This is a great time of year to be chunking your favorite topwater lures around. As the nights become a bit cooler and the deep water oxygen levels deplete, big bass will begin flooding the shallows and inhaling big topwater lures that cross their paths.
Topwater time has already started in my area and I’ve been catching the fire out of ‘em on the Rapala BX Balsa Waking Minnow. Whether it’s been over deep or shallow water hasn’t seemed to matter—if there’s baitfish around, the bass can’t stand the sight of this lure.
There are four things that really impress me about it.
- Excellent action
- Casts very well
- Ready to fish
I got my first taste of topwater action when I was about six years old. I’d walk the banks of farm ponds with a Shakespeare spinning rod and cast a Rapala Original Floating Minnow to every piece of cover I could find. I’d twitch it a few times, let it float back to the surface and wait for the big splash.
This Rapala BX Balsa Waking Minnow has that same, slow-rolling surface action and it has proven to be very effective on shallow bass. Even on bright, bluebird days I’ve been able to enjoy some monstrous blowups with it.
It doesn’t take an experienced angler to fish it well, either. You just make a long cast, let the ripples die-down for a few seconds and turn your reel handle very slowly. If your rod tip is high, you’ll notice an extremely wide and deliberate side-to-side action throughout the entirety of the retrieve. If you lower your rod tip, the swimming action will become a bit tighter and “bulge” just beneath the surface.
Usually I like to find “unique” ways to fish my lures—something that the fish might not see much of on my home waters. But to be honest, there’s no need to get fancy with the BX Balsa Waking Minnow. If you think you’re reeling slowly enough, slow down a little more and just be patient. It puts off a very pronounced “v-wake” that is very difficult to find in today’s market.
One of the reasons I think it’s been so effective on sunny days is due to its lack of rattles. It’s not a loud topwater bait—it’s capitalizes much more on a bass’ sight. So even when conditions aren’t exactly prime for topwater fishing, the subtleness of this lure will result in bites.
The construction of the Rapala BX Balsa Waking Minnow is quite impressive for many reasons. Balsa baits are very desirable due to their high buoyancy but they’re not as durable, which forces anglers to be more careful when using them. It’s clear to me that Rapala tried to design the Waking Minnow to encapsulate the “best of both worlds”. And in my personal opinion, they’ve succeeded.
The BX Balsa Waking Minnow is made of balsa on the inside and a durable co-polymer shell on the exterior. This gives the lure both buoyancy and durability which, again, is a hard combination to find. The pictured lure is the same one I’ve been using for several weeks and honestly, it should be in a million pieces.
The BX Balsa Waking Minnow also resists teeth marks and hook rash very well.
I’ve been throwing this lure on 50-pound braided line. It allows me to cast well, connect with the fish at the end of a long cast and easily keep the lure on the surface. As we all know, braided line will get those small “loops” in the spool and can just about jerk the rod out of your hand when it catches in the middle of a cast. Well—that definitely happened to me.
I reared back to make a Kevin VanDam-esque cast, fired away and the line caught itself and sent my BX Balsa Waking Minnow careening into a white oak tree—not necessarily the softest landing spot. The sound was horrendous and I was dreading laying eyes upon the bait. But much to my relief, there was not a single, solitary scratch on it.
BX Balsa Waking Minnow—1. White oak tree—nothin’.
Casts very well
I don’t like to be on top of the fish I’m trying to catch. If I can make a long cast, you can be sure I’m going to do it. Shallow fish get spooked easily, so keeping your distance is important.
There’s not much to say here except that the BX Balsa Waking Minnow weighs 3/4-ounce. Put that on a medium-heavy rod with a fast tip, throw in some braided line and you have created a bona fide rocket launcher. Regardless of your casting prowess, you’ll be amazed.
Ready to fish
I’m not much of a tinkerer when I can help it—I want to buy a lure I can use without adjusting. The Rapala BX Balsa Waking Minnow comes equipped with very sturdy split rings and three VMC black nickel treble hooks. These hooks don’t bend easily but they also penetrate the bass with ease. I’ve always been a fan of them and I love the fact they come “stock” on this lure.
If you like effective topwater lures that many other anglers tend to overlook, I absolutely suggest checking out the Rapala BX Balsa Waking Minnow. It’s easy to use, hard to break and it has been responsible for a lot of my recent fish catches.