on partly cloudy to overcast days because the fish can see the lure better and track it easier. This applies especially to smallmouth because they're very visual feeders. If you want to fish a topwater on a sunny day for smallmouth, I'd recommend a popper instead of a walking style bait like the Zara Spook. 

Weather is very important when using topwater lures. If you're fishing during a cold front, you'll be lucky to get a sniff on a topwater a lot of the time. They aren't as willing to chase when the temperature drops abruptly. I'd say a steady or rising temperature is the best topwater fishing condition.

As for the time of year, August should be an okay time to throw a spook up there. Later in fall the topwater smallmouth bite gets a little bit better. There's a window where the topwater bite can get really good, but that time of year really depends on your location.

One thing I'd like to add - I'm from MN and I grew up fishing LoTW a lot. It's an amazing lake for walleye, pike, muskie, and smallmouth. I miss it quite a bit now that I've moved to the west coast.

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1 hour ago, Loomis13 said:

Hopefully this is an easy question but we go to lake of the woods the 1st or 2nd week of august and last year we got on a good square bill bite. I am wondering how something like a zara spook would work this time of year? I am slowly graduating from strictly cranks for my bass fishing and could use some input! 

Thanks

What area of Lake of the Woods? 

This is a big natural lake and each area is very different, Sabaskon vs White Fish, off color vs clear water. My limited experience is the smallies are relating to rocky reefs located away from shorelines and targeting soft plastic during the day and top waters dawn and dusk.

Tom

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I live in Ontario, though Lake of the Woods is still a 16 hour drive away. Where I'm at, the mid summer topwater bite is generally best in the first two hours after sunrise and before sunset.  There are days that they'll crush it all day, but as a general rule, mornings and evenings are best.

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I'm nowhere near the north (St. Louis) but I'd have to agree with PitchinJigz on the subject of poppers.  I prefer a Rebel Pop R if I'm aiming for topwater small mouths.  But I also don't fish the Spook (or any walking lure) very often so I can't really say if that's a good way to go or not.

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On 12/30/2015 at 11:17 PM, WRB said:

What area of Lake of the Woods? 

This is a big natural lake and each area is very different, Sabaskon vs White Fish, off color vs clear water. My limited experience is the smallies are relating to rocky reefs located away from shorelines and targeting soft plastic during the day and top waters dawn and dusk.

Tom

 

We stay on Alexandria island which is in Little Traverse. I would not say clear water. Last year we casted bank lines with 1.5's and did very well for our limited experience anyway.

Thanks for info everyone!

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Good info.  I've not yet had the pleasure of fishing LOTW, but I think a lot of topwater fundamentals apply everywhere.  

 

Light- fish don't have eyelids, so bright sunny days with clear water typically make feeding up difficult for them.  Light is a big key for effectively fishing topwater.  Mornings and evenings tend to be great oppprtunities, but also pay attention to cloud cover.  Cloudy days may provide consistent topwater fishing for most off the day, but even things like brief periods of cloud cover or shoreline shade can provide really hot topwater bites.  

 

Lures - I like Spooks, Skitter Pops, Pop-Rs, X-pops, torpedoes, and even balsa minnows depending upon the time of year, how active the fish are, weather, etc.  Also, don't be afraid of throwing big topwater baits for smallies, I've caught plenty of 8-10" smallmouth on 5+" spooks before.  

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