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Topwater for Smallies?


RowShow

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I'll be up in the BWCA (Lac La Croix) first week of June and know that the smallies should be hitting like crazy! I was curious if it would be worth it to stock up on some topwater lures for the trip or if the smallies would even be hitting on them in early June? I was considering the Hula Poppers or Rapala's Skitter Pops and Skitter Props. Any suggestions or favorites would be greatly appreciated.

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I was looking for some nice topwater strikes...they really get the heart pounding! I already had some buzzbaits in mind, they should work well. Thanks for the info!

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I caught my largest smallie ever on a bluegill patterned Swim-n-Image. The SIs have been pretty productive on smallies and largemouths, I have also had a lot of luck with the Storm rattlin chug bugs. I like the variety in patterns and sizes. Just my 2
JC

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I've been up there a couple of times in June. One year we hammered them on top, the next year we couldn't get a swirl on top. A few of the guys were using fly rods with poppers. The rest of us were using regular Pop-R's, floating Raps, jitterbugs, and any sort of "prop" baits. If they are on, you'll have a blast. I caught the biggest smallie of my life up there on topwater, 100 yards from our campsite. Awesome!!!!!

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If your not familiar with the spooks they take time to learn, but the chug bug is a easy lure to use and gives various looks as it can be used as a popper and also give you the walking the dog action, plus they attract mega sized bass

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Ok, now, is there anything better than when you cast a topwater out and a bass meets it just above the water. It's like a centerfielder running back to jump and catch the pop-up at the fence. Boy thats impressive.
JC

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Fishing a spook or chug-bug i have found that generally chrome in the sun and black any other time will work often, at least those are my favorites. But obviously there days when red and white or another color are the ticket also.

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Blue and chrome, my favorite pattern for walleye at night! Otherwise tennesee shad works fabulously for bass! chug bugs that is.
JC

Oh, one more thing. When a bass comes up on a topwater, doesn't it appear black against a bright overcast sky? I know this should be the story, but then why does chrome catch em and black doesn't?

[This message has been edited by Blackstarluver (edited 05-08-2003).]

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I think I'll have to pick me up a couple Chug Bugs before the trip. I might try some night walleye fishing while I'm up there too, so the Blue/Chrome one could serve double purpose.

I'm sure there will be some competitions in our little group, so I'll owe you guys big time if I come out on top! Thanks again fellas.

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Is it best to use topwater lures early in the morning? Or is time of day not really a factor? Bass should be pretty active when I'm up in the BWCA, so maybe it won't be as much of a factor as I'm thinking.

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RowShow,

That's a good Q. I would imagine low light periods of the day (dusk - dawn) would allow the bass to be away from cover and on the prowl.
But I have caught some during the middle of the day on topwater and it was sunny, however next to cover. (Lily pads)

I try to have a topwater rod ready just incase you see a big swirl.

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Topwaters are a blast for Smallies the first week of June. We have had great luck with black/gold floating rapalas (Size 7 I think).
Haven't had very good luck with poppers, but my "torpedo" prop baits have worked well.

Last year I really started to try other techniques, and caught my biggest Smallie on a plastic hellgrammite on the bottom.

But the rush of a top water strike can't be beat!

I will be up in the BWCA June 4-8. The last couple years, this is right around the dragonfly hatch on the lake we go to. The bass have dragonfly larvae packed to the gills, and they still hit topwaters.

Good luck and have fun!

[This message has been edited by Nels (edited 05-14-2003).]

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This is merely a suggestion but if you, or anyone out there is planning on fishing topwaters, you may want to use a 7' rod heavy action with a slow tip. When I started fishing topwaters I used a stiffer 6' rod and missed most of the strikes due to setting the hook as soon as I heard the fish hit. A slower rod is more forgiving and gives you a split second more time than a stiff rod. Until you get used to crushing the urge to set the hook until you feel the fish, a softer rod may increase your strike to catch ratio.
JC
ps when I started using topwaters, I think my strike to catch ratio was 471/1.\
Good luck!

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I've recently added the Rapala Skitter Pop (frog colored) to my arsenal. Heard that it's pretty popular and relatively easy to use. The Storm Chug Bugs seem to be popular picks around here too.

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Row certainly early and late is considered the norm for topwaters, and obviously cloudy days are good and in my opinion consistently best. But in this remote area, plus the fact it will be early in the year you could end up with a topwater bite through portions of the day. Depending on the clarity you could draw strikes from deeper (10 or more feet) bass, something to think about. And when I'm working topwaters i always keep a grub handy for a missed topwater fish. If you have one setup you use mainly for topwater you might want to consider using a floating line. I sure wish I was going with you, lol.

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