Summertime Bites: The Time for Topwater

Summertime Bites: The Time for Topwater

Spring has officially come to a close. It’s time to welcome summer – and the often more predictable weather patterns. The early summer timeframe is a favorite for many anglers – some of the best fishing of the entire year, happens now.

Across much of the US and Canada, most fish species have wrapped up the spawn. That being said, fish are still often in relatively shallow areas and will be for the next few weeks. With shallow fish, a wide range of techniques are worthwhile considerations. In fact, angler really have their choice of how they want to fish. One of the top performers during this period, however, is topwater. 

The Conditions

Similar to any other style of fishing, topwater excels in specific scenarios. As mentioned, summer often brings a sense of consistency that isn’t found in other seasons. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but, generally, you can expect to find some stretches of flat, calm conditions during the month of summer. Conditions as such are offer some of the best for topwater fishing, specifically with smaller baits. They allow anglers to fish baits more effectively, as well as allowing fish to key in on baits easier. Windy conditions with a heavy chop can negatively impact how effective a topwater lure can be.

The Locations

It’s easy for anglers to assume that topwater fishing is best utilized in shallow water situations. Well, that’s true, partially. While a lot of anglers target shallow water areas with topwater, prime locations can occur anywhere on a body of water. Shallow areas often hold the majority of cover, like weeds or brush, that fish relate to. However, on certain bodies of water it’s not uncommon to find premier topwater bites in the deeper portions of the lake. These specific bites are more common in water bodies involving clear water. Fish treat the surface of the water like an edge in any other portion of the lake. They’ll often drive bait to the surface. If you can find the bait, you can find the fish. You’d be surprised how far fish will travel to smash a lure on the surface. 

The Baits

In terms of topwater baits, the options are plentiful. During this early summer period, most topwater options come into play, however, poppers, specifically, are arguably the top choice.

Poppers are designed as to the name suggests – to pop. That being said, they can also fished in a manner similar to a walking bait. Since the baits float, they can be paused for long periods of time. In terms of topwater, they’re an ideal option for beginners. They can be worked fast or slow and pack some serious fish drawing punch into a small profile. Eurotackle’s Z-Popper is the ultimate choice for finesse anglers looking to add micro-sized topwater lures to their arsenal. At 1.75 inches, and 1/8 oz, this micro popper is perfect for panfish, trout, and bass.

Contrary to popular belief, topwater bites aren’t only for mornings and evenings – some of the best bites can occur during the middle of the day.

An important reminder – play with your cadence. Adjust how fast and slow you’re working the baits. Let the fish tell you what they like.

The Gear

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again – have the right tool for the job. Every style of fishing has specific gear requirements that allow anglers to get the most ‘bang for the buck.’ Topwater fishing is no different.

One of the biggest mistakes that anglers can make with topwater lures relates to line choice. In many angling scenarios, fluorocarbon is king – expect when it comes to topwater. While it’s essentially invisible in the water, fluorocarbon sinks, which can be problematic with topwater lures. Most anglers rely braid, mono, or a combination of both, for working topwater lures.

When it comes to rods for topwater angling, there’s a lot of variability. Generally, anglers opt for slightly shorter rod for these techniques, as they aid in the overall workability of the lures. Rods in the 6-to-7-foot class are effective for working a wide variety of lures. Fast to Extra Fast actions are typically preferred as well. Rod power has a little more variability, as it’s more related to fish species and lure size.

If you haven’t spent any time targeting fish via topwater, it’s safe to say you’re missing out. If you poll a number of anglers on their favorite style of fishing, you’re likely to find a majority that would lean towards topwater. There’s something about explosive topwater blowups that’s hard to replicate with any other style of angling. This late summer period is a great opportunity to give it a try. Employ the right lures, key in on the right areas, and rely on the right conditions.

For anglers that enjoy micro topwater, pay attention to the Eurotackle newsletter. An important announcement will be “walking” it’s way into your inbox.

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