Topwater Fishing


Topwater fishing is one of the most exciting ways to fish for smallmouth bass.  As water temperatures warm into the 60s, you can have a lot of success by fishing with topwater lures.  The peak topwater bite typically occurs when water temperatures rise into the 70s during the summer months.  You can catch plenty of smallmouth bass on topwater lures in the shallows around rocks, wood, weeds and other types of shallow water cover.  At times, smallmouth bass can be seen feeding in large schools on the surface over deeper water. The smallmouth bass will push schools of bait fish up to the surface and if you are at the right place at the right time, you could see dozens of smallmouth bass feeding on the surface.  It could be over 10, 20 even 50 feet of water.  This usually occurs in the summer or fall.


Fish During the Warm Months

At times you can catch some smallmouth with a topwater lure during cold water conditions, but for the most part, you’re going to be looking for water temperatures above 60 degrees.


Low Light Conditions are Best

There are exceptions, but for the most part, the better topwater bite is almost always during low light conditions.  Early morning, evening and the night time are best.


Fish at Night

In the late spring, summer and early fall, there is usually a very good topwater bite at night as well on most bodies of water.


Twitch, Twitch, Pause

If you want to consistently catch smallmouth bass with a topwater lure, learn how to twitch the bait a couple of times and then pause the bait.  This technique is by far the best technique for consistently catching bass on the surface.


There are a Variety of Topwater Lures That Work

Take a look at our topwater lures section to see all of the different types of topwater lures that can be effective for targeting smallmouth bass.