Topwater baits and summer–like July 4th and fireworks


The best of summer bass fishing often floats on top!

Arbogast JitterbugTopwater baits are awesome simply because of the highly visual action. Watching the baits grab a lot of bass, though, is what really catches the eye. Our line of topwater baits include Paycheck Baits new Repo Man stick bait and range all the way to the old time classic Arbogast Jitterbug. The Arbogast Jitterbug has been around a long time and is a topwater bait that has been popular for years. There are four distinct types of topwater baits and each has its own technique and accessory needs.

Topwater Fishing Techniques


Paycheck's Repo Man
Heddon Zara Spook

With stickbaits like the Zara Spook or the new Repo Man, the best technique is the walk-the-dog method. You will want to make really long casts and attempt to cover a lot of area quickly. But the advantage of a walk-the-dog stick bait is the ability to slow it down and have the bait make wide, slow turns when you move it close to good looking structure so it can dwell in the strike zone longer then you can work it quickly across open water, looking for those bonus fish out hunting in the open.


With the poppers, use a braid line or a monofilament line and use the poppers in more open water or where precision casts are required around nasty, snaggy looking structure. Fishing with them can sometimes use an almost finesse style of fishing, as you want to work slowly and methodically while fishing specific areas. Try targeting shady spots during daylight hours to find active bass in the shadows.


Sumo Frog by SPROFrogs are designed to be used in weedy and brushy areas where you want a totally weedless bait that can be cast right into or on top of the weeds. Bass will come right through floating vegetation to eat a frog. Working slowly in, around and over floating weeds and brush you can watch the bass attack the frog while you work it very slowly from weed to weed. Expect to be ready to get giant fish when doing that.


River2Sea Crystal BuzzBuzzbaits, on the other hand, are great for fishing over the tops of grass beds or weeds in circumstances where you want to fish a wide area, quickly looking for highly active bass that are actively feeding or to locate fish.

Stickbaits are a big fish topwater bait

The Repo Man, a newly re-introduced stickbait, is made for surface fishing in the twitch and pause movements of the walk-the-dog style to attract the fish. You may recognize it as identical to the old Vixen- and that is because it is! The Repo Man is fished similarly to the way you would use the Heddon Zara Spook or variations like the Lobina Rico Suave or Lucky Craft’s Gunfish, 75, 95, and 115.

Topwater Poppers

If poppers are more to your liking we also have a complete line of more traditional baits such as the Lobina Rico, the Rebel Pop-R and the classic Arbogast Hula Poppers (definitely an old school bait but still very popular) and also the brand new SPRO Bronze Eye Popper which looks like a frog but fishes like a popper.

Frogs – a very visually interesting topwater bait

Speaking of frogs, we carry the new Sumo Frog, an awesome looking frog, and the Spro Bronzeye Frogs which come in three different sizes and up to 24 different colors. The Snag Proof Bleeding Frogs and the True Tungsten Mad Maxx Frog are very popular and also very productive. A frog bite can vary from a bass slurping the bait under water to the most vicious strike you have ever seen, that looks and sounds like a bowling ball was dropped in the lake. For some really wild topwater fishing, give frogs a try!

Buzzbaits – another topwater ”blast”

We stock a wide range of buzzbaits from many different manufacturers including River2Sea and their Crystal Buzz to the ultimate in a four-bladed buzzbait, the Accent Buzz B4. Buzzbaits are pretty much the same in general design and use except for their size, the number of blades and the amount of noise they put out Buzzbaits generally will benefit from the addition of a “stinger” or trailer hook such as the Gamakatsu Trailer hook because bass frequently miss or short strike a buzzbait when they hit it. The trailer hook gives you added chances for hooking up while still keeping the bait weedless. Also, keep your favorite plastic bait rod handy when fishing buzzbaits and if a fish blows up on, but misses, your buzzbait then immediately cast back into the same spot with your sinking plastic bait and you’re very likely to hook up that bass!

Casting rods and reels for topwater fishing

G.Loomis Topwater Series RodThe rods and reels you need to select for topwater fishing need to have the right power and action. With the stickbaits, the preferred rod would be a long one – a 7-foot or 7 1/2-foot is best. That way you can make very long casts with a medium to medium heavy action, depending on the weight of the bait you are throwing G Loomis topwater series rod TWR802C makes an excellent one with 6 feet 8 inches of medium power and fast action.

Shimano Reaction Series CumaraPoppers, when fished in a precision manner around shallows and stick ups, throw best with a 6 to 7-foot, shorter rod. For this technique you want accurate casting, not necessarily distance. Shorter, medium power rods are the better choice for accuracy.

Frogs should generally fly from a very long 7 1/2 to 8-foot, very stiff and extra heavy power rod with a fast tip. That makes it easy to cast long distances into the “junk” and also have a powerful backbone for reeling fish out of the weeds. It takes a big rod to get them out of the weeds, especially the big bass that you will find. The Shimano Reaction Series Cumara CUC-711MH, the GLoomis Frog rod or the Powell Flip, Pitch, and Frog Rod model 765 MH are rods we would recommend.

You can fish Buzzbaits with the same rod you would use with a spinnerbait. The rod should be able to make quick casts in the way you like to fish a spinnerbait. A 6 to 7 foot rod will work fine with medium power G Loomis Spinnerbait Rod model FBR 812C, a medium power rod, is the one for buzzbaits. That one give you the action specially designed for spinnerbaits and works wonderfully well with buzzbaits. Remember to use a high speed reel like the Shimano CORE when fishing buzzbaits for more ease in keeping the bait on the surface without having to crank a lot.

With a fantastic selection, Fisherman’s Choice is the place to shop for them

Fisherman’s Choice staff, all of whom are professional fishermen, can help you pick out the ones that best suit for your fishing style preferences and location. Call or write and we will take the time to give you our best professional advice. If you are unsure of which ones will be the most productive for you, give us a call at 866.993.1139, or if you are in the Phoenix area – come in and we will help get you stocked with the right selection for you.

Remember, when you place an order online, all orders $50.00 and over will get free ground shipping.


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