Topwater options for early fall

There are a lot of different ways to catch bass but none of them will offer up more fun than the ones you catch on top. There’s something special about a topwater explosion and the following tailwalks. It’s like nothing else in all of bass fishing. 

The problem is, though, that there are dozens of different types of topwater lures. Most of them will catch bass at one time or another, and I’ve fished with all of them. For my money, though, I’ll stick with just two at this time of the year — buzzbaits and walking sticks. Each one, in its own way, is perfectly suited for what the bass are doing right now.

I start my morning out with a buzzbait. Many of the bigger bass are right up on the bank in the early morning. Typically they’re feeding on bream or other bigger baitfish. The great thing about a buzzbait is that it can be fished from right up against a bank that’s close to deep water all the way back to the boat. And, they’ll bounce over cover without snagging or fouling. That eliminates a lot of wasted casts and ruined water.

My preference is a 3/8-ounce Buckeye Lures Single Bladed Buzzbait. I remove the skirt and replace it with a Zoom Horny Toad. This gives me a little more bulk which results in bigger fish.

Color doesn’t matter much to me because I only fish with two. I grab a black one when it’s early in the morning and the light is low, or I might fish black all day if it’s cloudy and overcast. I go with white all the other times. I’ve fished this way for years. I can’t say that any other color catches more bass. 

Later in the day I’m usually fishing a walking stick. Bass tend to suspend at this time of the year so you’ll usually see me out over deep water. I’m talking about water that’s anywhere between 20 and 25 feet deep.

What happens is that the bass stack up alongside breaks, drops and humps or on long points that extend out into the main lake and then drop off into the channel. But you need to keep in mind that you won’t find many of them right on the breaks, on top of the humps or over the top of the point. They tend to hold alongside those places. 

There are tons of good walking sticks around. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. Pick the one you like and that you feel comfortable fishing. They’ll all catch bass. 

I don’t pay much attention to color. The water’s usually clear in the fall so it’s hard to go wrong with something that matches the hatch. I prefer big baits most of the time. It seems like they catch the bigger fish. But, if the baitfish are small where I’m fishing I will downsize.

What I’m talking about here is pretty much universal around the country. So, no matter where you’re fishing in the next few weeks clean out your topwater box except for a handful of buzzbaits and a few walking sticks. Then go have some fun.