Topwater Bass Fishing with Stealth | Stack Your Odds

Wired2fish staffers caught up with Lee Livesay on Texas’s famed Lake Fork for a lesson on topwater bass fishing with a stealthy approach. Low water levels repositioned the bass from the bank to the next available shallow water cover. Skinny water can mean spooky fish. Livesay details how to find prime fish-holding spots during low water and catch them using a quiet boat control approach with his Minn Kota Raptors.

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Livesay emphasizes the importance of reading the lake’s nuanced structure. Fish relocate closer to visible structures such as stumps and docks when water levels drop. Mapping is an essential reconnaissance tool for identifying likely feeding spots such as shell beds, roadbeds, old pond dams, points, brush piles, and otherwise hard-bottom areas. He walks us through his mapping approach, then takes to side imaging to put “eyes on” in search of forage like gizzard shad, brim, and even schools of bass.

Livesay goes into stealth mode when he’s built a milk run of productive-looking spots at the console. Heavily pressured bass on fisheries like Lake Fork get conditioned to non-natural sounds. In response, he’s frequently uses shallow water anchors to pin the boat in place while staying quiet. With his boat as a deer stand, Livesay goes into topwater bass fishing mode and fan casts the area with walking baits.

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While many topwater baits will work, he favors fast-moving walking baits. By working the bait fast, he prevents bass from getting a good look at the lure while triggering aggressive reaction strikes. A quality walking bait casts a country mile, too, another plus when covering water in stealth mode. Lastly, he shares his rod and line setup for targeting big topwater bass.

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