As someone that is learning the tricks of fishing for bass, the topwater bite has been something of a mystery to me. I've seen it work on TV but haven't had much success with it when employing the technique. Poppers, chatterbaits, and frogs are the lures I've tried using, but Northland Tackle Tandem spinnerbaits have been my go-to bass lure the last couple of years.
But, despite my lack of experience, I do keep trying them to learn to use them and make myself a more well-rounded bass fisherman. On my trip on the water this week, the trials finally paid off.
With thick vegetation near the surface making using anything but topwater lures a must, I used frogs and Northland Tackle Buzzard Buzzer Chatterbaits almost exclusively. With the surface water temperature down to 62 degrees from the 69 it was a couple of weeks ago on Stockade, I was hopeful the fish would be active and hungry around and above the vegetation.
The frog got a hit on it, though I missed the set. But even a missed fish gives me confidence that the lure can work given the right situation. What really started on this trip was the Buzzer Chatterbait. The fish were super aggressive when they did hit, almost taking the rod out of my hand on one occasion. I didn't catch anything huge but caught several nice sized largemouth bass and pike.
More than anything, this trip gave me confidence to pursue fish hiding in and around the vegetation on the lake. With the surface temps dropping as the fall season approaches, I think that the topwater bite will only get better as the larger fish return from summer depths of the lake and look to feed on crustaceans and small fish hiding in the thick weeds.
Tall and thick vegetation was always a deterrent in the past for me given my lack of experience fishing in and above it. But after this trip, I'm confident that I can catch more fish and employ these tactics again. Success breeds confidence. Keep trying something new until it succeeds. Then you will have all the confidence in the world on using it.