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BrackishBassin

Water Temperature and Topwater Baits

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At what water temperature would you quit throwing topwater baits? Keep in mind that the bodies of water being fished don’t have Shad. Main forages are going to be baby bass, bluegill, and crawdads. I’ll be fishing from the bank as well. 

 

I’ve got a day next week to fish and don’t want to waste time throwing a topwater if it’s just not going to happen. However, I love throwing topwater and tend to do so even when I shouldn’t (middle of the day with bluebird skies). So, if there’s any excuse to throw them, I’d love to. 

 

Thanks!

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That may be bait and body of water dependent.  Rumors say that some people have success on a buzz bait till it ices up.  I havent had any luck in about a month but I am going to try out out my punker this weekend and just have fun with it...

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As a general rule I stop throwing top water for largemouth before smallies. When the water gets into the mid 50's it's usually done for largemouth and below 50 it's done for smallies. This is very vague though and it's very weather dependent. Just start slowing down as the water gets cooler. Buzzbaits get replaced by floating jerkbaits when the water is in the low 50's for me. Once it gets colder than that, top waters get tucked away until spring.

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Fishing is never a waste of time, use whatever lure you enjoy.

Tom

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Just throw it! You'll find out pretty quick if it's working or not. 

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A guideline I go by is its possible to catch fish on top when the water warms from iceout to 60 degrees. Bass will continue to bite on top all through summer until the water drops to about 55 in the late fall.. 

 

A lot of things make that variable such as water clarity, baro pressure, cold fronts, etc.. 

 

If I see evidence of baitfish scattering on top or see fish hitting the top I will throw a topwater.. 

 

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I can guarantee no bass will strike a lure in the tackle box. Dead sticking a surface lure with feathered rear treble in cold water can be very effective at times.

Tom 

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I have seen a buzzbait catch them in 53 degree water. I tend to put away topwaters once it's below 60. Yes you can still catch them on topwater below that, but IMO, other baits become a better choice at that point.

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I feel like bass in my lake are less aggressive compare to summer heat for top water. The water temp here is still in mid 60, by the way. I'm still throw top water but less stubborn to keep continuing. The next thing I wanna try instead is sub surface lure. Time to bring out my Rapala joint minnow floating.

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High 40s is when I put them away, but I've caught them down to 45 on a twitched Rapala minnow. We were catching them on Whopper Ploppers and a Buzzjet in 51 degree water this weekend. 

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I'll probably keep my Slammer on one of my rods until the entire lake is frozen. But my whopper plopper and noisier topwaters are definitely done for the season. The key for me once the water dropped into the lower 50's is long pauses, or even just deadsticking for a minute or two. 

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I find that by the time the ice gets an eighth of an inch or more that the bass have a hard time punching through to grab any topwater that I throw :lol:

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7 hours ago, Koz said:

I find that by the time the ice gets an eighth of an inch or more that the bass have a hard time punching through to grab any topwater that I throw :lol:

Haha, I’ll be breaking out the punching rig on our frozen lakes soon, I’m in the wrong state, I rarely ice fish. Anyway, In river systems in my neck of the woods, I throw topwater as low as 50 degrees. I agree with letting it sit, I’ve had great days doing that.

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21 hours ago, WRB said:

Fishing is never a waste of time, use whatever lure you enjoy.

Tom

I should have had this attitude today while I was getting skunked in Plymouth, MA while looking for smallies...

 

Maybe I should have brought a couple topwaters .... 

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21 hours ago, WRB said:

I can guarantee no bass will strike a lure in the tackle box. Dead sticking a surface lure with feathered rear treble in cold water can be very effective at times.

Tom 

 

Something like a popper?

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24 minutes ago, BrackishBassin said:

 

Something like a popper?

LC Gunfish works good.

Tom

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in colder water, the bigger your topwater is, the more effective it will be. A bass is less likely going to come up for a tiny popper or plopper or a gunfish, but its worth its time to come and slurp down 6" - 9" wakebaits, swimbaits or glidebaits like ms slammer,  floating jointed claw or line thru trout.

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It's a good thing the bass where I fish don't know that, they hit a dead stick Gunfish all winter. If I am targeting big bass eating trout then a dead stick wooden Lunker Punker with feathered rear treble works good. You need a little wave and the knowledge bass are in the area. I use this tactic when eating something or taking a break.

Both the Gunfish and Punker site tail down with head up in the water at rest and when popped they spit splash water without moving forward much attracting strikes. Warm water you work them faster.

Tom

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