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Top Water Bass Fishing Lures

Updated on September 11, 2013

Favorite 5 Lures

  1. Snag Proof Frogs
  2. Buzzbaits
  3. Spooks
  4. Poppers
  5. Soft Plastic Toads

Best Top Water Lures for Bass Fishing

Using a top water lure when out bass fishing is one of the most exciting techniques you can use as an angler. If you have never caught a fish while walking a spook over a school of bass or skipped a frog around matted vegetation then you are missing out on one of the best ways to catch a bass. The following consists of a basic overview of all of the most popular styles of top water lures and some information about how to pick the right ones for the places you are fishing. Check out the videos for additional details about how to work the bait properly to make it splish and splash along the surface in a manner that any bass would not resist. This analysis of the best topwater fishing lures for bass includes: Frogs, Buzzbaits, Spooks, Poppers, Swimbaits, and Toads. Have fun and make sure to always Catch, Photo, and Release.

Fishing a Top Water Frog

Bass Fishing On Top

Frogs - Heavy Cover Topwater Fishing

A top water frog is the perfect bait to throw once the water gets around 60 degrees or warmer and the fish are starting to get on beds. Look for calmer areas around heavy vegetation. The frog works well in open water situations if worked like a spook with a walk the dog type motion. The frog is perfect for weeds, tules, heavy brush, and also is a good bait for fishing around boat docks. The Snag Proof selection of topwater frogs is excellent, they collapse well for high hook up percentages and come with quality hooks and other components. I like to trim the legs a little and thin them out a bit to make the frog walk better and look more enticing in the water. Paint the bottom with a black marker to give it a few ireegularities to make the bottom look more realistic. I use pretty much two colors black and white, a green or chartreuse frog works well in certain locations certain times of year and brown can be a killer bait especially anywhere there is a swallows close to the water. Bass love birds and a frog imitates a bird in the water pretty good.

Buzzbaits Catch Fish

Buzzbaits - Target Key Ambush Sites

The squeak of a buzzbait sounds like big fish to me. A buzzbait is similar looking in profile to a spinnerbait however the prop blade keeps he skirt and business end of the lure riding right near the surface. The blade which come in 2, 3, or 4 blade configurations keep the lure near the surface causing a gurgling action that imitates bait fish near the surface of the water. The 2 bladed prop will need a faster retireve and a 4 bladed prop can be reeled in extremely slow, depending on the mood of the fish one or the other may excel. I like a dark colored buzzbait like black a lot and white works well for me as well. I have also had success on red, pink, and several other colors. I like a 1/2oz buzzbait for most of my fishing and will occassionally throw a 3/8oz but I prefer the heavier versions. Always use a braided line with a buzzbait, just like a frog use a sturdy rod as well.

Spooks - Walk the Dog

Poppers - Splash, Pause, Kerploosh!

Spooks - Open Water Topwater Excitement

The spook is a favorite top water lure of many bass anglers. It takes a little bit of skill to learn how to walk the dog, which is the term of making the lure go left to right as it is retrieved appearing to be a confused and wounded minnow struggling along the surface. The spook is best fished around ambush locations such as points, places that bass will push bait into the shallows and the bait excels when the bass are chasing roaming schools of bait. The spook casts well due to its weight and if coupled with 10 - 15lbs test line and preferably a braided line, it can cover a lot of water quickly. Use a stop and go retrieve and find the cadence that the fish are willing to bite. sometimes a fast retrieve can make the fish react whereas a slow retrieve with a pause can be deadly on other days so always experiment with a spook. Some models have rattles others are silent. There are also giant versions of a stick bait such as the Lunker Punker which is an 8inch bait that walks the dog like a spook just much bigger, whoooosh!

Poppers - Deadly Pond Fishing Lure

The popper is a finesse version of top water that differs from the other most popular top water methods which present large offerings or make a big presence on the water. A popper blurps and glugs along when it is pulled by the angler. Many people try and work a popper like other top waters and make big pulls spitting water all over the place. While spitting a popper has its place especially on schooling bass, a popper is deadly when precisely pitched to a target and slowly worked, tempting and teasing a fish into taking a bite. Just cause a popper is a smaller lure it is by no means a small fish only catching bait, the popper will put kickers in your well, just as likely as 2lbrs. Go with a lighter line and even consider a pinning rod and reel for tossing a popper. It is a great summer time bait early and late and in and around shade pockets from any cover such as a tree, bridge, or dock.

Swimbaits - Wake Bait MS Slammer

Swimbaits - Wake Baits for Big Bites

While swimbaits are not always a top water lure some swimmers are topwater baits. One already mentioned above the Lunker Punker is often classified as a swimbait just due to the large size and gear required to use the bait a Extra Heavy with 65Lbs+ braid etc. However there is also wake baits which are jointed swim baits and can range anywhere from around 5 inches to much much bigger. The favorite wake bait / top water swimmer of mine is the MS Slammer it is a great bait, very durable and 9inch slammer in light trout can catch fish just about anywhere regardless of a population of trout in the waterway. This bait creates a large presence in the water and the jointed middle lets the tail kick and swim through the water. The large square bill fixed to the front of the lure allows it to slightly dive and will help deflect off any of the toughest of cover. Surprisingly wake baits are generally weedless baits that will get through lots of vegetation and other bass hiding cover so don't be afraid to through it through a forest or weed bed to get a fish to eat.

Zoom Horny Toad

Toads - Soft Plastic Top Water Baits

Soft Plastic toad lures are perfect for fishing around heavy vegetation and loose grass where there is lots of open water or channels of open water. The toad lure is hooked with a regular bass fishing Extra Wide Gap style hook and rigged weedless by putting the hook point into the body of the lure. Fish the bait just fast enough to keep the legs moving on the surface and hold on. This bait is perfect for searching an area for activity as it is a smaller profile and can elicit more strikes than other types of lures. Manipulate the rod tip to make the toad skirt by the edges of as many holes in the weeds as you can. Bump into tree branches dock pilings and any other cover that you can in order to trigger strikes from fish that are tracking the lure or hiding next to the cover. Make sure to allow the fish a second to take the lure in there mouth before setting the hook, I just keep reeling through the strike and splash of the fish, once the fish is gone, then set the hook and reel the fish in.


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