Top Water Fishing Tips for Beginners

Fishing top water lures is one of the most exciting times you can have on the water. Twitch twitch then BANG! And you get to see a monster engulf your lure and you know you have big one even before the line gets tight. But far too many anglers shy away from the action and success a top water can provide simple because they had a bad experience. Here are some simple tips to get you back on top.

  • Add a little slack – too many beginners think you need a tight line to work a top water; the truth is you actually need a little slack in the line tip to achieve the correct action. Too tight and you end up pulling the lure across the surface.
  • Shorten the rod – fishing top waters means keeping the rod tip low. If your rod is too long, more than 6’or 7′, and you will end up burying it in the water or hitting the boat- either will prevent achieving the correct action.
  • Line selection– braided is by far the most popular bass line, and it will work for top waters IF you make a slight modification. By itself braided line will not only make it difficult to work a top water, as it tends to get tangled during rapid side to side action, it also sometimes causes hard strikes to be thrown. Adding 3′ of mono as a leader will make all the difference by providing a little shock absorber to your set up and increasing action of lure.
  • Speed depends– sometimes you need to go full speed ahead and others call for slowing down a bit. Read the water and the fish then adapt your presentation accordingly. When the water is dark and fish are sluggish slow down and pause slightly, but do not stop, every 3 or four feet. If fishing clear water or aggressive feeding fish speed up to make sure you lure represents a fleeing bait fish.
  • Imitate natural bait – no matter how you are fishing the goal is to imitate natural bait by making you lure look like they do, this includes movement. Fast, slow, paused or darting – whatever your presentation style is it will may work if that is what local bait fish do as well.
  • Change up your size– sometimes it is the size of your top water lure rather than presentation which will make the difference. If you are doing everything else right and still getting zip try going with a bigger lure. Sometimes cautious or slow fish will let a smaller meal pass while they wait for a larger, more satisfying offer – something which will make the reward worth the energy necessary to catch it.

Top waters can be successful in targeting a wide range of species during any season, if you make the necessary changes in your presentation. Practice these tips and see if they don’t help you up your top water game.

Good luck, good fishing!

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