Topwater Fishing From The Bank

Topwater Baits and Techniques
Topwater fishing from the bank: The best two topwater baits for bank fishing A tutorial with top pro John Crews!

The Baits & Equipment

SPRO Essential Series E Pop 80 --

SPRO Popping Frog 60 - 

Cashion ICON Series Frog Casting Rods --

Cashion John Crews Signature baitcasting rod --

Sunline Xplasma Asegai braid -  


Hey, John Crews Bassmaster Elite Series Pro here for another edition of We're talking topwater fishing from the bank. Now, don't let this tournament jersey fool you. I started out catching a lot of fish from the bank and I promise you, topwater was one of my favorite, favorite techniques for fishing from the bank. So I'm gonna give you a couple of my favorite lures that I've used over the years fishing from the bank, whether it's lakes, rivers, or in ponds, fishing from the bank for topwaters, it is just so much fun, I would have to say, especially with pond fishing, but definitely works in lakes and rivers. We're talking poppers. A popper is one of my favorite topwater baits. This is SPRO E Pop. The Pop-R, you know, put it on the map years ago. Zell Rowland especially made it even more popular with the tournament scene, but it still works today on any type of topwater action along the bank.

Now, from a seasonal standpoint, we're talking anytime in the warm weather. If you got short sleeves on, topwater's gonna be working, but even if you got a sweatshirt on, could be working as well. Anytime that water temperature's gonna be around 60 or above, topwater may play and all you're gonna be doing with the popper is you can fish it basically two different ways.

Now, with the E Pop, it's got great action, it's got great hooks. That's very important. But then just to give you a quick brief on the equipment, you always want to use braided line. I use braided line with poppers. This is a 30-pound Sunline Xplasma. I've got it on a 7-foot medium-heavy rod from Cashion, and then I've got a 7 to 1 reel. That is the perfect setup. But you can use any type of braided line even on a spinning rod. A lot of people are not comfortable with big casters. Spinning rod, you know, something, 12 to 20 pound on your spinning rod would be great for this popper as well.

But all we're gonna do when we've got all kind of action going on out here on this river, that's not a problem. We got sunshine going on up here. That's not a problem. We're just gonna be fishing from the bank. We're gonna throw that popper out. We got a little bit of grass right through here. That's no big deal. We're just gonna take that popper and bloop it 2, 3, 4 times, that feather treble on the back is a big deal. A lot of those fish will just come right up to that feather treble and then just grab it and take it under. You won't even see the strike. Those fish will just come up and pull it right down. And then you just start reeling and you never know if it's a 5-pounder or if it's a 12-incher, you never know what it's gonna be. But then you can also take the popper and be more aggressive with it. You can throw it out there and really get aggressive with it. Really hit it hard, make it do a lot of splashes and a lot of commotion. And then you can leave it sit and then do a little more subtle pops.

I would say just mixing up your cadence to try to figure out what the fish are after that day is definitely a big deal. And you can cast poppers a long ways. So I'm gonna cast this bait all the way around in this area before I move to the next spot. You know, obviously points and little pockets and little ditches along docks, all that stuff's gonna be really good for the popper because you're gonna be drawing those fish out of those areas to come blast that SPRO E Pop or whatever type of popper that you're fishing. That's probably my number one.

Number two, number two, around the bank in the summertime, a lot of areas, especially in the South, there's a lot of aquatic vegetation, and we're up North. North has a lot of aquatic vegetation as well. SPRO Poppin' Frog, definitely one of my favorite bank fishing baits as well. I've got that on a little stiffer rod. I'm gonna have that on a 7-foot to 7'4 Cashion frog rod. A little heavier action you can see there. We're talking 50 pounds Sunline Xplasma braid. A little heavier braid. Now if you're throwing it from a spinning rod, you can still do it. Some people don't have a choice of rods. You want the heaviest action that you have for this, and you want the heaviest braided line at least 20 pound. If you're gonna be fishing a frog like the SPRO 60 Poppin' Frog. They have some smaller frogs that are made more for spinning rods, for braid, you can look for those as well. Those can be real fish catchers in ponds.

But the popper, you're gonna fish it very similar. But the difference is you don't have treble hooks on this popper, so when you get to the vegetation like we have right here at the bank, you can keep working it, you can keep working it all the way through any type of vegetation that you have. You got the vegetation here and you can see my Poppin' Frog just popping right through there. Popping right through there.

Now, I'm gonna take another cast. I'm gonna throw all the way down the bank. I'm gonna just bring it through all of that aquatic vegetation. There's some eelgrass topped out right here. I can't use the popper, but I can use the Poppin' Frog through all of that thicker vegetation. And when one blasts that frog, this one, you'll wanna set the hook as hard as possible.

No matter if you have a spinning rod or if you have the proper braided line and baitcasting equipment, you wanna just pop it and pop it, pop it. When that fish hits it, you're gonna reel down and just crack on them as hard as you can hit 'em. That is one of the fun things about fishing a Frog is you get to set the hook really hard. It's one of the only techniques in all of my bass fishing that we actually really, really put the wood to 'em on a hook set.

But that's the one-two punch of the best two topwater baits and kind of how to fish 'em. The equipment that I'm using, we got boat wakes, we got stuff going on. You could still catch 'em on top water from the bank. So don't worry about it. Just go out there and have some fun from the bank with your poppers.