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Top 10 Topwater Lures of All Time

If you have been a subscriber of FishVault’s monthly fishing subscription boxes then chances are you have gotten a few topwater lures from us. Topwater fishing can be one of the most effective techniques to try when you move into the summer months. With that in mind, we wanted to give you our “Top 10 Topwater Lures” list to consider. Chances are you will see some of these in your upcoming FishVault boxes:

1. Large Walking Style Topwater

The “walking style” nomenclature comes from how these baits are fished. They are walked, side-to-side, along the surface to create the illusion of a baitfish moving left and right. Some models are silent, some with a sharp rattle, and still others with one large and loud knock, creating a wide variety of baits to be used in various conditions. 

2. Hollow Body Frog

Another bait category that has been around for decades, the hollow body frog is a staple in almost every anglers’ tackle bag. One of the more weedless topwaters of all times, a frog, is designed to be thrown into the thickest cover imaginable. Even with its all-terrain capabilities though, a frog still works well in sparse cover and even open water scenarios.

3. Buzzbait

An old-school favorite that still catches lots of fish today, the buzzbait is perhaps the best topwater of all-time in overall fish catches. A simple bait to fish, it can be easily reeled along the surface by an angler of any skill level. Longevity, ease of use, and effectiveness certainly put buzzbaits near the top of the list when ranking the best topwaters of all time.

4. Poppers

Excellent for fishing in the summer and fall months, a popper does a good job of mimicking both shad and bluegill. Throwing a popper in the summer around shallow bluegill beds is a great way to catch big bass. Moving into the fall, taking a popper to creeks in search of shad hanging around shallow flats is another great way to put bass, and some big ones, in the boat.

5. Plopper Style Topwaters

With a solid body and a large spinning prop for a tail, this bait truly revolutionized topwater fishing, spawning what eventually became a whole new genre of topwaters. Though the buzz around this style of fishing died down a little as every angler and their brother started to throw a Plopper style topwater, these are still some of the most effective baits at drawing strikes along the surface.

6. Small Walking Style Topwaters

Similar to the larger walking style topwaters, small walking topwaters are excellent baits to throw throughout most of the year. With a similar but tighter side-to-side action, the smaller walking style topwaters work great when fish won’t quite commit to the larger ones. Fish these baits in fairly clear water, on calm days, or around schooling fish and you’ll quickly find there are few baits better equipped for those conditions.

7. Reeling Toad

Like the hollow body frog, these baits are also weedless and effective in pretty thick cover. Though toads do work best when the cover is at least sparse enough for the legs to kick. By reeling toads like this in sparse cover or even open water, you generate a continuous action that bass can use to track the bait down and unload on it. Also great baits for skipping, toads give you an option for areas other topwaters can’t go.

8. Wakebaits

True, some wakebaits can be reeled a foot or two under the surface, but when reeled right along the surface, wakebaits are essentially topwaters and some of the most fun ones you can fish. Creating a wake as the bait rocks to and fro on a steady retrieve, wake baits have a subtle action but ample drawing power. What seems to be an easy meal to big bass, a wakebait creates an irresistible offering as it lumbers along the surface.

9. Prop Bait

One of the staples of the sunshine state around the spawn, the beauty of this bait is that it can be twitched and paused to work slowly through a spawning area. Consisting of something similar to a jerkbait body with a small prop on each end, this topwater is perfect for drawing spawners up off the bed to investigate. When they do, they can hardly resist and will either eat the bait or reveal themselves by swirling on it, in which case you can move in and pick the fish off with a follow-up bait.

10. Pencil Poppers 

A mix between a popper and a walking style topwater, pencil popper style baits are extremely effective on lakes with blue back herring in particular. These baitfish roam in open, sometimes very deep water, and the large profile of a pencil popper along with the chug of the bait’s mouth creates an appealing representation of a herring that is able to draw bass to the surface from a long way off. Though pencil poppers are extremely effective in particular scenarios, they aren’t as widely used and therefore round out the top 10.

Did your favorite make the list? If not, then send us a comment on what works best for you.