Hey. John Crews here, "Bass Master Elite Series" pro here bring it to you on BassResource.com. We're talking fall topwater fishing. Fall, is it a great time to be in the woods? No. No. It's a good time to be on the water because there's still some good topwater action. Fall fishing can be tough at times. The fish get really scattered and there's a lot of fish that are gonna be heading deep, there's a lot of bait fish all over the place, there's fish that are suspended, there's fish that are going back shallow. So, the fishing gets a little bit tougher.
Topwater is a great way to catch those fish. In the fall period, you've got a couple of things going on. Like I said, you mentioned you have the fish getting scattered, and then you have some schooling action starting in a lot of areas. Here where we are, it's early fall and there's a lot of fish break-in, a lot of bait fish in here in this area. And so, there's really two ways to attack the fall topwater.
Probably my number one choice, and it's a continuation of the summer for me is of topwater walking bait. We're looking at this SPRO walking topwater bait right here. This is something that I'm gonna be throwing in the fall. It draws fish. It has a lot of drawing power that fish are gonna come from a long distance. And it triggers those fish. There's something injured, there's something going on on the surface. It doesn't matter how clear the water is, they will still get that topwater walking bait in the fall.
So, I'm gonna have it on a seven-foot medium-heavy Cashion rod. You wanna have a softer tip because, remember, you have treble hooks and we're gonna be using braided line. I like either 50 or 30-pound Sunline Xplasma braid. If I'm throwing smaller walking baits, like the smaller SPRO walking bait, I'm gonna put that on 30-pound Sunline Xplasma, and then I'm gonna put a roughly 20-pound monofilament leader, 12 to, say, 18 inches long, got a FG knot connecting the two. This is actually Sunline Defier. It's been what I use for topwater leaders on smaller ones.
If I'm gonna throw the bigger walking baits, I'm just gonna go straight braid, usually, 50-pound. If I'm going straight braid, I usually don't put that little split ring on the front, I usually do a loop knot on the front with that braid. Has amazing action, and you can, you know, with the 50-pound, you can cast at a mile. The second that that fish crushes, that lure is gonna get the Gamakatsu trebles and you're good to go.
That happens, I would say, even more frequently in the fall than in the summer about fish. They just blast in the bait trying to kill it, just trying, to as a reaction, not really getting the bait as well. So, you wanna make sure you have those Gamakatsu sticky round bend treble hooks on there. You can either go around bends or you can go the G-Finesse series.
The Aaron Martens medium heavies are a staple on a lot of my topwater baits. A little bit shorter shanks so you can fit on these baits that have three hooks, you can fit three of them on there sizably easier. And we're gonna be looking for anywhere that there's bait fish action for those walking baits. We're talking secondary points, the backs of pockets, running them alongside of docks. It's a good way to draw fish to the bait.
Now, the walking topwater baits don't cover as much water as my other bait for the fall. My other bait for the fall is a plopper-style bait. And you can vary the sizes based on the kind of forage in the areas that you're fishing. You can throw a little bit smaller or a little bit bigger. I would say as the fall goes, even as the water cools down into the 50s, don't stop throwing the plopper-style baits. They have amazing drawing power and they trigger fish, even in that cooler.
We're talking like in the mid-south area, we're talking all the way into November. Definitely, into November, the plopper style baits, you can make long, long cast. You're gonna be using a little bit bigger rod. I use a 7'3" Cashion medium heavy, and I'm using 50 or 60-pound Sunline Xplasma braid with that plopper style bait, making super long cast Daiwa Tatula 100 in a seven to one, a little bit faster gear ratio because I'm gonna be making long cast with that plopper covering water.
And then when those fish hit it, I'm going straight braid when they hit it. It's an immediate hookup. Gamakatsu hooks on all of my topwater baits. Immediate hookup and you're gonna get those fish right into the boat.
So, I mentioned the great thing about the plopper-style bait is you can cover so much water with it. You can cover points, you can cover sides of points, around docks, the backs of pockets, you can catch fish in 6, 8, 10 inches of water in the backs of pockets. They will be back there running bait. Hard to use other baits, but that plopper is a really good way to have a big flat and you can make three or four casts in just a few minutes and cover the whole flat. And any active fish are gonna come up and crush that plopper-style bait.
So, those are really kind of my big one, two punch. Kind of broke down the techniques, what you're gonna be using for the fall topwater baits. One of my absolute go-tos, I'm always gonna have that topwater lure handy in the fall.
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