Now that you’ve found a hatch and know that there are critical windows, what do you throw? Well, whatever you like to some degree. Baits that mimic feeding bream and bluegill are the best in my opinion. But, you could literally throw nearly anything into the mix here and stand a chance of getting bit. So if you’re just fun fishing, these are great opportunities to develop confidence in lures like glide baits, wake baits and others you might otherwise find bites few and far between with.
But if you want to make the absolute most of a mayfly hatch, maximizing the output during those windows is key. To do that, I believe the absolute best bait for the job is a popping frog, the SPRO Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog 60 in particular. As far as I’m concerned, there has never been a better bait created for this type of fishing.
For one, it perfectly mimics a baitfish feeding on mayflies. A little twitch and a pause, twitch and a pause keeps the bait right in the strike zone and makes it almost impossible for a bass in this setting to pass up. Secondly, it has a fantastic hookup ratio, which is what sets it apart from my second -favorite bait for mayfly hatches, that being a popper. The two big, bold hooks of a popping frog outpaces the thin-wired trebles of a popper in keeping bass pinned and hauling them to the boat. Third, it’s a great bait to throw into the bushes in order to knock mayflies into the water during the heat of the day. After shaking a few flies into the water, you can typically just snatch the frog out, where you’d likely have to go and get a popper or other bait if you were to try that.
All that being said, other baits like buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, squarebills and vibrating jigs also work exceptionally well and are baits I’m sure to add to the rotation anytime I’m fishing around a mayfly hatch for an extended period of time. Basically, pick a bait that you have confidence in that also mimics a bream and you’ll likely get bit.