Skip to main content

3 Terrific Topwater Tricks for Fall Bass

3 Terrific Topwater Tricks for Fall Bass
3 Terrific Topwater Tricks for Fall Bass

Topwater bassin’ fanatics have a saying: “Catching one bass on a topwater lure is worth 10 on anything else.” It’s true. Seeing the drama makes topwater fishing special. You watch the wake of a bass homing in on your lure. You see the fish boil beneath the bait. You witness the hook-set. Your eyes are glued on the bass as it jumps. Fishing doesn’t get any better than that, and during autumn, topwater fishing is at its best.

Topwater lures come in many varieties, and some terrific tricks can increase your catch rate when fishing each type. Here are three to try this season.

The Lure: Popper

Poppers are productive, fun-to-fish bass lures. Each has a face scooped-out, grooved or otherwise designed to catch water. The lure makes a chugging sound when jerked. Examples include Rebel’s Pop-R, Creek Chub’s Super Knuckle-Head and Cabela’s Top Popper.


The Trick: Raking Weeds


On sunny fall days, add a rake to your fishing gear. Bass often lurk in heavily matted weeds when the sun is high this season. Run your boat into the weeds and use the rake to clear a 6-foot hole. Rake out a slot to open water, too. Leave for one hour. Bass soon forget you were there as they gorge on baitfish eating plankton stirred up by your raking. When you return, launch a popper into the hole from a distance. Count to 10, then twitch the lure so it spits. If this doesn’t garner a strike, jerk the popper hard so it makes a deep bloomp sound, and keep it coming. Detonating!

The Lure: Stickbait

Stickbaits have no propellers, lips or built-in action. But skilled anglers can animate them with short, sharp jerks that produce a left-right-left action known as “walking the dog.” Heddon’s Zara Spook, Sebile’s Topwater Stick Shadd and Rapala’s Skitter Walk are among the makes.

The Trick: Head Nod


Stickbaits create a commotion when walked quickly over the surface, but at times, persnickety bass prefer quiet lures, and the fact that stickbaits have no sound-producing features makes them very effective. Cast near cover, and wait a few seconds. Then, gently twitch your rod tip to make the lure nod its head. Repeat, nodding and reeling so the stickbait dimples the water every couple of inches. Bass rarely see lures do this, and few can resist.

The Lure: Prop Bait

A small propeller on one or both ends of the lure body characterizes this group of artificials. On retrieve, water twirls the propellers, causing the lure to sputter like a trolling motor tilted too high. Venerable names include the Smithwick Devil’s Horse, Luhr-Jensen’s Nip-I-Diddee and the Heddon Torpedo.


The Trick: Doodlesocking

For the ultimate in topwater excitement in autumn, try doodlesocking with a prop bait. This old-fashioned bassing method employs a 12- to 16-foot fiberglass or graphite/composite jigging pole instead of a rod and reel. On the end, tie a prop bait with a 24-inch length of heavy braided line. The lure is fished in pockets in shoreline cover. Work it back and forth very quickly with short sweeps of the pole, making as much noise as you can. When a bass hits, it’s like someone set off a depth charge.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Yo-Zuri Hardcore NOI-Z Wakebait and Crank Series

Yo-Zuri Hardcore NOI-Z Wakebait and Crank Series

FLW Pro Circuit angler Spencer Shuffield tells Florida Sportsman executive editor Jeff Weakley that there are two new offerings from Yo-Zuri that take full casting distance advantage of the company's patented Magnetic Weight Transfer system. One of those new baits is the Hardcore NOI-Z wakebait, a hinged lure that uses a hard-knocking rattle, a rear prop and a feathered treble hook to draw ferocious strikes. The other is the redesigned Hardcore Crank 2+, 3+, and 4+ series, which can be cast a country mile, bounced off of cover, and retrieved silently to lure high-pressured bass into striking.

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa's Todd Barker reveals the features of the new Costa Ferg sunglasses, a best-of-category winner at ICAST 2020.

Safely Transport Kayak, Canoe with Malone Auto Racks

Safely Transport Kayak, Canoe with Malone Auto Racks

Mike Carney highlights three products deigned to get you there and back; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel

Jeff Weakly talks with Mike Rice, Product Manager at PENN Reels about the relaunch of the Penn Battle III Spinning reel.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Field Skills: Want to be a better shooter? The first step is perfecting your release.6 Steps to the Perfect Trigger Pull on Your Compound Bow Hunting How-To

6 Steps to the Perfect Trigger Pull on Your Compound Bow

Jace Bauserman - August 27, 2020

Field Skills: Want to be a better shooter? The first step is perfecting your release.

In need of a rugged container to sip from in the backcountry? We've got you covered. From tumblers to bottles to flasks (and even clever bottle openers), we've rounded up some of the best bar gear for the outdoors.Ultimate Outdoor Bar Gear Roundup The Deck

Ultimate Outdoor Bar Gear Roundup

Chelsie Walters and Jessyca Sortillon - August 31, 2020

In need of a rugged container to sip from in the backcountry? We've got you covered. From...

Here's how to get your rig ready for archery deer season.19 Ways to Get Your Crossbow, Compound Ready for Opening Day Bows

19 Ways to Get Your Crossbow, Compound Ready for Opening Day

Bob Robb - August 21, 2020

Here's how to get your rig ready for archery deer season.

Now's the time to finalize plans for the perfect deer season opener.10 Expert Deer Hunting Preparation Tips for Opening Day Whitetail

10 Expert Deer Hunting Preparation Tips for Opening Day

M.D. Johnson - August 26, 2020

Now's the time to finalize plans for the perfect deer season opener.

See More Trending Articles

More Fishing How-To

Slow trolling cut catfish baits can lead to dramatically more bites than still-fishing over an anchor.Precision Slow-Motion Techniques for Reservoir Catfish Catfish

Precision Slow-Motion Techniques for Reservoir Catfish

Dan Anderson - September 01, 2020

Slow trolling cut catfish baits can lead to dramatically more bites than still-fishing over an...

These areas can offer excellent warm-weather walleye action, but first you have to find the fish.Find and Catch Open Water Basin Walleyes Walleye

Find and Catch Open Water Basin Walleyes

Jeff Knapp - August 27, 2020

These areas can offer excellent warm-weather walleye action, but first you have to find the...

Lowering water and a decreasing frequency of hatches make trout vulnerable to a variety of tactics. Here's how to capitalize during the best trout fishing month of the year.Happy Trout-Tober Fishing Trout & Salmon

Happy Trout-Tober Fishing

Gary Lewis - October 22, 2020

Lowering water and a decreasing frequency of hatches make trout vulnerable to a variety of...

Almost anyone can catch a bunch of small catfish. Hooking a true monster requires a different level of preparation, skill and effort.A Time for Giant Catfish Catfish

A Time for Giant Catfish

John N. Felsher - August 24, 2020

Almost anyone can catch a bunch of small catfish. Hooking a true monster requires a different...

See More Fishing How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now