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Cooter

Which topwater based on conditions?

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Not talking covering water vs returning to a seen fish.......but which style to throw based on water temp, time of year, water clarity, wind conditions, pre vs post front, etc. Guess to narrow down all the variables water temp, barometer (post vs pre vs stable), and calm vs slight chop vs waves.

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My experiences tell me to walk the dog on MN stocked fish and to use more in-line style toppers on native lakes. As bless his heart Ted Roos used to say...........when in doubt tie on a jackpot, Ron Schara saw that in action many years ago. However with any lure it's not so much the lure as how the lure is presented and fished. I tell boat mates whatever you have the most confidence in and fish the best is what I want you throwing. You gave a lot of conditions Cooter and without writing a chapter book post front I'll give it 2 hours tops and I'm likely not fishing for 3-4 days after but depends on the weather following that cold front. Fall cold fronts don't bother me like a mid-summer steam bath turned into feels like the woodies might start migrating chill with no dew point or humidity, perfect campfire weather ! smile

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Great reply! So how about we narrow it down to flat calm vs slight chop vs waves over a foot?

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Great reply! So how about we narrow it down to flat calm vs slight chop vs waves over a foot?

Don't overthink it. For me it mainly boils down to water clarity and wind. If it's clear water more subtle baits and walk the dog baits are fair game. Dirty water, either bloom or stained like LoTWs, it's more 'pop-pop' style baits and stuff that runs in a straight line like creepers and buzzbaits. I'll throw WTD baits until the wind is too much for them to work right (usually not much more than a modest chop for most baits), but in clear water I'll still throw subtle baits like a Topper Stopper in 3' waves. On darker water, the bigger the waves the louder the bait. No such thing as too windy as far as I'm concerned. Late fall, once the water gets into the 60s and below, I go subtle again, especially WTD baits.

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RK's plan is pretty spot on to my experiences. My cabin is on lake with 26 ft clarity and the other lakes I fish are dark flowages . And I use topwaters even on very windy days on the clear water. I watch people fish from my deck all the time and they always have there boat where the fish are and cast to where they are not. And I seldom see topwater being used so I use it. Do not be afraid of top water baits over deeper water the ski's are often down 8 ft over 25 ft of water and will happily smack a topwater.

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RK's plan is pretty spot on to my experiences. My cabin is on lake with 26 ft clarity and the other lakes I fish are dark flowages . And I use topwaters even on very windy days on the clear water. I watch people fish from my deck all the time and they always have there boat where the fish are and cast to where they are not. And I seldom see topwater being used so I use it. Do not be afraid of top water baits over deeper water the ski's are often down 8 ft over 25 ft of water and will happily smack a topwater.

Right on point. I'll throw top water in a good chop over breaklines or even secondary breaks.. lot of fish on area lakes are hung up and suspending directly off of shorelines/flats. You can burn right underneath many of those fish with swimbaits, bucktails, etc.. not if you're fishing above them, you won't.

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RK's plan is pretty spot on to my experiences. My cabin is on lake with 26 ft clarity and the other lakes I fish are dark flowages . And I use topwaters even on very windy days on the clear water. I watch people fish from my deck all the time and they always have there boat where the fish are and cast to where they are not. And I seldom see topwater being used so I use it. Do not be afraid of top water baits over deeper water the ski's are often down 8 ft over 25 ft of water and will happily smack a topwater.

Very good point. Muskies do tend to suspend over and just off breaks. Always been my sense that they suspend kind of like crappies do - off the weedline, but at the same level as the tops of the outside weeds. So they might be off a weed edge and over 20 FOW, but if the weeds at the break top out at 8', they'll be 8' down. Plus in clear water, they'll come up a long ways for a topwater. If they're 10' down, that's two kicks of their tail. Never understood why some muskie anglers won't throw a topwater because it's 'too deep' but will throw a bucktail that runs just 2' below the surface.

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My favorite fall bait is a walk the dog top water when the water gets cold in the mid 50's. It's been great on smaller lakes around the longville area when the ciscos begin to move into spawning locations and the muskies pack up in those areas to ambush them. I get follows on other baits but they seem to not be able to resist a walk the dog bait worked slowly.

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