Optimal Moments to Catch Bass with Topwater Fishing Techniques: A Comprehensive Guide

When to Fish Topwater for Bass: A Guide for Anglers

For passionate anglers, one of the most exciting techniques in bass fishing is using topwater lures. The explosive strikes and heart-pounding moments make it a favorite among many fishermen. However, knowing when to fish topwater for bass can significantly increase your chances of success. In this guide, we’ll explore the best conditions and times to use this exhilarating technique.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm: Sunrise & Sunset Fishing

Fishing during sunrise or sunset can often be ideal when it comes to catching bass on topwater lures. During these low light periods, bass tend to move closer to shorelines and become more active near the water’s surface. The reduced visibility allows them to ambush prey with ease, making them more likely to strike at your topwater lure.


  • Arrive at your chosen fishing spot well before dawn or dusk.
  • Select lures that mimic smaller prey such as frogs or baitfish.
  • Vary your retrieve speeds and patterns until you find what triggers bites.

A Warm Welcome: Ideal Water Temperatures

Bass are cold-blooded creatures whose activity level greatly depends on water temperatures. When it comes to fishing with topwater lures, targeting specific temperature ranges can lead you straight into a feeding frenzy.

In general, bass tend to favor water temperatures between 65°F (18°C) and 80°F (27°C). During these warmer months, they become increasingly aggressive in their pursuit of food near the surface. This makes it an excellent time for anglers like yourself who prefer casting topwaters!

Early Spring: Post-Spawn Feeding

As winter fades away and spring arrives, bass begin their post-spawn feeding phase. During this time, they are more likely to be found near shallower areas such as flats, points, or even around visible cover.


  • Target water temperatures between 55°F (13°C) and 65°F (18°C).
  • Opt for smaller topwater lures that resemble injured baitfish or crawfish.
  • Vary your retrieval techniques to find out what the bass are responding to best.

Summer Heat: Early Morning & Late Evening Wins

The scorching summer heat can make bass seek cooler waters during the day. Fishing with topwater lures in the early morning or late evening presents an opportunity to catch them feeding closer to the surface when it’s slightly cooler.


  • Fish during dawn and dusk when temperatures are milder.
  • Select larger topwaters like buzzbaits or walking baits that create noise and splash.
  • Focus on shady areas or structures where bass may be seeking relief from direct sunlight.

Mother Nature’s Impact: Weather Conditions & Topwater Success

In addition to considering water temperature, understanding how weather conditions affect bass behavior is crucial. Certain weather patterns can positively impact fishing with topwater lures while others might require a change of approach:

Calm Waters & Overcast Skies = Prime Time!

Bass tend to enjoy calm waters as they provide better visibility for hunting prey near the surface. When coupled with overcast skies, which reduce light penetration, these conditions create an excellent environment for topwater fishing.


  • Look for calmer areas like coves, pockets, or sheltered spots on windy days.
  • Choose lures that create a disturbance on the water’s surface such as poppers or prop baits.
  • Vary your retrieves to imitate struggling prey and trigger strikes.

Rainy Days & Choppy Waters: Adjusting Your Approach

When rainfall occurs or strong winds cause choppy waters, bass tend to become less active near the surface. During these times, adjusting your tactics is necessary to increase your chances of success.


  • Fish around structures and cover where bass seek shelter during inclement weather.
  • Select subsurface lures like soft plastics or spinnerbaits that mimic injured baitfish in rougher conditions.
  • Slightly slow down your retrieve speed to match the slower metabolism of bass in cooler water temperatures caused by rain runoff.

A Timeless Pursuit: When Bass are Hungry!

To conclude this guide on when to fish topwater for bass effectively, it’s important to remember one crucial factor: hunger! Ultimately, regardless of specific conditions mentioned above – if hungry enough – a bass will strike at a well-presented lure. So be persistent and experiment with different techniques until you find what works best in any given situation!

Now that you know when and where to target those explosive topwater bites from largemouth or smallmouth bass – go out there armed with this knowledge and make some memories while reeling in those thrilling catches!