Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
August 5, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Top Shot

In general, I am not much for surprises, but a jolt from a sudden topwater explosion, is certainly worth the price of admission.  In clear water, we sometimes get a chance to see a strike on submerged lures, but the only sure way to see a hit, is with a topwater lure.

There are many variations of topwater lures. Robert Montgomery in his book “Why We Fish” wrote that he is “irrationally addicted to the surface bite” and learned to work topwater lures catching largemouth bass with the classic “Hula Popper.”  Nebraska angler Jared Schleifer loves his “Skitter Pop,” while I don’t go anywhere without a “Spit’n Image.”

In a recent Bassmaster Elite tournament, the Mississippi River Rumble, topwater lures were used heavily in backwater areas with great success.  This time of year, most bodies of water have reached their carrying capacity for aquatic vegetation. Some lakes may have expansive weed beds and working a weedless topwater lure can be very productive.  Watch and listen, and the fish may announce when they are feeding at the top.  And, just because you pull up to a spot in your boat and don’t immediately witness topwater hits, look for bubbles remaining as an indication of recent surface activity.

Frog lures are notably effective during the summer but some Bassmaster pros like Ish Monroe have success with them all year.   Soft-plastic lures rigged weedless with the hook buried in the body can be twitched similarly across vegetation especially during lower light conditions such as morning and evenings, and then allowed to drop into holes or jerked rapidly through any open water as a “wake bait.”

I never pass up a shot to reach my target heart rate for the day by experiencing a startling, visual eruption from the underwater world.  As long as you don’t have any heart problems, I highly recommend you try topwater lures too.

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at

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Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”. One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”... To the point it could be classified as borderline illness. Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie." Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up. Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US. He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well... And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.                                                                                Find out about the rest of Take Me Fishing Blog Authors.

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