Basic topwater tips for bass fishing will cover seven different types of topwater lures, the type of retrieval to use on the lure, and what color combinations to use on certain types of days.
Buzzbaits – Before I fish a given body of water and I want to use this lure I head to local bait shops to catch the current fishing report. More times than not they will have the lures that you will need. A buzzbait retrieve is always in motion but you can control the speed to the desire of the bass, the buzz caused by the size and shape of the blade. Color combinations go with light on bright days and dark on cloudy days.
Floating Worm – Fish next to and into vegetation. Vary the retrieve with hesitations until the bass tells you what it wants. A floating worm I usually use on a bright day and I will use pink, yellow, white, and orange. Some come this way from the manufacture and some I make up with dyes and scents.
Frogs – Fish next to lily pads, grass patches, and other green vegetation. Try and match your frog colors with the local type of frog. Most frog bottoms are off white so try and get your frog lures with a light bottom. If you want put dark dots on the bottom so the bass can focus a little better on it. Try out the new Ninja Frog
Jerkbaits – These lures are made of wood, plastic, and soft rubber. I try to make them resemble the local forage, like the prevalent baitfish forage. Reel in the lure as if it is a baitfish swimming along and let the bass tell you what speed you need to give it.
Poppers – Reel these lures in with an irregular rhythm. Poppers have a concave mouth that when it is “popped” forward it spits water and comes to a rest. Let the bass let you know how fast it wants the lure to move. I would use frog or baitfish colors with this lure.
Propbaits – This lure is about four to five inches long with three treble hooks, one on each end and one in the middle, and two “props”, one on each end. Move this bait across the water with an irregular rhythm until the bass lets you know when it is right. Use frog and baitfish colors with this lure, with orange being a good belly color.
Stickbaits – This lure is about three to five inches long made from wood or plastic. Normally two to three treble hooks on the bottom and moved with an action called “walk the dog”. Snap the rod tip down while giving it a half reel in will cause this lure to come back at you with a side to side motion. This lure I would use more baitfish colors than frog colors.
The best days I have used topwaters have been overcast with a little chop to the water, a little wind to put a ripple on the water and with a little rain or sprinkle.