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Early Season Topwater Tactics

Fishing a topwater bait early in the season accomplishes several things, one, it attracts the bass’s attention, two, it mimics activity in the shallows, which in the spring and early summer could mean baitfish or bluegills spawning and third it can aggravate a bass into biting.

One of my favorite topwater offerings for early season bass is a buzzbait.  For one it is a great choice when fishing around submerged and emergent vegetation and by speeding up or slowing down your retrieve you can change the action of your buzzbait.

My favorite way to use a buzzbait is as a search lure to determine where the bass are positioned on the cover you are fishing.  Making parallel casts to the cover will keep your bait in the strike zone longer and increase the number of strikes you will get.

War Eagle Buzzbaits
War Eagle Buzzbaits

Deciding on the weight of a buzzbait depends on the activity level of the bass, how far a cast you need to make and what the bass are feeding on.  If the bass are keying in on smaller baitfish or insects, I will use a ¼ ounce bait, compared to using a ½ ounce one if I need to make long casts and have a large profile lure for the bass to key in on.  The majority of the time I will use a 3/8 ounce buzzbait in white, black or the War Eagle Buzz Toad in Grey Ghost.

Buzzbait Rod:  Shaman 7′ H

Fishing a topwater hollow body frog is a common lure choice for bass fishermen once the vegetation becomes matted during the summer months and into the fall, but turning to this lure during the early season is a great option.

The first scenario in which fishing a topwater frog is a great option during the spring is when there is a rise in the water level on the lake or river you are fishing.  This influx of water will flood prime fish-holding cover in shallow water and many times one of the only ways to cover water quickly in these areas is with a frog.

Many times this newly covered cover in the shallows is going to be a combination of grass and sticks that are on the shoreline, combined with floating gunk that the high water has collected and pushed up into the shallows.

In these situations, I like a large profile frog as to get the bass’s attention in these areas where bass could literally be hiding anywhere.  I’ll begin with a Snag Proof Bobby’s Perfect Frog in Brown Bullfrog as this frog’s size and color profile resemble a large native frog that would be lurking in the shallows.

One way I’m able to quickly identify potential areas on the lake or river that has this blown-in cover present is to identify what direction the wind is blowing, at what speed, and how that is going to change over the course of the day.  This can help me plan out a milk run of spots to try with a topwater frog.

Lure Lock box of Snag Proof topwater frogs
Lure Lock box of Snag Proof topwater frogs

The other scenario in which fishing a hollow-bodied topwater frog makes sense during the early season is when bass are bedded underneath the heavy cover, or is positioned underneath an overhanging tree or boat.  When a bass is on a bed, they are looking to protect their bed from other creatures in the water, so a topwater frog mimics real-life creatures that pose a threat to bass on a bed.  This combined with the fact that a hollow-bodied frog allows you to put it in places other baits can’t go makes it a great choice.

Frog Rod:  Shaman 6’10” H

Now that I have your blood boiling and your pulse racing grab your favorite topwater baits and go take part in some exciting early-season topwater bass action!

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