April 01, 2016
Is there a better way to bass fish than working a topwater lure? We love the challenge of tempting a big bass to crash the surface against her better judgment. Add in crazy new designs — like the River2Sea Whopper Plopper and LIVETARGET Sunfish Hollow Body — and these new topwaters drum up high-flying excitement.
Whether you're trying to entice big largies buried in the calling them up from 20-feet below, one of these topwater bass fishing lures is sure to do the trick.
Some things we liked and other things we felt could use improvement, but all-in-all these topwater lures are fish catching machines and each deserve a place in your tackle box.
Following are eight innovative topwater lures you need to check out if you're serious about topwater bass fishing.
Action First Flat Belly Walker | Sebile Lures
I fully expected them to get tossed in the chop and be tough to walk. They are light and have no keel whatsoever, and the flat-belly aspect of the bait seems tailor-made for calm conditions.
Surprisingly, they actually provided pretty good action despite the conditions. Perhaps it's the external weight system on the belly that kept them tracking right.
WHAT WE LIKED: Great price for a blue-collar topwater. Less than $5.
WHAT WE'D CHANGE: Stronger hooks and more realistic texturing would be welcome. — John Geiger
Length: 3 1/2, 4 1/4 inches | Weight: 1/2, 3/4 ounce
Arashi Top Walker 2 | Storm
Looking for a big, noisy walking bait? The Top Walker 2 looks like a shad fleeing to safety when walked across the surface, and the flatter sides decrease the amount of roll the bait experiences during the retrieve. The hook hangers are turned (a staple of Arashi hard baits) to help increase hook-up ratios.
WHAT WE LIKED: The ease of walking this bait and the unique sound it produces.
WHAT WE'D CHANGE: Add a feathered treble hook on the back. — Todd Ceiser
Length: 4 1/4, 5 1/8 inches | Weight: 3/4, 1 1/8 ounces
Boss Pop | Booyah
A staple in bass anglers' tackle boxes is the Zell Pop by XCalibur. Many of us were disappointed to see it discontinued recently. But fear not. Excalibur's sister company, BOOYAH, has released the Boss Pop, which is virtually identical. This classic popper is super buoyant so you can walk the dog as well as pop it.
WHAT WE LIKE: It has the same action and fishes exactly like the Zell Pop.
WHAT WE'D CHANGE: Add more colors to the line-up and upgrade to stronger hooks. — Tim Carini
LENGTH: 2 5/16, 2 3/4 inches | WEIGHT: 1/4, 3/8 ounce
Dog-X Diamante | Megabass
This walking bait may look like other lures on the market, but it certainly doesn't act like them. Its small, open mouth and flared gills gives it a unique splash as it juts side to side. I really like that it comes in two versions: silent and rattle.
Certain times of the year, the bass prefer less commotion. On highly pressured lakes, the silent choice is a good option because most topwaters have rattles and bass can get conditioned to that.
WHAT WE LIKE: The unique splash should attract more fish, especially pressured ones.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE: On the bluegill-colored baits, we would prefer a black or bronze hook. — Tim Carini
Length: 4 3/4 inches | Weight: 3/4 ounce
Pompadour Jr | Jackall
If you ever wanted to know what it sounds like to tie a rock band to the end of your fishing line, make a few casts with the Pompadour. This bait is a perfect substitute for a buzz bait and will catch fish day or night. Wings swing freely away from the bait to almost a 90-degree angle, then swing back to hit the side of the bait as it sways in the water.
WHAT WE LIKED: The free-swinging rear hook hanger keeps fish buttoned.
WHAT WE'D CHANGE: Down-size the front hook to avoid tangling with the larger rear hook. — Todd Ceisner
Length: 2 1/2 inches | Weight: 5/8 ounce
Sunfish Hollow Body | LIVETARGET
LIVETARGET has done it again. The new Sunfish is quite possibly one of the easiest baits to walk — and skip — that I've ever tied on. Once in the water, the bait lies on its side as if mimicking a struggling panfish at the surface.
This bait can be walked, popped or chugged. It was three years in the making, but after fishing it, I'd say it's been well worth the wait.
WHAT WE LIKED: The attention to detail and Livetarget's devotion to coming up with unique baits.
WHAT WE'D CHANGE: Paint the exposed portion of the weight on the bottom side to truly finish off this one-of-a-kind lure. — Todd Ceisner, editor bassfan.com
Length: 3, 3 1/2 inches | Weight: 7/16, 5/8 ounce
Walking Frog | Terminator
The Walking Frog is the first non-wire bait to bear the Terminator name. It's bigger than most other frogs on the market. The body is more slender in length than some other brands, making it easy to walk even in heavy slop.
It's also more bulbous, giving it a rounder appearance rather than having four defined sides like most other frogs. The bait rolls on the surface as it walks.
WHAT WE LIKED: They didn't copy someone else's frog but created a new topwater tool.
WHAT WE'D CHANGE: Be aware this is a big frog and may be tough to cast in wind. — Todd Ceisner
Length: 3 inches | Weight: 11/16 ounce
Whopper Plopper | River2Sea
I was on a calm lake early in the morning when I first threw a Whopper Plopper. I thought, "They can't be serious." The lure created a ridiculous commotion, threw water up behind it and made a popping-plopping sound that reminded me of a wind-up toy boat. As I thought about putting it in the depths of my gear box, an explosion erupted and a 4-pound bass dragged it under. The bait drew another 10 or so takes and three or four hookups.
The Whopper Plopper is our "Standout" favorite among all these lures because it's well-designed. The tail spins whether burned or slow-chugged. You can dead-stop it mid-retrieve and start it up again with a different action. It casts far and is like nothing else out there.
WHAT WE LIKED: It's a brazen lure that demands a look from game fish.
WHAT WE'D CHANGE: The whole lure starts to spin when burned; an independent moving hookeye could mitigate that. — John Geiger
Length: 3 1/2, 5 inches | Weight: 1/2, 1 3/8 ounces