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Topwater Bass Fishing  

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As much as I love top water smashes, I enjoy even more shallow running baits like sluggoes or light single colorado spinnerbaits worked just under the surface. I love the big swirl they make when you're waking a spinnerbait or working a reed edge where you can bump the reeds, kill the bait and let is start to spin it's way down, and the whole water shakes from the fish smashing out of the reeds to swirl on the bait. A sluggo type works great for this also.

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Agreed Vicrider, that does get the heart pounding, but I have to say my two favorite strikes are when you see a gigantic wake come up behind you lure, and it dissappears. Or when shiner fishing ( don't kill me!) when the chase it over to a wall and start pounding it( water sprays everywhere, and the shiner usually flies up at least once) the latter is how I caught my 2nd biggest bass, an eight pounder, needless to say I was pumped!

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I love topwater fishing for bass, so it's really difficult to decide which I like best. I voted the toilet bowl flush type, as many times that's a bigger fish. Striped Bass often make that kind of strike too. Either way it gets the adrenaline pumping! smile.png

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I was catching largemouths on topwater yesterday, and while some were big splashy takes, I had several take the popper almost like a trout sipping dries. Missed a couple because I didn't see the take.

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My all time favorite take happens to be my largest smallie to date. I was on a river and had sunfish/pumpkin seeds trying to take the back of the fly off by sipping at it. I'm not sure if the smallie was after the sunfish or my fly. It took the fly on the way up and all I just jumped out of my skin, it just happened to set the hook on the way down. It had nothing to do with being skillful at all. It was a 24" 4lb fish.

 

So my vote is for an intoxicated person sipping at another drink while trying to place a bowling ball into a flushing toilet standing on top of the seat... take.

 

Michael

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I like when I'm fishing top water next to some cattails, the fly makes a little splat when it hits the water, then you see the cattails start to twitch as a bass moves through them to see what the splat was. Wait for it! Wait for it! Wait for it! Then BOOM!! The first one of the day always catches me off guard and makes me flinch. LOL.. I love that!! S.T.P. frogs and Dahlberg Diving minnows gets them.

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I just got home from bass fishing but, I have to admit, I was fishing hardware. At dark, I stopped at a favorite spot and there was a HUGE largemouth milling around feeding in the weeds, but in a leisurely sort of way, with its whole back showing when it came to the top. When I first saw it working so slowly and quietly, I thought it was an otter. It looked like a small whale surfacing. :-)

 

No bowling ball OR toilet flush....

 

She surfaced like a nuclear submarine and swallowed my Scum Frog then proceeded to wrap me up on a snag despite my best efforts to horse her in with the 20 lb. braid with 15 lb. fluorocarbon leader on my spinning rod. I was heart-broken. I figure it would have been my biggest bass yet. She was a monster. I hope she survives and gives me another shot in the future. (Hopefully on my 8-wt. on a deer hair frog or Dahlberg Diver.)

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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I like the toliet flushing, when a fish comes up and slams the top I get over excited and jeck it away from him before he eats it! I would much rather see the fly disappear and feel the fish first.

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Lotta popper strikes to me are frog reactions from ole bucket mouth...the hard smacks that I like might indicate that the capture is not guaranteed for the fish thus more vigor to seal the deal.

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The most memorable bass take I recall was the first "slurp" I encountered.

 

I was flinging the oddest little dry fly for bluegill, a small deer-hair G&H Sedge. Pretty random to most folks, I suppose, until you consider how common is the caddis or sedge fly. Bluegill will grab a caddis adult or emerger in a minute.

 

But I was watching the fly half closely, as action had slowed. Then I noticed movement around the fly, like a hand had brushed the waters surface.

While trying to figure out just what had occurred, my line began to move off in a lateral direction.

 

I took slack and felt the weight of a fish. Reacting instinctively, I popped the rod tip up... And set the hook on a sprightly bass!

 

I'd like to say it was a record breaker - seems everyone but me catches only those. But, what I had was a two pound 'rocket bass'... A name I've since given to these smaller 'green trout.'

For all it's frenetic, even manic, gyrations after the hookup, it took that small fly almost lovingly.

 

Looking back, it only makes sense. We are led by the sporting literature (and perhaps our own selective memory) to believe only monster bass exist, fish that only take giant lures in lake-emptying explosions of rage.

 

And that's bull.

 

A 1994 summer study from South Dakota found every game fish netted, of every size, was stuffed with nymphs: damsel fly, dragon fly and a few others. And every fish was there: bluegill, perch, bass, walleye - even pike. It seems that once the water warms and the aquatic drama unfolds, bass feast on the more numerous, if smaller, unobtrusive things.

 

Sure, they'll take a black bird lure or giant rubber worm if it pisses em off enough. But it appears they feed as readily, and more often, on diminutive things.

 

Which leads me to wonder: How many decent bass have I missed because I cling to large poppers and sliders... The traditional "bass bug?"

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I've mentioned it before on another thread, but one of my first big bass in Florida came on a small bluegill popper.

I'd been fishing all morning on Lakes Minnehaha and Minneola, Clermont. The bluegill and other sunfish had been cooperating, eagerly bashing the fly. Some of their hits were hard enough to flip the fly clear of the water, only to be smashed again by the same or another sunfish. All of the hits were coming right at the Kissimmee Grass edge.

Then, as my fly drifted close to the grass, it just ... disappeared. There was no swirl, no commotion, nothing ... the fly just wasn't there anymore.

Just as dayhut did, I tightened up and felt weight and set the hook. The line immediately started peeling out of my hand as the fish ran. I got it in and had a a 4 pound bass on the line.

 

I once read an article about fish behavior. If a fish hits hard, runs a distance before the hook set, then there are other fish in the area that it's "competing with". Cast back in there after boating the fish, because there are more fish there.

If the fish barely takes the lure and sits still or moves very little, it's alone. With no competition, it can be much more subtle and not scare off other potential prey in the area.

 

Made sense then and has paid off on many fishing trips.

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My other favorite bit of lore along these lines, Mike, is the "swatting fish."

 

Basically, the deeper large fish don't like the surface all that much. They will feed there if compelled to, but they only reluctantly leave their deeper hides. This is one reason why it can take an exasperatingly long time between movements motion to get a strike.

 

But often enough, when the t

strike comes, it is "short" or seemingly halfhearted. We even think of it as a miss. But it seems the larger fish will swat at a critter they don't immediate recognize as food... To see what happens.

 

So there's your day-glo popper, all festooned with rubber bits and feathers, just "flub-flubbing" about. The little fish are pestering it, but that's more nuisance than any use.

 

Suddenly, this action ceases and you wonder what's up. That's when a heart stopping splash erupts right where your popper is... That isn't those little paddlers!!

Seconds tick by and you eventually start breathing again, only to find you got nuttin. You leave it there and flub it a few more times, with no result. Mumbling under your breath about "dull hooks," you pick up the fly and fling it elsewhere.

 

Wrong move, sir. Instead, calmly and meticulously put it right back in the same spot. There is a fish nearby, hiding, and he is now on the alert. He sees this thing come back, it bubbles a few more times, and he gets irritated. Another swat with his tail and he goes back to watch. This might go on several times, but the game is on; he has tipped his hand.

 

Eventually, you may rile him enough to commit. This time, he NAILS the popper with his mouth. In his mind, it's put up or shut up. And you have him.

 

The alternative is the fish leaves, not liking the disturbance. Maybe you knocked the kayak with your paddle in all the excitement. Or your shadow fell the wrong way.

Or he just recognizes that no critter the size of the popper is normal, and they never keep coming back, so he's tails up and retreats.

But there is a good chance you will get him if you just keep putting that bug into his territory.

 

Besides, what else you got to do?

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Big fish big bait....large or small if you know a big bass haunts a stump, tree, brush, etc. You can often elicite a savage strike by antagonizing or harassing him by repetive retrieves. Spooking him doesn't work of course. I've come back after discovering a good fish and after 10+ casts finally get the brut to bust it. I think it's more invading his space and anger than feeding for sure. This can work in bright sunshine when normal behavior is quite the opposite... Another point is a big bite in the hook gonna land lots more than all those lost w/lil bream bugs. I like to use midsize bugs that will get the occasional bream, make for easier casting, still have enough bite to get bucket mouth. When lots of good bream are around I use small trailer bug or wetfly about 2' behind the popper. Have caught 2 bass at once a few times.9FAFD3DD-79F4-44E0-AD9D-B74752854BD7_zps

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