John Crews, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro here for bassresource.com, bringing you some topwater spring advice. Now, a lot of people don't think about top water in the spring as much as they do in the summer and in the fall. The spring can be a great time to fish topwater baits, and I'm gonna break it down for you pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn, and what you need to be throwing, how you need to be throwing it.
Let's start with the pre-spawn. The pre-spawn, I immediately think of one topwater bait that is probably the best pre-spawn topwater bait. And that is a buzzbait. A buzzbait has this blade and it's got a skirted jig. Some people take the skirt off and put a bigger-bodied, creature-type bait on there. But the buzzbait draws a lot of strikes in water that's...and even in the 50s.
So, in the mid-50s, you're gonna start throwing this bud is buzzbait in the shallow flats where these fish are gonna be spawning. These fish are moving around, they're looking for places to spawn. You get a nice beautiful day like today, sunny, those fish are gonna move up. Don't be afraid in that pre-spawn period to throw buzzbaits alternating between, you know, a dark one and a white one.
And if you're really wanting to make sure you catch those fish buzzbaits, make sure you have a trailer hook on there. But for my buzzbait setup, I'm gonna be throwing it on a medium heavy-type rod. Nothing too stiff. I'm gonna be throwing it on braided line, usually 30 pounds Sunline Xplasma is pretty much my buzzbait go-to line. That's what I'm gonna be going to in that pre-spawn.
So, now let's move towards the spawn. Those fish will still hit a buzzbait occasionally, but other baits definitely come into play. If you're fishing a lake that's got some vegetation in it, you want to break out your frogs. I'm gonna tell you that right now. If you got some vegetation, those fish are gonna be spawning around that vegetation. Some of it may be emergent, which means up to the surface. We're talking lily pads, we're talking other types of bank-type grass. SPRO Bronzeye 65 is one of my favorites.
If you've got some open water, maybe a little ripple on the water, you might want to go to the Bronzeye 60, the popper. The popper is definitely one that draws fish to the bait, so don't hesitate to throw that bait even if you've got a good little ripple on the water. And I'm gonna be throwing that on a 7' to 7'4" heavy action. This is a Cashion Frog rod right here. It's a heavier type action. You can see that right there, 50-pound Sunline Xplasma braid. And when those fish bite that frog, you are gonna put the absolute wood to them, so that frog starts to come into play in the spawn period.
Let's move to the post-spawn period with topwater baits. Yep, Mr. Froggie is gonna get into high gear. Then you're also gonna have your topwater walking baits really, really coming into play that time of year. We're looking at shallow points. We're looking at, you know, places leading out of those spawning areas, those first secondary points. Sometimes the primary points on the lakes are really gonna be able to get a lot of action with walking topwater baits like the SPRO bait right here. If I'm gonna be throwing a smaller walking bait, I'm gonna have a little Sunline defier monofilament leader, 12 to 18 inches in front of my braid. I just feel like it gives it better action.
If I'm gonna be throwing a popper, that's gonna also be doing it. Here's my SPRO popper right here, the E POP. That guy really gets good in that post-spawn period, and I'm really gonna have that monofilament leader on there that time of year. So, pre-spawn, spawn, post-spawn, do not forget about topwater fishing. You will definitely catch a lot of fish on that top water. And it is probably my favorite way to catch 'em, topwater fishing. I mean, I think most anglers rank top water as their favorite, so don't forget about it in the springtime.