Fall is a great time to use topwater baits for bass, and there's nothing I enjoy more than an explosive topwater strike.
Most bass fishing fans know that I love topwater fishing, but not everyone knows the little things I like to do to improve my topwater success. One of those things involves dressing up my treble hooks on baits like the Rebel Zell Rowland Pop R and the Xcalibur Zell Pop.
I always use a feathered treble hook on the back of my topwater baits. I'm convinced that it helps me catch more bass. When a fish boils on my topwater, I like to stop it and then just barely move it by turning my reel handle a fraction of a turn. That's enough to breathe life into those feathers and make them pulse a little. It makes the bait look crippled, and that's usually more than a bass can stand.
Over the years, I've tried just about every kind of feather or dressing you can imagine to dress up my hooks. I've finally settled on chicken feathers for most of my fishing. They're easy to get, hold colors well and provide terrific action. I've used so many chicken feathers over the years that I jokingly tell people that I can just about tell you how many chicken feathers are in a pound!
I'll use a variety of colors in my feathers, including white, chartreuse, blue, red and yellow. I try to adapt the color to the baitfish I'm trying to emulate and the water conditions and clarity I'm facing. If you're trying to imitate a shad, white is a tough color to beat. I'll even mix in a second color a lot of times.
As for thread color, I like to use something that matches my secondary color. So, if I'm tying in white feathers with a little red, I'll use red thread.
If you'll dress up the rear trebles on your topwater baits, I bet you'll catch more bass.