Topwater fishing is some of the most exciting bass fishing you can find as bass come crashing through the surface to grab your bait. This popular form of bass fishing is best in spring and early summer, but topwater lures can catch bass year-round depending on conditions like weather, season, location, and more.
The Most Popular Top-water Lures for Bass
There are a wide variety of top water bass lures, and the article covers a broad variety of more specific lures. We’ll go over the best topwater lures in general for bass, from frog lures to poppers and everything in between.
These are the Best Topwater Bass Lures:
- Rebel Lures Pop-R
- Spro Bronzeye Frog
- River2Sea Whopper Plopper
- Heddon Zara Spook
- Booyah Buzz
- Arbogast Hula Popper
- LiveTarget Hollow Body Frog
- Spro Rat
- Rapala Skitter Pop
- Smithwick Lures Devil’s Horse
Rebel Lures Pop-R
The Rebel Pop-R is known by many to be one of the best topwater lures for bass. Rebel Lures is a brand associated with high quality fishing lures made from premium components, and the Pop-R is one of their top products. This topwater lure is a popper, so it will pop along the surface creating sound and vibration to lure in bass.
The Rebel Lures Pop-R is a versatile popper lure. It is used by professionals in bass tournaments as well as everyday fishermen. The Rebel Pop-R works at any speed, whether fished fast and erratically or slowly to mimic a dying baitfish. It comes in 13 colors and varied size for different usages.
Spro Bronzeye Frog
The Spro Bronzeye Frog is one of the best frog lures on the market, great for catching bass. This frog lure is lightweight and hollow bodied, so it is made to cast long distances. It is weighted to land on its belly, and the line attaches at the tip of the frog’s mouth, so it stays upright to look like a real frog when in the water.
Spro’s Bronzeye Frog has sharp Gamatsaku hooks on both sides to improve hooksets. This makes it weedless, and great for fishing through heavy cover and vegetation. It is fitted with skirts on both sides to mimic kicking frog feet. The Spro Bronzeye Frog comes in 32 colors, so you can choose the best one for your location or type of bass.
River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130
The Whopper Plopper is a topwater prop bait with a propelling tail for super realistic action. The 130 size was made specifically for bass fishing, although other models will work as well. The River2Sea Whopper Plopper can cast up to a mile and cover large areas of water, whether fished at a super slow crawl or quickly to make a commotion on the water.
This versatile lure has a rattle to lure in bass, glass eyes that look real, and a great action that is sure to trigger strikes. It comes fitted with two strong treble hooks. The River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130 comes in 16 appealing colors.
Heddon Zara Spook
The Heddon Zara Spook is a classic stickbait. It was designed for a “walk the dog” action, triggering strikes along the surface. The Zara Spook has a unique torpedo profile that moves easily through the water and attracts fish from far away with its distinctive action, perfectly mimicking a baitfish.
The Heddon Zara Spook has a premium, high quality construction, and is an extremely durable lure. This lure should be in any anglers tackle box. The Zara Spook comes in a range of sizes and colors for all types of fishing, so you can find the best choice for your next bass fishing trip.
The Booyah Buzz was created specifically for catching bass, designed to be dragged across the water’s surface. This top-rated buzzbait has a signature noise to attract big bass. The Booyah Buzz is a single prop buzzbait with a clacker, for added noise to attract bass. The jig comes with a 55-strand silicone skirt, and ultra sharp Mustad hooks ensure strong hooksets.
The Booyah Buzz comes in 3 sizes and 6 colors, all optimized for topwater bass fishing. Booyah recommends using a double loop knot and 8-10 pound test line to reel in strong bass.
Arbogast Hula Popper
The Arbogast Hula Popper is a well-known bass lure that has been a favorite for over 60 years. This topwater popper has an extra large mouth, so it chugs water and creates a huge disturbance to lure in bass. Both the loud sound of this popper and the huge bubbles it creates on the surface lead to more bites.
The Arbogast Hula Popper is also fitted with a skirt for even more realistic and enticing movement. It’s fitted with two strong treble hooks, so hooksets are great but it is far from weedless. The Arbogast Hula Popper comes in 15 bass attracting colors.
LiveTarget Hollow Body Frog
Another great frog lure for bass, the LiveTarget Hollow Body Frog is a favorite for many bass anglers. This frog lure is incredibly detailed, helping to trick bass into thinking it’s a real frog. It has a soft, hollow body construction which reveals two sharp hooks when compressed. This makes it weedless and helps trick bass into hooking themselves.
The Livetarget Hollow Body Frog is great for fishing over weed-choked areas, lily pads, or heavy cover. The Livetarget Hollow Body Frog attaches to fishing line at the mouth to keep it upright. Its movement mimics a real frog’s, including two skirts that move like frog’s legs in water. The LiveTarget Hollow Body Frog comes in 9 realistic colors and varied sizes.
Spro Bbz-1 Rat
The Spro Bbz-1 Rat mimics the appearance and movement of a rat, a surprising lure that still works very well. It has a square bill, which allows it to dive slightly under the surface but stay near the top of the water. It has a floating, foam-injected body that feels like wood. The Spro Rat has a single joint for realistic motion, as well as a jointed tail.
The Spro Bbz-1 Rat is versatile, and bass love it. It has two sticky-sharp Gamatsaku hooks so that bass can’t escape, and it comes in 6 colors.
Rapala Skitter Pop
The Rapala Skitter Pop is one of many great Rapala lures. This topwater popper is sure to entice bass, with the classic Rapala action and a popping action to further draw in fish. The Skitter Pop’s cupped lip spits and pops along the surface, making a loud popping sound and disrupting the water to lure in big fish.
The Rapala Skitter Pop is a durable, reliable freshwater fishing lure. It can be fished various ways, whether walking the dog, twitching or trolling. The Skitter Pop comes in a variety of sizes and colors to meet your fishing needs.
Smithwick Lures Devil’s Horse
The Devil’s Horse lure from Smithwick Lures is a great topwater lure. It has two propellers on each end, and three treble hooks to improve hooksets. This topwater lure should be fished in relatively clear water, as the hooks make it likely to snag. It has a uniquely narrow profile, sure to trick bass into biting what they think is a baitfish.
The Smithwick Lures Devil’s Horse lure can be fished like a prop bait or a stickbait. Extra erratic action from the angler’s rod can help to trigger a strike if the propellers do not. This durable topwater lure comes in 12 alluring colors, and varied sizes.
What are Topwater Lures for Bass?
A topwater lure is any lure that tends to float or stay on the surface, drawing bass to bite at the surface. They usually mimic the prey of bass, like frogs or other wounded baitfish. Most topwater lures have treble hooks, although some may have a more traditional hook.
Frog lures for bass are typically either topwater frogs or soft plastic frogs that sink. Topwater frogs mimic a frog, one of bass’ natural prey. They mimic a frog or toad hopping along the surface, and work extremely well when catching bass. Frogs are best fished in areas of heavy cover, as that is where real frogs would be found, and they’re relatively weedless.
Learn how to fish a topwater frog and find the best frog lures for bass.
Poppers, also called plugs, are lures made with a cupped mouth that pops along the surface of water. They are called poppers because of the way they pop along the surface, making noise and disturbing the water to attract fish. The larger the concave mouth of a popper, the more noise and disturbance it will make.
The action of a popper mimics a wounded baitfish, and the noise and vibrations made by their mouths are sure to attract bass. Poppers are a very popular bass lure, known for triggering strikes. When fishing a topwater popper, use a straight retrieve with jerks to make more of a splash. Find the best bass poppers for more topwater action.
Buzzbaits are another form of topwater lure, known for catching big, trophy-sized bass. Buzzbaits have a propeller blade that chops the water along the surface, creating sound and vibration to lure in bass. They don’t float as well as other topwater lures, so they’ll need a constant retrieve to keep them buzzing near the surface.
Find the best buzzbaits for bass and learn more about buzzbait fishing.
Stickbaits are not exciting lures, but they still do the trick. These lures are basically just a floating topwater lure without any extra special features. Stickbaits are similar to prop baits, but without the propellers. They are one of the oldest lure styles, back before fishing technology became so advanced.
When fishing a stickbait, you’ll need to provide the action with your rod. Keep your rod tip high, and move the lure side to side, up and down, or erratically as you reel it in to trigger a strike. This action is known as walking the dog, and is a popular form of stick bait fishing. Whatever action you choose to give your stickbait is up to you, since its entirely in your hands.
A prop bait is a classic fishing lure, and while they have fallen out of popularity in some ways, they are still a great topwater lure for bass. Prop baits are typically hard plastic lures with one or more propeller on them to create sound and water disruption. They tend to be torpedo-shaped.
Prop baits can be fished similarly to buzzbaits, with a fast, straight retrieve to make the propellers move. Unlike buzzbaits, they can float on their own. Erratic motion can help trigger a strike if the bass aren’t biting.
Topwater Bass Fishing
Bass fishing with topwater lures is fairly self-explanatory: most topwater lures stay right on or just below the surface of the water, triggering bass to come up and strike. Many top water lures create a commotion on the water, whether through a popper, a rattle, or another tactic that entices bass.
Topwater bass lures are especially efficient in the spring and early summer, as bass are closer to the surface during these times and more active in general. During these seasons fishing a topwater lure in low light (around dawn or dusk) can be extremely effective and result in great catches.
Topwater lures can be used year-round however, especially weedless ones. Bass tend to hide under heavy cover, so this is a great time to use a weedless topwater lure, like a frog. In clear waters, topwater lures still work well because bass deeper down will be able to see and hear the lure as it moves, enticing them to come to the surface for a bite.
It may not be best to use a topwater lure in super cold conditions, as bass are less active and less likely to come to the surface to bite.
These lures have different retrieves depending on the style of the topwater lures. Buzzbaits and poppers can have pretty straightforward retrieves, since they make enough noise and action on their own. Others may require more erratic movement or jerking to trigger strikes.
Topwater Bass Lures and More
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