ALTON JONES, JR.: Spring Topwater Can be an All-Day Affair - Major League Fishing

ALTON JONES, JR.: Spring Topwater Can be an All-Day Affair

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Alton Jones, Jr., shows off a couple of his favorite topwater tools for late spring. Photo by Garrick Dixon
May 14, 2019 • Alton Jones, Jr. • Angler Columns

All-day topwater time is here.

This is prime topwater time in a lot of the country, and it doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy or bright sun, 60 or 90 degrees outside. If the bass are transitioning off of spawning beds, you can pick up one form of topwater or another, fish it all day long, and potentially catch the biggest bass of your life.

There are two common patterns to look for: a shad spawn, or bluegill and bream spawning beds.

Shad spawn usually happens overnight and early in the morning. If you can find spawning shad and get to them, that action can be really fast with a variety of shad-mimicking topwaters.

If you find bream beds, the bass feeding on them will tend to be bigger, since bass that will eat a bream are larger (usually around a 4-pounder). I’ll often locate a bream bed, take a waypoint and return about an hour later. You won’t usually see the bass when you roll up on the bed. So, come back later and make long casts to them.

You can sometimes get a big-bass flurry where you catch several larger bass off of one bream bed.

My Preferred Topwater Baits

  • I like the One-Knocker Spook or a Devil’s Horse prop bait fishing the bream beds. These baits are both great for big fish.
  • If you’re fishing flooded conditions and the water is starting to fall, a buzzbait is a terrific option, especially if the water is slick calm. You really want that bubble trail behind the buzzbait.
  • Highland reservoirs are perfect topwater fisheries. I like a walking bait like a Super Spook or a popping bait like a Booyah Boss Pop.
  • For thick surface weeds or fishing in dense cover, I like a Booyah Poppin’ Pad Crasher, or if there is a little wind, a Booyah Toadrunner is a great choice.

I throw my topwaters with braid so I can get better hooksets no matter the conditions. With a walking or popping bait, I won’t set the hook when they hit, just lift up and keep reeling.

If you play your cards right this time of the year, topwater fishing can be an all-day affair.