Review: Top 10 Topwater Lures To Catch Big Bass — Part 1

By | March 26, 2016
Review: Top 10 Topwater Lures To Catch Big Bass — Part 1
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Review: Top 10 Topwater Lures To Catch Big Bass — Part 1

My favorite top 10 topwater lures

Review: Top 10 Topwater Lures To Catch Big Bass

Bass looking upward for a good meal

I believe any BassHole (like me!) who has had the experience of a big ole bass crashing up out of the weeds to grab their bait is hooked on topwater lures!

Originally I was going to list my top 5 choices, but, well, I couldn’t figure out which ones to leave out, so I went with 10 instead! So here’s Part 1 of my review of the top 10 topwater lures to catch big bass. (For the mathematically challenged, that’s the first 5.)

How do you catch big bass on topwater lures?

But before I give you my countdown, let me discuss briefly fishing these lures.

Essentially, there are 2 basic categories of topwater lures:

  • Weedless
  • Soft body
  • Not so weedless
  • Hard bodyLine in tree

Almost everhting below are weedless soft body lures. And they get top billing because I do like them better. But the future post on hard body lures includes some classics that still will produce big bass at times when nothing else works!

Now, even the weedless lures will sometimes get stuck on a lily pad, cattail, tree branch, or other structure, but believe it or not, that’s not always a bad thing!

When your lure is stuck on a pad or piece of grass, keep pulling on it to jiggle it in the water, and sometimes you’ll get a hand (or mouth) from a big bass attacking the bait!

And it’s great to knock your lure against structure, so don’t be afraid to get hung up a few times, other times it will pay off with a big bass.

How to set the hook

Fishing topwater lures means that you will be pulling your lure across the top of the water, and creating a disturbance. The bass thinks it’s a creature either swimming above him (or her), or, even better, something injured struggling on the top of the water. Either way, that’s like a dinner bell for bass, and they will come crashing up out of the water to eat the tasty morsel you so kindly offer.

But wait, don’t haul yet!Fishing_lure eating lure

It’s VERY tempting to yank back on your rod when you see that bass jumping up to eat your lure. But don’t do it! 99 times out of 100 you’ll simply pull the lure right out of the bass’s mouth! so BE PATIENT and follow these steps:

  • Lower (yes, lower!) your rod tip and point it at the bass
  • Reel up the slack until you feel resistance
  • Set the hook by feel (you feel the weight of the fish), and NOT by sight

Then hold on, because a lot of the fish will be big ‘uns.

Don’t be discouraged; you CAN do it!

You won’t. Not at first. You will REALLY want to set that hook as soon as the bass grabs your lure. And you will get a bit of action, then, PLOP! He’s gone.

Fish on spinYou shake your head, and wonder, “Why? I had him!” But you didn’t

The Wiggle Wog instructions below say to “Count to 3” before you set the hook. DO IT!

Eventually your adrenalin will not flow so fast and cause your knee jerk (or in this case, arm jerk) reaction.

Though even experienced BassHoles (yours truly) forget, and strike too hard and too quickly.

Remember, this is supposed to be fun. And it’s sure fun to watch bass attack your lure!

My Top 10 topwater lures (1 through 5)

OK, enough gab. Here’s the list:

1.  Weed DemonGreen Weed Demon

Manufacturer: Snag Proof
Colors: Many!
Weight: 3/5 Ounce
Length: 4-1/4 Inches
Type: Topwater / Weedless / Snag proof (weeds or open water)
Body: Soft and hollow, fish hold on!
Price: Varies between $7.00 and $15.00 (usually due to color)
Rating: 10 out of 10! Buy this lure!

I love this lure!

Take a look at the far right end in the photo, right behind the hook. That’s a weight. So when I throw this baby out, the weight causes it to sit vertically in the water.

I twitch my line, and eventually “walk” it back to me, and sometimes, BAM! Bass on!

I can lob this into very heavy vegetation. Even if it gets stuck, it will usually come off. Sometimes thanks to a bass eating it!

This comes in a variety of colors. I like the one pictured and the black, but I’m certain they are all productive.

My fishing buddy calls this “the big bopper.” He fishes primarily with worms, but when I throw this into the brush, he’ll watch and mutter, “Come on, come on, crash it!” And sometimes, the bass does just that!

He just had a birthday, so I gave him some Weed Demons so HE can join the fun.

2. Wiggle WogChart Wiggle Wog

Manufacturer: Snag Proof
Colors: Many!
Weight: 3/8 Ounce
Length: 4-1/4 Inches
Type: Topwater / Weedless / Snag proof (weeds or open water)
Body: Soft and hollow, fish hold on!
Price: Varies between $10.00 and $18.00 (due to color)
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Buy this lure!

The Wiggle Wog was my first foray into Snag Proof’s lures. I had one, which I had bought just to see if I liked it. Like the Weed Demon above, the Wiggle Wog will glide over brush and and virtually weedless (or, as it’s name implies, “Snag Proof”!).

I caught a bunch of fish on this lure the first day I used it, then lost it when a toothy pickerel cut the line and took my Wiggle Wog away!

That night I was online ordering more, in a variety of colors (with multiples in the green shown and a dark brown). While there, I saw the Weed Demon, and that’s how I learned about it.

You can fish the Wiggle Wog right on the top, OR you can speed up your retrieve and it will swim through the water. The tail give awesome action, and the bass, well, “eat it up”!

3. Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog Lunkerhunt frog

Manufacturer: Lunkerhunt
Colors: Many!
Length: 2-1/4 Inches to 4-1/2 Inches (see below)
Type: Topwater / Weedless / Snag proof (weeds or open water)
Body: Soft and hollow, fish hold on!
Price:  $8.00
Rating: 9 out of 10 Buy this lure!

Bass eat frogs. Of course they’ll eat practically anything (see Buzzbait below), but they certainly eat frogs.

The Lunkerhunt Frog is the closest you can get to having a live frog on your line.

  • When still, the Lunker Frog’s butt drops down a bit into the water, just like a live frog.
  • When you pull the Lunker Frog, it’s back legs extend, perfectly mimicking a frog swimming (and that’s why it’s 2-1/4 inches — at rest — or 4-1/2 inches (swimming)

It features a super soft hollo body construction and weedless design. So again, you can throw it into the weeds and swim it out. Or can you? Because there’s a hungry bass just waiting for a frog to pass overhead!

4. Koppers Floating Frog Koppers floating frog

Manufacturer: Live Target
Colors: Many!
Length: 2-5/8 Inches (not counting “legs”)
Type: Topwater / Weedless / Snag proof (weeds or open water)
Body: Soft and hollow, fish hold on!
Price:  $11.00
Rating: 8 out of 10 Good Buy!

What can I say? I love fishing frogs for bass! And so do bass! Bass eat ’em, and so who am I to deny them their favorite snack?

While I was laid up, and started doing the research that eventually left to me creating this website (to share my “wisdom”), I learned a tip about this type of topwater bait: Cut one of the rubber legs shorter than the other. The idea is that will help the lure swim in a back and forth motion, which is what you want.

I have trimmed my frogs, but haven’t had a chance to try them out, so when I do, I’ll let you know. And if YOU have done that, let US know how it worked for you!

5. Buzzbait Strike King Buzz Bait

Manufacturer: Strike King
Colors: Many!
Weight: 1/4 Ounce & other weights
Type: Topwater
Body: Rubber
Price:  $7.00
Rating: 7 out of 10 Buy a classic!

And now, for something completely different!

All the soft plastic baits shown above at least resemble something alive. What does a buzzbait look like? (And don’t say “spinnerbait,” though that’s the only correct answer I can think of!)

No matter. It may not resemble much to you and me, but to the bass, it says, “Eat Me!”

Throw out your buzzbait, and crank it back in. Keep your rod tip up high, and get ready for a slashing attack!

The blade churns up a heck of a lot of water on the surface, and you can often hear it from where you are sitting. It’s noise, and roils water, which the bass must mistake for some type of fleeing critter that THEY want to eat.

When a bass hits your buzzbait, it’s a blast! You’re instantly in a great tug of war with a fish that suddenly discovers YOU are trying to take away it’s new prize, and he ain’t givin’ it back without a fight.

And isn’t that what fishing is all about?backwards hat bass

The ONLY reasons the buzzbait didn’t score higher in my rating is that the blade can sometimes get caught up in weeds, making it difficult to retrieve. AND, when I don’t have a buzzbait on me, I substitute a spinnerbait for a very similar (thought admittedly not identical) action. Plus I think a spinnerbait may be a bit easier to pull through the weeds.

Still, I always try to have buzzbaits in my tackle box, because when they work, they are awesome!

==> Click here for the rest of my Top 10! <==

So that’s my Top 5 topwater baits.

What are yours?

Tight lines!

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

 

29 thoughts on “Review: Top 10 Topwater Lures To Catch Big Bass — Part 1

    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Antwnios!

      And let me know what results you get after your next fishing trip!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  1. Garen

    Hey Roger,

    I have had a lot of success with the Koppers Floating Frog for catching bass. Some of the biggest fish I have caught have been with this lure. I really believe the size of this lure helps attract larger bass and the strings really help catch the fishes eye.

    Anything with frogs seems to work great for bass. Makes for a good eating day too!

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Garen,

      Thanks for sharing your success with Koppers Floating Frog. I love frogs for bass fishing! (I may have mentioned that!)

      There’s an old saying, “Big lure, big fish.” It might be better to say “Big lure, no small fish,” but I agree that the heft makes it more enticing to the larger bass.

      My biggest lunker was on the Weed Demon. And I had to paddle myself over to the fish! S/he simply dove for the bottom and stayed there! At first I figured I had lost it, but then I could feel it waggle it’s big head. I feared I’d break my line (or rod!) hauling it up, but finally did. Wish I’d had a camera, or at least a scale, on that day!

      Thanks for sharing! Frogs sure are great for catching bass!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  2. Jeanette

    Hi Roger! This is a great post! So much information here. I really enjoyed reading this information. I don’t fish but now I know what baits would work best if the situation ever arises. I do have a good friend that fishes, I may run this information by him to see what baits he uses. Thank you so much for this info!

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      You’re welcome, Jeanette!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Yes, definitely! Share this post with your friend. And invite him to join me as a fellow BassHole!

      Love to get feedback from fellow anglers.

      Tell your friend I said, “Tight lines!”

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  3. Chris

    I will definitely have to test out some of the top 10 recommendations you have given for big bass lures. Knowing that Garen has had success with the Koppers Floating Frog, it will probably be one of the first ones I try out when it gets to summer time and I do some fishing up at the cottage. Thanks for providing the valuable info and recommendations.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Chris,

      Excellent idea, Chris!

      And with the Koppers Floating Frog, don’t be afraid to toss it right into the weeds. That’s where the bass love to hang out and then ambush a poor, unsuspecting frog, like the Koppers!

      Let it rest, wait, wait, yes, keep waiting, then jerk it a bit. And wait.

      But keep ready for some explosive action (and don’t forget to wait before setting the hook! Yes, there’s a lot of waiting!)

      IF that doesn’t get any results, try twitching it back towards you, then let it rest. Vary the speed of your pulling it back to you until you find the speed that angers the bass, and then keep doing that!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  4. ido

    Roger this was a fun read!
    All though not a fishing lover myself, I read the entire post with great delight, and learned a few things.

    Waiting a few seconds after the bite before hauling the rod seems like a priceless advice, and from the look of it even experienced Bassholes sometimes forget doing that.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Ido,

      Glad you enjoyed the post! As a “recovering standup comic” and one-time clown, I like to sprinkle a bit of humor into the discussion. Well, I can’t help myself, really!

      You are absolutely right about BassHoles forgetting to wait to set the hook. Of course it’s hard to wait when the bass rises up and grabs your lure. You instinctively want to yank! So discipline and practice help!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  5. Irvan

    First of all I should start by saying cool name, Roger the smiling Basshole! I love it!

    I’ll have to try out your suggestions next time I am out fishing. Those lures all look pretty cool! Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Irvan!

      Yes, I think the name fits! I loved being a “BassHole” when I was in the club, so I figured why not continue even though I’m 3000 miles away?!

      Glad you like the look of those lures. And the next group are all pretty much CLASSICS. Look for them in a day or two.

      Until then,

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  6. Laura

    Wow! What a fun and great read! Your love for bass fishing really showed in this post. There was a ton of information and value. I remember growing up with boxes and boxes of fishing lures in the garage, and I couldn’t tell you what one of them did. You made it easy to understand, even for this novice fisherman. I’m ready to hit the lake with my lures and give it a try!

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Laura,

      Glad you enjoyed the post! Yes, I DO love bass fishing. And pretty much ANY fishing (except ice fishing: no casting! And it’s cold!).

      When I was a kid, I didn’t really have any lures. I pretty much used live worms. But using lures is fun AND less messy! And I’m sure the worms prefer it as well.

      I had a bunch of lures, but also didn’t know what they did (and I’m talking about just recently!). I mostly used PLASTIC worms. But after a trip to BassPro, and speaking with a young man (probably about 20 years old), he turned me on to a bunch of lures that have REALLY worked well (like the Red Eye Shad).

      The one lure I did use a lot while bass fishing in California was a spinnerbait (like the buzzbait in this post). I love fishing them! I had a spinnerbait that was supposed to have a black head, but the paint had all been knocked off so there was just the metal showing! But it still caught fish!

      It’s fun to organize the lures when you can’t go fishing. And of course BIG BassHoles have more lures that they leave at home than they carry while fishing! I haven’t got to that investment level yet, but maybe one day!

      Let me know what works for you, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  7. Andy

    Another great post! I like the tips you gave for catching bass along with your recommendations on lures.
    Seems like you have a lot of experience and caught some huge bass in your time.
    It’s interesting to see all the different types of lures developed over time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a frog lure before until now.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Andy,

      Thanks!

      Yes, HOW you fish the lures is just as important — maybe even MORE important? — as WHICH lure you choose. And often you can fish the same lure in many different ways.

      I do love the history element of fishing. My next post will include some classic topwater lures with some VERY interesting (to me, anyway!) history.

      Can’t say I’ve caught a LOT of huge bass in my time, but since I started learning more about techniques, I have caught a few!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  8. kathe

    Hi there Roger! Great info! I also like to try fishing, but my place is not suitable for it. But at least I have some knowledge if ever I run into fishing in the future 🙂

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Kathe,

      Thanks for the comment!

      Where do you live that there is no fishing? It must be a very special place!

      If you ever get a chance to try it, have fun and Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  9. Jaime

    Hey Roger I definitely learned something today about lures. I love the description you have of each that you like, makes me have a better idea of which one I want. I will for sure use your site as a learning site when I go bass fishing. Filled with a lot of useful information. Thank you and have a great day/night.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Jaime,

      Thanks! Glad you found the information useful for selecting lures.

      I’m enjoying sharing my perspective with others, and of course doing the research to find out some new information and techniques.

      Keep on learning, my friend, and good day/night to you, too!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  10. Vicky

    This is a gold mine for bass lovers, not just this post but the whole site. I truly enjoyed the detailed reviews of each topwater bass lure. It’s clear that you know what you are talking about and the number 1 choice seems to be a great lure to start with.

    I will pass on this information to my husband that has a garage full of fishing equipment.

    I enjoy your writing style as well, personal, informative and fun! Keep it up!

    Vicky

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Vicky!

      A garage full of fishing equipment is a good start!

      Glad you found the post informative. Luckily I do love to write about bass gear! And I’m still learning, so will keep on posting!

      Tell your husband I always love to meet another BassHole.

      If he has any advice he’d like to share, or questions he needs researched, just let me know and I’ll do what I can.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  11. Jeff C

    I see that you like frogs too; I just got some from amazon. I hope they work as well for me as they did for you. Colorado’s fishing season just started 🙂

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Jeff,

      Frogs are great! I haven’t started using them yet, but I do love to! And bass love to eat them too!

      Are you fishing for bass in Colorado? I know there’s some world-class trout fishing out there! My brother went hunting in Colorado (from Vermont), and when he got back he told me, “I think they have fishing out there, too.” I assured him they did indeed!

      Whatever you’re fishing for, let your BassHole friends hear about your adventures!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Andy!

      The site is simply a WordPress offering. But I do like it!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply

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