Hey, John Crews, Bassmaster Elite Series pro here for Bassresource.com and we're talking topwater in summer. Summer is a known time for topwater, but I'm gonna try to break it down for you. Make it simple on your bait choices, and then we're gonna break down exactly what we're gonna be using with those two major techniques, and you can go out there and have a lot of fun on the water with your topwater baits.
So first of all, if there is not a lot of matted vegetation, if there's not a lot of that, I'm gonna be throwing a walking topwater bait like this Spro Topwater Bait right here. It's gonna be walking side-to-side just like this one right here. You're gonna be able to walk it side-to-side on the bigger walking baits. I usually go straight braided line, usually 50-pound Sunline Xplasma.
On the smaller walking baits, I'll usually go 30-pound Sunline Xplasma with a 12 to 18-inch leader of monofilament, that's the Sunline Defier that I use. I've had a lot of good success with it. I'm gonna use a bigger diameter monofilament somewhere in that 17 to 20-pound range because I want that bigger diameter to help hold that bait up and it's gonna have better action. So that's a big key.
The rod, I'm gonna throw those walking baits on, it's a Cashion medium heavy action rod. It's got a nice soft tip, but I really like that 7-foot action because you can throw it out there and work that bait. You need a rod that's not too long so you can work that bait properly. You could even use a 6'6" but the problem with a 6'6" is that you can't get the distance that you can get with that 7-footer. I think 7-foot is the key length on your rod for the walking topwater baits.
And then you want a higher-speed reel. I've messed around with 6.3-to-1 and 7-to-1. I definitely prefer the 7-to-1 Daiwa Tatula 100. That's just what I've used for the last few years. It's a good dependable reel, it's got a good drag system. You don't want to have your drag totally locked down. You've got braided line on here, so you're thinking heavy drag, but don't do it. You don't wanna have too heavy of a line on there because we've got treble hooks on these baits. A lot of times those fish are coming up and slapping, hitting the bait and you're gonna snag 'em, but you don't wanna rip those treble hooks out of their face if you don't have 'em hooked in some like bone, or meat, or something.
So make sure you don't have your drag too tight, but once you get those fish coming to you as you're fishing it, you get those fish coming to you, bring...like just water-ski 'em on in if you can. Just bring 'em on in, no need in playing around with them, you've got the right equipment and you can just get 'em right on in the boat so that with that walking topwater bait.
As I mentioned, I'm not gonna be throwing that in matted vegetation. I'm gonna be throwing that along grass lines. I'm gonna be throwing that around points. I'm gonna be throwing that around docks. Those walking topwater baits, they don't go real fast, they make a lot of commotion and they just trigger bass to come from a long distance to attack those baits, that's a big, big deal.
Most of the time I'll put a Feathered Treble Hook, Gamakatsu Feathered Treble Hook on there, and I'm gonna have Gamakatsu Treble Hooks on all my topwater baits. I want sticky sharp baits. Like I said, a lot of those fish are slapping at it. You wanna make sure you have those Round Bends or the G-Finesse Series Treble Hooks on there. They're extremely sharp, so around those docks, around those points, around those grass lines, that's where I'm throwing that walking bait. But do not forget about that matted vegetation. Summertime is a fantastic time to throw a frog around matted vegetation. Yes, it starts in the springtime, but that summertime is a great, great time.
A lot of bluegill are gonna be spawning throughout the summer. They're gonna be spawning near that matted vegetation. So I think the bass get programmed to looking for that bluegill-type area, that bluegill-type walking, you know, a lot of bluegill coming up to the surface and eating bugs and eating whatever on the surface. That's exactly what this frog imitates, in my opinion, for those bass around that vegetation. We're always gonna have heavy line 50-pound Sunline Xplasma Braid. You can make super, super long casts with it. And when those fish crush that Spro Bronze Eye Frog, you can just absolutely put the wood to 'em. It's got the 4/0 Extra Wide Gap Frog Hooks in that. You wanna make sure you have good hooks in your frog.
And then I'm gonna be making sure I have a heavy action baitcasting rod, 7-foot to 7'4". This is a Cashion Frog Rod right here, the ICON series. But as you can see, it's a pretty stiff rod, it's got a lot of power to it. We're gonna need that power to drive that hook through that body of the frog, and it's gonna be in that vegetation. That fish is gonna grab that frog, go back down in the vegetation. Before you can set the hook, you're gonna have a lot of resistance there, so don't hesitate to put the wood to 'em. The rod's gonna be able to take it if you have the right rod. The line is gonna be able to take it if you have the right line. And I'm gonna be using a high-speed reel. Seven-to-one is a minimum, I prefer an 8-to-1 Daiwa Tatula 100. It's a very accurate casting reel.
And on this one, on the frog, you wanna lock that drag down. I mean, you're gonna crank that drag down until it doesn't turn anymore. That is exactly what you want when you're throwing that frog. So, man, just keep it simple, and in the summertime, I mainly throw these two topwater baits, the frog and the walking topwater baits. You put those into action and you use the equipment that I described to you, and you will definitely catch a lot of fish in the summertime on topwater. And what else would you rather be doing in the summer?