4 Factors for Topwater Bass Fishing Success | Roland Martin

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Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS), our favorite acronym for fishing and one long embraced by bass fishing legend Roland Martin. Wired2fish spent a morning with Martin for a lesson in the basics of fishing topwater poppers, specifically, the top 4 factors that lead to consistent success.


  1. Make long casts. Big, mature bass are wise and often boat shy. Long casts with topwater lures increase your odds of tempting surface strikes. Martin uses a 30-pound braided mainline to help maximize casting distance to well over 100-feet.
  2. Fish during low-light periods. While bass feed on top at all times, generally speaking, you’ll have the most success during periods of low light such as dawn, dusk or overcast days.
  3. Use in warm water. Water temperatures in the 70- to 80-degree range are prime for topwater bass fishing. Insect hatches draw hoards of baitfish to the surface with bass following closely behind.
  4. Use in clear water. A topwater bait excels at expanding strike windows, especially in clean water. There’s no question that they excel in all water clarities, but similar to jerkbait fishing, seeing the bait is a major trigger.