Summer heat is here, and for millions of America’s bass anglers, that means it’s topwater time!
The bass’s world comes alive with summer’s arrival. The aquatic food chain flourishes with fresh plant life, insect hatches and fry from the recent spawn. Bass feast on schools of shad and bluegill within easy reach. Frogs, snakes, and dragonflies cruising the surface of lake, pond and stream also make a luscious meal.
Bass are built for hunting and ambush in the new habitat -- lily pads, reeds, coontail, dollar pads and fresh beds of coontail, milfoil and hydrilla. There’s food aplenty swimming around and above them!
Topwater lures perform their magic at the lake’s surface, in full view of the angler above and the fish below.
Match the hatch…or not!
Successful lure selection often calls for “matching the hatch,” choosing lures that closely resemble the preferred forage. Many topwater lures are made to mimic the size, shape, color and appearance of sunfish, shad, perch or frogs and even surface scudding insects.
Yet many topwater lures bear little resemblance to living creatures as they dance, splash or gurgle across the water. While popping lures and walking and waking lures often resemble familiar prey, the side-winding churn of a plopper like the Berkley Choppo or the jitterbugging stroll of an arc-lipped topwater lure play purely to the bass’s predatory instincts.
Whether a bass is ready for a meal or simply aggravated into aggression by the noisy nuisance that has invaded his space, a well-presented topwater lure can turn a glass-calm summer scene into a frothy storm of fish-fighting commotion.
Of course, variety and abundance don’t always make for easy fishing. Sometimes bass key on very specific forage – dense schools of newly hatched fry, roaming schools of young perch, or shad gathered to spawn near docks or vegetation – despite the many meal options swimming in their midst.
The only answer to summer’s bounty is to be prepared! Arm yourself with an arsenal of topwater lures from the Berkley line and the Abu Garcia rods and reels to deliver them. Choose a mix of baits, some that match the local forage in size, shape, color and action and others designed to draw out the “mean” in the resident bass, pike or musky.
Topwater fishing provides eye-popping delight and a level of excitement you’ll want to relive again and again.
And summer is the best time to make it happen!