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The Ultimate Topwater Bait

The Ultimate Topwater Bait

The Ultimate Topwater BaitFishing along the shore of a lake when I was 12 years old, I saw a big green bug stuck in the rocks. I picked it up.  It was a weird fishing lure with metal wings and two treble hooks. I didn’t realize that I had found The Ultimate Topwater Bait.  There was monofilament line tied to the eye.  I got rid of the monofilament and tied the lure to my line.  I had an open face Mitchel 304 which I still have.  The lake was calm.  My cast went a long way because the lure was pretty heavy and there was no wind.  As soon as the lure hit the water, I started to reel.  Immediately, a fish hit flying out of the water.  I was shocked.  I loosened my drag so there was no chance of the line breaking.  After a few minutes of  fun, I pulled a beautiful smallmouth onto the rocks.  I had not idea that the lure was a Tiny Crazy Crawler, the ultimate topwater bait.  I still have one in my tackle box.

Top Water Fishing

In topwater fishing,  the bait is retrieved on the surface, rather than under the water. This technique is used for catching many species of fish including bass, pike, musky, and trout.  Typically, topwater fishing is exciting because strikes are often explosive and completely visible.  However, seeing a swirl envelope a lure and then feeling the strike can be just as exciting.  Ultimately, it’s important to choose the right lure and to use the right technique to make the lure look as realistic.

Poppers In Shallow Water or The Ultimate Topwater Bait

poppers are not the ultimate topwater baitA popper is a flat fronted lure that can be of any size and color.  It is retrieved with a motion that causes it to pop in the water.  Hence, the name.  This type of lure is best retrieved with varying speed and stops on calm, shallow water.  In deeper water,  the disturbance created by the action can be lost.  This lure is particularly effective near weed beds.

Poppers can be fished with fly rods, spinning rods and bait casting rods.  The weight and shape determine which are best for which rod and reel setup.

Topwater Buzz Bait

this is not the ultimate topwater lureBuzz baits come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, but they all retrieved quickly on the surface of the water.  Allowing the line to pass over a finger can add a jerk to the retrieval which causes feathers or tails to flutter and appear to grow and shrink.  The metal spinner churns the water while making a clacking sound.

Larger buzz baits can be used in 10 to 15 feet of water if they are allowed to sink periodically and then retrieved.  These lures are easily lost to weed beds.

Propeller Baits Similar to the Ultimate Topwater Bait

still not the ultimate topwater baitStrangely enough, propeller baits have propellers that spin and make noise as they are retrieved.  The larger sizes can be used in deeper water.  They are retrieved quickly without stopping.  Most propeller baits float so they are great to cast across rock piles and submerged weed beds.

They come in a variety of sizes and colors and even shapes depending on the manufacturer.  Heddon is the best known manufacturer.  Other companies such as Truscend have more realistic shapes.


Natural Topwater Baits

A variety of frogs, worms, bugs and other critters that swim across the surface of lakes are classified as  natural baits.  Their delivery and retrieval are most important to entice a strike.  A frog lure must look liking it is swimming as much as possible.  A large spider needs to move across the surface as a spider would.  Consequently, you should not use these lures in rough water.

These lures are fished best with a spinning reel because of their light weight.  A slow easy retrieve with lots of wiggling and stops is best.

The Ultimate Topwater Lure

Since the day, as a 12 year old boy, I threw out my found Tiny Crazy Crawler and saw the water explode when that bass hit, I have loved topwater fishing.    I use all kinds of lures in different ways to fish top water.  But the types review here are designed for that kind of fishing.   I have caught more, larger fish and a huge variety of fish in all kinds of water using Tiny Crazy Crawlers.  It wobbles in the water a little like a popper.  It’s wings open and create a sound like a buzz bait and wake like a propeller bait.  It can be retrieved slowly to resemble a natural bait.  So,  I consider it the ultimate topwater bait.  Despite all the lures I have used, I consider topwater baits the most fun.

Give topwater baits a try, especially a Tiny Crazy Crawler.  You will have fun and catch fish.

business provides the ultimate topwater bait

Homemade lures are not the ultimate topwater lure

12 thoughts on “The Ultimate Topwater Bait

  1. Fishing in the ocean is very different than in fresh water.  Larger baits, whether natural or artificial, need to be larger than in fresh water and they need to mover at a higher consistent speed like a bait fish.  Thanks for you question.


  2. Thank you for writing this article about topwater bait. I would love to start fishing, but only in the sea this season. Do you think the baits that you mention are suitable for that? I guess natural topwater baits are always good and easy to find. Are there also other things I should take into consideration when fishing on the sea? 

  3. I started fishing when I was 6 on my own in front of our cottage.  Over the years, I guess I have tried every lure made.  Still love it.  Thanks for your comment.


  4. First let me say I could go completely broke fishing! I love to fish, I love to try new lures and I love the serenity of it! That being said, let’s get into the article. This is was informative for me, and the back story was a great fit! It truly showed your authority and stance on the bait and how to use it!! Way to go!!

  5. Many places where I fish, introducing minnows is illegal.  Also, many are catch and release, so I cut the barbs of the hooks on the lures.  Once you buy a lure, you have it for a long time to use if you are careful.  Thanks for commenting.


  6. It is so amazing the different bait brands that sold, as a child growing I did not know about man-made baits. I believe that these baits are pretty amazing. I have never used them before but in the near future, I just might use them and see for myself what these baits can do. I believe however that your post is well-detailed when it comes to these types of baits.

  7. Small spinners work well in streams but the rocks can eat a lot of lures.  Thanks for commenting.

  8. A splendid piece of article on fish baits! I loved it top to bottom and consider myself a novice in the area. I use only natural baits but your article has opened my eye to experiment with many more. I particularly like the Natural Topwater Baits – I guess this would be the most logical progression from the natural baits I am using. Also, your advice of using them in calm water in well taken. I used to get frustrated using the wrong bait in with wrong water flow.

    What would you suggest for a running water? Say, for a small stream?

    Thanks and Regards,


  9. I sure have lost my share of spinner baits.  They work best casting to shore not from shore unless you are in deep water, as you say, off a dock.  Thanks for your comment.


  10. What a refreshing article James, this is exactly the kind of leisurely read I was looking for this morning and am very thankful to you for your efforts after having read it.

    Topwater fishing is a fairly new concept to me as I spent most of my youth along the banks and docks of lakes like Eufala and Tenkiller in the state of Oklahoma but I always used diving spinner baits and wondered why they got caught in the weeds and eaten up by the trees so often.

    Next time I’m out on the water though, I’ll make sure I have a couple of these topwaters like the Buzz or Propeller baits on hand and I’ll let you know how the results go!

  11. If your husband enjoys fresh water fishing, he will enjoy a Tiny Crazy Crawler.  Thanks for commenting.


  12. I don’t fish but my husband does.  I never thought that there were so many ways to lure a fish.  I always thought it was just a worm on a hook and why be mean to a worm.  What did it do to you?   Now I know about the different types of lures.  Pretty sure he doesn’t have anything like a tiny crazy crawler.  His birthday is coming up so he will have one this year.  Thanks for the info.

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