Now’s the time when you can catch bass in water that’s less than 2 feet deep, and one of the best ways to do that is with a topwater bait. Here are the baits I like the best.
Without a doubt my first choice will be a buzzbait. This old, simple lure will provoke strikes from bass that are feeding, hiding, prowling around or sleeping. And those strikes will come regardless of the weather, time of day, moon phase or anything else you might confront on the water.
In really shallow water like we’re talking about I prefer a squeaker. The squeak seems like it gets their attention. My clackers are reserved for situations where the water’s a little deeper. The clack is more about calling them up to the lure.
There are several ways to make the buzzbaits you already own squeak. One is to crimp the rivet tight to the shaft. You can also put a bead in front of the blade. And sometimes roughing up the rivet and the shaft will do it.
I do not recommend tying them to your radio antenna while you drive down the road. Yes, that will cause them to wear and get sloppy. It’ll also destroy them and force you to buy something you owned an hour before. (I know a guy who tried it in his younger days. His name is Bill.)
If you prefer, you can buy good, well made squeakers from Lure Parts Online. They squeak right out of the package and they hold up really well under tough conditions.
I’m a pretty simple guy when it comes to color. If it’s white, I fish it. If it’s black, I fish it. If it’s something else, I leave it in my tackle box.
Basically all you need to do with a buzzbait is toss it out and reel it back. One trick you should know about, though, is to bring it over the same spot several times, at least four or five. They’ll often come up and grab the bait after several identical casts. I have no idea why. Some guys say the repeated disturbances over their head make them mad. I doubt that. They don’t get mad…and they don’t get happy…and they don’t fall in love. They react.
When the bite’s a little softer or when they’re not aggressive I sometimes switch to a double prop bait. My idea is to work it as slow as possible. I try to move it enough to turn the blades but not enough to move the body. Obviously, that’s impossible but the closer you get to that the more bass you’ll catch.
Another great lure for a soft bite is a popper. I try to make mine dip in the front without moving forward. The idea is to entice a bite by just sort of getting their attention.
With both prop baits and poppers I match the hatch as best I can with color and size. If I’m in doubt, I go with a shad color. My prop baits and poppers are all from either PH Custom Lures or ima.
One other thing I want to mention that’s really important is to use baits that have a feathered hook on the back, no matter what brand you’re using. The feather floating behind the lure makes a ton of difference. My color choices are almost always white and chartreuse.
Give shallow topwater lures a shot this fall. There’s no more exciting way to catch a bass.