Spawning baitfish

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topwater bass fishing lures

A popping-style topwater works really well around both shad spawns and bluegill beds, though typically I’d lean towards the popper for both; shad spawn early in the morning along all sorts of cover near the water’s surface. Walking and popping a small popper through a shad spawn makes for a great way to catch these bass. While they will hit a frog too, especially if the fish are super aggressive and buried in cover, typically the popper works best and gives you a better chance of catching any of those fish that just swipe at the bait, which tends to happen as a shad spawn dies down later in the morning.

Bluegill beds are also great for targeting fish with popping-style topwaters and the good thing about this bite is that it can last all day. Unlike the shad spawn that usually only lasts for a short time in the morning, bluegill and other bream are locked in on beds and susceptible to an aggressive bass all throughout the day. So throwing a popper or popping frog into an area where you can see bluegill beds is a great way to draw a big strike. When choosing which to go with here, it really all comes down to cover again.

Bream and bluegill usually bed out in the open, but if they are spawning in sparse cover, the frog gives you the more weedless and less hazardous option. If the beds are out in the open though, it’s hard not to go with the popper. This is again because of the treble hooks, which give you a better chance to hookup with a fish if it simply swipes at the lure.