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Top Two Topwaters to Throw Early

Y’all, I had a bite on a frog here in Alabama this past week. Granted, it didn’t eat it; it just kind of came up, nudged it and barely pulled it under. I got so excited I nearly fell out of the boat setting the hook.

It was a complete whiff of a hookset. No bass on the other end, but I was still left smiling. It was like the motion of the hookset dusted a little soot off my soul to reveal the lone glowing ember left over from my last frog bite back in the fall.

Fish are hitting a topwater in my neck of the woods again my friends. Hopefully they’ll soon be doing the same near you. It’s about time to get back to some really fun fishing. Here are two topwaters you’ll want to have rigged up right away.


Like any great boxer, you’ll want to have two complementary punches in your repertoire when you go toe-to-toe with a topwater bite in the early spring. Sometimes, the bass will be a little more aggressive and you can catch them covering water in a relative hurry. Then there are times when the bite is still a little slow and the fish are hunkered down in or near cover. Though they may not be quite as aggressive, they’ll still eat a topwater at times like these if you know which one to throw.

This whole spring scenario makes it a good idea to keep a buzzbait and a hollow body frog rigged up. There are times when you can take the buzzbait, go down the bank and catch bass that are cruising the shallows looking for a good spot to spawn. Then the hollow body frog works well the other half of the time, when bass are really locked down on cover and you need something that you can pick that cover apart with; working the bait slowly and even letting it sit still at times.



Though the window is relatively small for getting on a good pre-spawn buzzbait bite, it’s certainly possible to have some phenomenal days catching big bass on this bait before the bass even make it to the bed. Waves of bass push shallow in the spring and cruise around for a few days or even a few weeks looking for the perfect place to spawn. This is what is known as the immediate pre-spawn phase.

If you have a warming trend of two or three days during this time of year, with daily highs in the 70’s and nightly lows staying in the 60’s, you’ll find there are some explosive topwater bites to be had on a buzzbait. A natural shad pattern buzzbait with a silver blade or a black buzzbait can work well in clear water, while a white and chartreuse Lunker Lure with a gold blade is typically more productive in muddy water.

You can also slip the skirt off your buzzbait if you want to slide a toad on the back. This will allow you to skip a buzzbait under docks and bushes where bass may be staging as they ready for the spawn. However, taking just a normal buzzbait and going down the bank is a great way to catch big pre-spawn bass when the weather is stable and warm across multiple days.

Even though reeling the buzzbait continually does allow you to cover more water than you could with a slower moving topwater, you’ll still want to fish the buzzbait slowly. Crawling the bait just fast enough to keep the blade turning will not only allow you to cover water but also use the drawing power of the buzzbait to call big ones to it.

hollow body frog


If you’ve had a little warm weather in your area, but are experiencing a couple late spring cool nights, you can still catch fish with a topwater. You’ll just need to slow down. A SPRO Dean Rojas Bronzeye Frog 65 is the perfect bait for such a situation. You can fish this bait slowly, even pausing between twitches if you like. Taking time to fish this way around isolated cover like stumps and grass patches is particularly effective, especially once bass move onto the beds.

Bass like to spawn up against some type of isolated cover. Dock posts, stumps, reed clumps and the like are perfect for bass to post up against. Using a frog to fish slowly around this type of cover allows you to still fish a topwater, even when the fish might not be in a super aggressive mood to chase a moving topwater down. Something about a frog working slowly over a bedding bass drives it crazy, and will often draw a boil from the fish even if it won’t commit to eating the bait entirely.

It’s a good idea to keep a followup bait on deck this time of year for just such an occasion. If you have a bass blowup on a frog and not get it, you can often throw something like a Texas rig or wacky rig back to where the bite came from and catch the fish, whether it’s on bed there or not. Likewise, if you have bass that are blowing up on the buzzbait but won’t quite commit to it, you can often fall back to the hollow body frog in those situations and the bass will eat the slower moving bait better.


Poppers, Spooks and Whopper Ploppers are all liable to get bit during the immediate pre-spawn period as well. However, the buzzbait and hollow body frog make for the most dynamic duo—with a twin prop bait like a Devil’s Horse being another phenomenal early topwater to throw, though it’s more of a regional bait that’s effective down in Florida in particular.

If you think it’s warm enough to throw a topwater, you’re probably right. If you don’t think it’s quite warm enough yet, you may be wrong. It only takes a few warm days and nights to get the water into the mid 50’s. Once that happens it’s game on with a topwater. What’s it going to hurt to go ahead and have one rigged up? It could lead to the fish of a lifetime, as the big girls often move up first.