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Bionicman

Topwater Help?

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First of all I'm new to the forum, I'm 18 years old and have been bass fishing since I was 15.  I live in Northwest Indiana about an hour from south bend if you know where thats at.  I was wondering?  I have many topwaters, heddon tiny torpedos, LC Gunfish 95, LC Sammy, Zellpop, Spro Bronzeye, etc...  The problem is ive only caught one fish on a topwater in 3 years and that was on the the spro bronzeye frog over moss.  I watch on TV all these fish exploding on topwaters and it looks like so much fun.  I have tried reel stop reel , walk the dog, and all the techniques that I could find but nothing seems to work.  Do you guys have any ideas on what i'm doing wrong?  

Thanks in advance!

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First of all welcome to the forum!

I am not too good at most topwaters. But one kind that i do know how to fish is poppers.

I believe the key to fishing any size, color and type of popper is to SLOWLY fish it with a varried retreive. When i mean slow i mean slooooooow.

I cast out a popper, and when it hits the water, i let it sit intill the ripples are complety gone. This takes about 10-20 secconds. Then i give it a good hard pull, making it chug, plop or spit depending on what type it is. (Some types do all three)

Then i wait intill the ripples disapear. This seems like a very long time when acualy doing it, but it works. After the ripples are gone, i give varry the retrieve from hard yanks to tiny twiches, keeping the lure still inbetween each plop, gurgle or twich intill the ripples leave.

Let me tell you a short story. One sunny day i was fishing a local pond. All mourning i was using a Rebel Crickhopper. In the middle of the retrieve (the popper was about 30' out)

I set my rod down to help my friend do somthing.

 was busy doing what ever i was doing (i forget exactly what) when all the sudden a bass exploded on my popper.

My popper had been sitting absulutely still for atleast 4 minutes, probaly more, and yet a bass still hit it. That fish must have been watching it steadily the whole time.

I was shocked to say the least.

From that day on i have always known that you can never let it sit there long enough, never.

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Bucket gave good advice, but I find that with topwaters, the faster the better.  I rarely let a topwater sit for more than a second or two.  I reel in poppers and sammy style baits violently, making it slash across the water like a fleeing baitfish.  I have caught fish in up to 90ft of water doing this.  It gets there attention and it doesn't give them time to determine wether its real or not.  It's pure reaction strikes.

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Some days a rapid retrieve is best (reflex response) and other days a dead slow retrieve will be best (feeding response).

In my opinion, a great confidence builder for topwater fishing is the Rapala Original F-11 Floater (in your favorite color)

Use abrupt but faint twitches, separated by loooong pauses. Worked properly, the lure will make very little forward progress.

Roger

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I second that recommendation of fishing poppers very slowly. I don't know how many times I've been out on a lake on a beautiful early morning and been memorized by the setting while my popper just sat there. In my reverie, I've dang near been scared out or the boat when a bass has busted the surface to engulf the popper. One time when fishing a popper, I got a significant backlash. I had the rod under my arm while I tried to clear the backlash. I don't know how long the popper was sitting on the water, but it was awhile when a nice 3lb 10oz bass decided to eat the popper. I was able to land it but had to reline as there was no way that backlash could be cleared.

I fish other types of top water lures faster, but poppers are my favorite.

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This is all excellent advice. All I would add is that topwater baits are most effective in low light (sunrise/sunset) and on calm water. My personal favorite topwater is the Jitterbug.      

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You have some excellent advice from everyone who has posted.

I consider myself pretty good with topwaters, more so than just about any other lure. When I fish topwater lures, I always start off with a popper using a fast retrieve. I start by casting the lure out and immediatly after it hits the water, start the retrieve with a steady cadence as well as letting it sit after the initial splash down. I will try that retrieve around 5 times before I try a slower cadence, including letting the lure sit for long periods of time between pops. If you get what I call a "slash" where a bass will slap the lure, but not bite at it you need to try one of three things in this order. A different retieve (faster or slower) thats why I start out fast with either more subtle or violent pops, a different size lure, and lastly because I find it usually matters least- a different color lure. If the popper draws nada I like to next go to a spook type lure. Again starting with a steady retrieve, slowely working down to a combination of different twitch combinations. If the spook doesn't draw any strikes, I like to then switch to a jitterbug, and as I said before I vary the retrieve untill I find the retrieve where the fish are comfortable scarfing down my topwater. Alot of people have different clues that they use to clue them into what topwater to start with, such as shad bursting on the surface may signal to you that a spook is a great topwater to throw. If I find that the bass are repeatedly hitting a topwater while Im useing a fast, steady retrieve I will throw a buzz bait. If Im fishing heavy weeds I'll throw either a swimming spoon, or a hollow body frog. For frogs, I prefer the scum frog and the popping scum frog. Mainly because the Bronze eye frog is $7-$8.00 a piece, and that is way to much in my book. Especially since you can get a scum from for around half that price and catch just as many bass with it. As far as torpedos go, I have around 6 different torpedo type lures, and have caught very few bass on them. But that is just me.

Other than the above advice, I suggest that you throw topwaters alot more than you already do. Although this time of year isn't the best for topwaters. Don't confine yourself to certain conditions when deciding to throw topwater luresalthough calm and clear, and low light periods are said to be the best times to fish topwaters. I have caught bass at all times using topwaters. Throw them here and there, and whenever you can. Build your confidence with topwaters and soon you'll be pretty good with them. Just remember, you have to find what I call "your own groove". What works for others will not necessarily work for you. So you have to keep throwing topwaters and find what works for you. Keep at it, and never give up with them, you'll get it.

And one more thing....... Welcome to the forum!

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Some days a rapid retrieve is best (reflex response) and other days a dead slow retrieve will be best (feeding response).

In my opinion, a great confidence builder for topwater fishing is the Rapala Original F-11 Floater (in your favorite color)

Use abrupt but faint twitches, separated by loooong pauses. Worked properly, the lure will make very little forward progress.

Roger

The Rapala, mentioned above, is a perfect lure to start out on topwater.  Although I've fished it the way Roger suggests above, I've also fished it at a moderate retrieve with intermittent twitches distributed throughout the retrieve.  And I've mixed the retrieve that Roger describes above with the more moderate retrieve.  I've grown to love a number of topwater lures, but the Rapala original floater was the first that I mastered.  Just remember, if you want to learn to catch fish and build confidence with a lure you need to spend time with that lure.  Late Fall is usually not the best time to concentrate on learning topwater.

. . . . and welcome to the forum, Bionicman.  (Or is it Steve Austin?)

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Can you tell us your conditions that you have tried in?

Afternoons, mornings with the sun up, cloudy, windy, blue-bird day?

Water temps, clarity of the water?  What baits did you try and what was the conditions?

Welcome to the forum,

Matt.

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Welcome aboard!

The most important part of fishing any lure is where you fish. One example would be casting parallel to the outside edge of a line of cover (vegetation) along the shoreline. That is a fairly common approach and should produce a few bass.

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This is all excellent advice. All I would add is that topwater baits are most effective in low light (sunrise/sunset) and on calm water. My personal favorite topwater is the Jitterbug.      

Agree.

You should give a try to a buzzbait. Preferably black skirt/blade. I would suggest a quality buzzbait i.e terminator,cavitron. Both baits can be worked really slow. Good luck!

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Thanks for the advice i will definately try these techniques and see if i can't get some topwater bites, I noticed some of you said fall is not so good a time is spring the best time? Post spawn? Pre-Spawn?

Thanks again

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Fall is actually a good time for topwaters.  Bass are seriously keying on baitfish in most waters in the fall and a topwater is just another baitfish to a bass.  Have one tied on for schooling fish or searching for active fish.  Along with crankbaits and jerkbaits, a topwater is always ready in my boat and I will always try one.  Some days they work, others not.

Brad

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I have my best luck with topwaters in late spring, summer, and early fall.Early mornings, whether sunny or cloudy are best from my experiences.Topwaters are a good bet all day on warm cloudy days.On sunny days I would lean toward other options, except in the morning(can't stress the early moring enough).Topwaters can be deadly early in the morning on a hot summer day.

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