Springtime top water fishing… my favorite time of the year. Who doesn’t like watching a fish blow up on your bait? It is a feeling that gives you chills to your bones when it happens! Time and time again, I get asked by clients when is the best time to start throwing topwater? What line should I use or what rod, and so on. Well, the answer depends on so many things, such as the type of lake you are on or the type of top water lures you’re using. If you’re on a natural lake with mud flats and shallow areas, these lakes will start much sooner for top water bites because they heat up faster than a reservoir lake with step banks and grass. If you see grass starting to pop out of the water or see the green starting to pop out of the dead cattails, it’s time! If you are wearing a tee shirt, it’s time! In the spring when you start throwing top water you may only get 1 or 2 bites; however, they are usually big quality bass 4lb-plus fish!
My lure of choice in the spring is a Boing Lures Ice Shad walking style bait. The Boing lure technology is next level with nothing else like it in the industry. The Technology creates high and low spectrum frequencies simultaneously stimulating the fish to go crazy! I mean crazy! They hit that bait with so much force that they send it through the air if the angler doesn’t hook himself. The Boing lure creates a burst of acoustic and electrical signals that convey directly to the fish’s brain and makes it go nuts! This bait is very easy to walk and very strong! You can hit it off trees, rocks, grass, boats, etc. and it still holds up! When fishing early, I target wood, flats, and shallow areas early in the spring and gradually go deeper when the water gets warmer. Don’t be afraid to throw this bait in 20ft of water! Especially fishing smallmouth; fish will come a very long way to hit this bait. I like using 20lb P-Line Hydrofloat Spectra or TCB Braid. You can see it easily and make long casts because it is ultra-buoyant and low stretch. I pair this with a Piscifun Phantom Baitcasting reel 7:1 Gear Ration on a Big Bear 7’6 Medium Heavy fast tip original Big Bear rod. This rod gives you good action and enough strength for a good hook set. Your fishing combo is key on fishing these style baits. It’s different for everyone however this combo works great for me and my clients.
Having faith in your bait and gear will take you a long way. Just because it didn’t work one day doesn’t mean you did it wrong or it doesn’t work. Let the fish tell you what they want. They may want the bait to walk 4 or 5 times then pause or a strait retrieve. Vary the cadence until you get a bite. Pay attention to the fish’s forage so that you’re throwing colors of what they are eating. You will get less bites fishing something they don’t eat! The next time you throw top water, remember to feel the fish before you set the hook, don’t set the hook when you see the blow up. If the fish misses, it could come back and hit it again and again until it grabs the bait…You never know it could be your new PB!