Best topwater fishing tips

Learn the best topwater fishing tips for bass, saltwater and trout from the Fishbrain team

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Best topwater fishing tips

The sun is just starting to climb the horizon and you can see your reflection in the glass like surface of the water. The only disturbance is your frog lure splashing into the lilies. You let it set, just long enough for the ripples to dissipate. 

The frog lure sits within the lilies and the glass is broken again with several quick tugs of your rod. Without warning the peaceful morning erupts into chaos. Your frog disappears into a maelstrom, your rod tip bends and the glassy lake erupts into thrashing and chaos.

Nothing compares to the thrill of catching a fish willing to pull your bait from the water’s surface. Topwater fishing may not be a go to method for all seasons, but during summer it is one of life’s pure joys.

Fishbrain has the perfect features to help you capitalize on topwater fishing, during the limited summer window. Below several FIshbrain employees weigh in on some of their favorite Fishbrain features that help them capitalize on the thrill of topwater fishing.

Nate Roman

HomeState: Ohio

Topwater bass fishing tips

Favorite Feature: Depth Contours and Spot prediction

Best Lure: Lunkerhunt Compact Frog

In the summer, bass escape the heat of the day by sinking to deeper, cooler waters. Early mornings and Late evenings, when water temperatures lower and the lowlight is more conducive to ambush hunting. 

Fishbrain’s Nate Roman uses the depth charts on his map to find deep water adjacent to shallows with cover, like docs, lillies or reeds. In the early mornings and late evenings, he knows large, aggressive bass will come up from deep water to hunt small baitfish feeding toward the surface, or aquatic animals on the surface.

By bringing up the depth chart map layer Roman can target these areas and be there at the exact right times. He will also use Fishbrain’s Spot Prediction to help him find other interesting structures that bass use for cover along the shoreline.

The spot prediction will highlight areas with little pressure and significant water structure. Combining this knowledge provided by Spot Prediction with the depth charts to find adjacent deep waters, provides Roman with the data needed to have a great topwater morning. 

Austin Buck

Home State: Florida

Topwater sea trout tips and topwater Redfish tips

Favorite Feature: Tides and Temps

Suggested Bait: Live Bait and Shrimp Lures

Sea trout and redfish aren't known for eating bait high in the water column, but in the right conditions they will provide an exhilarating take on a topwater lure. 

On Tampa Bay, Fishbrain’s Austin Buck throws  top water lures for trout and reds on the flats from his kayak and sometimes even out near the markers for mackerel. 

For that, tide, temp and pressure are key.

When warm weather arrives, you can help predict a topwater feeding time by tracking low pressure just in front of a storm that will make the temperature drop. 

Before throwing out your topwater bait, however, you must also target baitfish and know where they are heading and when they are high in the water column feeding. 

The predatory trout and reds can’t resist this juicy opportunity and this is where tides come in handy.

“I fish potholes in the flats when they fill up during high tide,” Buck said. “The tide charts on Fishbrain really help you determine how the bait is moving. You want all of it pushing into the bay, not out of it, if you’re fishing more open water and structure.”

Like most saltwater fishing, there are a lot of factors to keep track of, but with Fishbrain, you have all the information you need right in one place. When you put all this data together and you get that chaotic topwater take, all your hard work, planning and knowledge will pay off.

Cavan Williams

HomeState: Montana

Topwater trout fishing tips

Favorite Feature: Map Filtering

Suggested Bait: Purple Haze Dry Fly and Chubby Chernobyl

Dry fly fishing for trout is all about timing and knowing what is hatching. On top of knowing which flies are hatching and which the fish are focusing on, there are also dozens of patterns that mimic the same fly. 

Look at any fly fishing report and you will be overwhelmed by the names of all the different patterns mimicking a single natural fly. 

Example: A Goldenstone like a Golden Chubby, Rogue Stone, Rasta Golden or Jake’s Golden with a PMD Dropper nymph like a Jig Split Case, Duracell, Hallow Point or Jig PT. A Tilt Wing PMD Dun, Brindle Chute, Comparadun or Flash Cripple will get those risers to eat. 

Sometimes the subtleties offered by one pattern make the difference between getting a fish to look and getting one to take your fly.

“The great aspect of Fishbrain is filtering all the different catches on your map to find specific species and months. By filtering the specific species I can reduce the noise from catches I’m not interested in and find the catches that apply to me in the month I’m fishing. 

After filtering, I will start checking catches and seeing which users have posted the gear they used in the details. This helps narrow down which patterns are working and which to mimic. I can also find different setups to try, like double dry setups and dry dropper setups.”

Don’t let summer slip through your fingers. Take full advantage of your topwater fishing this year with the features on FIshbrain. If you haven't signed up yet, make sure to start your free trial of Fishbrain today to experience the thrill and chaos of topwater fishing.



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