10 Best Topwater Bass Fishing Lures + Buying Guide


Updated on January 25, 2023 by
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Topwater bass fishing lures are one of the most enjoyable types of angling as they make the bite visual rather than underwater. Bass in particular love hunting for local bugs and insects and are evolved to hunt on the surface so giving them an attractive surface lure will guarantee strikes.

I also recommend topwater lures for kids as they can see the lure moving and the bass striking. This helps them to understand the concepts and improve their own skills more quickly. As well as having heaps of fun.

Besides the fact that topwater lures are just fun to fish with, they are also known for catching lunker bass. Whatever the reason for throwing a topwater lure, anglers have thousands of different designs, sizes, and colors to choose from.

Here we have the best topwater bass fishing lures that can help you have an amazing fishing experience.

Why Use Topwater Fishing Lures for Bass?

One of the favorite foods for a hungry bass is the local bug or insect population – they are always looking at the surface for food. So putting an attractive lure on the surface with a movement that mimics a bug will often attract the attention of nearby bass.

Topwater fishing lures are also incredibly fun to work with – they provide a visual bite experience that will get your heart beating and blood pumping.

Topwater lures are particularly enjoyable for kids as they can see exactly what is happening on the surface and can learn much faster.

How to Use a Topwater Bass Fishing Lure?

There are a few different ways to use a topwater lure depending on the design.

The first is a fast retrieve where the propeller or bib on the lure produces its design movement. This will create some splashing and attract bass from further away.

The second is a stop and go slow retrieve. This uses the initial pulling movement to attract the bass and then stops the retrieve to give the bass an opportunity to strike. You will need to practice to figure out the best timing for your particular lure.

Topwater lures can also be used where there is a thick seagrass or weed bed that a crankbait could not penetrate. Make sure you select a lure where the hook is protected from weeds if you intend of trying out this location.

How We Rate Products

I thoroughly review all products to measure their performance, durability, and value for money. This is done through bench and field testing to check how the product performs. This testing results in an overall score that I give to all products. All metrics are scored out of 5.

Performance

The performance score is how well this product fulfills its primary purpose. Does it have all the features and optional extras you need to catch the target species? We also interview expert anglers on their experience to build a broader and more comprehensive view on the performance under multiple conditions.

  • Test 1: Confirm that the max drag meets the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Test 2: Test the maximum casting distance using a 1.0-ounce lure.
  • Test 3: Test the accuracy by casting 10 times into a 3 ft diameter circle at 30 yards.
  • Test 4: Check the versatility and the ability to handle multiple uses by field testing with 3 different lures and baits.

Durability

Durability refers to how long the product will continue functioning. I twist, bend, and break all the products to check their longevity. This score is for the materials of construction, the quality of the workmanship, and the servicing requirements. There are also bonus points for manufacturers’ warranty.

For products that we can’t test for long enough, we also consult with experts who have been using them for multiple decades to judge their longevity.

  • Test 5: Pull it apart to check the grease and oil levels, how difficult it is to maintain, and whether any sand or salt has deposited after use in saltwater.

Value for Money

The final aspect of the scoring system is the price or, more specifically, the value for money. Value for money is a comparison against the closest alternative products, both by the same manufacturer and other brands.

Overall Score

Finally, I average the three scores of performance, durability, and value for money to give the overall score of each product reviewed.

To see more details, please read the complete guide on how we test and evaluate fishing products.

1. 6th Sense Catwalk – Best Overall

The 6th Sense Catwalk can be walked effortlessly to cover water at high speeds or methodically at a slow pace to entice fish hunkered down around cover.

The CatWalk comes fully equipped with a premium paint scheme, super sharp black nickel hooks, 3-D eyes, and realistic gill plate features.

This is a larger and heavier lure than some of the other options and can be cast further.

Length: 4 1/2″

Weight: 5/8 oz

2. Heddon Pop’n Image Topwater Popper

The Heddon Pop’n Image Topwater Popper delivers a deadly action and provides great versatility. Armed with two sticky sharp treble hooks, including a feathered treble, the Heddon Pop’n Image Topwater Popper is available in a wide range of color patterns that will match the hatch on any body of water.

Length: 2 1/4″ & 3 1/2″

Weight: 5/16 oz & 1/2 oz

3. RUNCL Popper Walking Bait

The key feature of the RUNCL popper walking bait is that it breaks the original bullet head shape of a walking bait into a popper design. Armed with the unique side cups on left and right, this makes the bait walk the dog by itself, which is great for anglers that are not experts when it comes to retrieving lures.

Another feature of the RUNCL walking bait is the glow color on its belly, which keeps you on a topwater bite under all water conditions. This bait is a must-have and needs to be in your bass fishing arsenal.

Length: 5.1’’

Weight: 5/8 oz & 7/8 oz

4. OSP Yamato Topwater Walking Bait

Featuring dual line eyes, the bait provides the versatility of two lures in one for a devastating bass catching combo.

The lower line eye enables the bait to produce the classic walk-the-dog action and with its concave nose it can also serve as an oversized popper for varying your retrieve.

Length: 4 3/5’’

Weight: 1 oz

5. River2Sea Whopper Plopper

The River2Sea Whopper Plopper delivers a sputtering topwater disruption that is begging to be eaten by a big bass.

Whether you crawl it super slow, so you can’t even hear the tail – just the tiny glass beads rattling inside its body – or you speed it up so it throws water with the same deep, hollow whopper-plopping-fish-catching sound as the original, the Whopper Plopper gets bit.

Length: 7 1/2’’

Weight: 2 3/4 oz

6. Booyah Pad Crasher Frogs

The Booyah Pad Crasher’s soft plastic is just the right consistency to ensure solid, consistent hook-ups, while remaining weedless as it navigates over matted vegetation.

Its “bass boat” belly also allows it to easily walk-the-dog in open water, and it even features a drain hole to expel water and keep it running perfectly.

The frog lure is affordable and it works throughout most of the year regardless of changes in bass behavior or water temperature.

Length: 2’’

Weight: 1/4 oz

7. Rebel Lures Bumble Bug

One of America’s favorite lures are Rebel Lures products, including the Bumble Bug. Bass love eating bugs off the surface which is he exact bait that the Bumble Bug is trying to replicate.

Available in 5 different colors including Bumble Bee, Horse Fly, June Bug, Fire Bug, and Hornet – pick the color that replicates the insects that you can see flying around. The closer you can mimic the existing food source the better.

Length: 1 1/2″

Weight: 7/64 oz

8. Arbogast Jitterbug

The Arbogast Jitterbug’s double cupped lip produces a loud, rhythmic, surface-busting sound which attracts hungry bass from far away.

It has 2 x treble hooks on a small lure so you will rarely have a fish hit your lure and miss the hook.

Available in over 16 colors I’m sure you will find a variation that you will be happy to add to your tackle collection.

Length: 2 1/2″

Weight: 3/8 oz

9. Teckel Sprinkler Topwater Frog

The Teckel Sprinkler Topwater Frog is another great lure to try out. Its size and weight mean that you can cast it further than the lighter lures and it gives a great ‘plop’ sound to attract the bass when it lands.

The tail propeller also gives a lot of motion and splashing that attract fish from further away.

The hook is also placed upwards against the lure body which helps to stop it getting stuck in weed or grass beds which is where the bass often hide.

Length: 4 1/2″

Weight: 5/8 oz

10. Smithwick Lures Devil’s Horse

This wooden surface lure has both a forward and rear propellor to duplicate the commotion of fleeing shad.

Available in 4 x different sizes, and 9 x different colors, you can find a lure to suit all your needs. Pop a few Devil’s Horse lures in your tackle box so you can adjust depending on which color is performing.

Use this lure in a stop/go motion to attract the fish and give them time to strike. With 3 x treble hooks there is plenty of opportunity to hook whenever a hungry bass comes hunting.

Length: 4 1/2″

Weight: 3/8 oz

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best rod for topwater bass fishing lures?

We recommend a 6 1/2 to 7 foot fishing rod with a medium power and a fast action.

What is the best reel for topwater bass fishing lures?

We recommend a 7.1:1 baitcasting fishing reel for popper fishing.

How to fish with a topwater bass fishing lure?

Cast your lure into your target location, then bring it back in stops and starts. Disturb the water enough to attract the predatory bass and then let it sit briefly to give them an opportunity to strike.

Where to use a topwater bass fishing lure?

Topwater lures are great for fishing over the top of underwater cover. Use them when you are fishing near weed, docks, stumps, and grass patches.

Conclusion

Topwater fishing provides anglers a top-notch fishing adventure – it’s fun because the strike is visual. Pick up one or a few topwater bass fishing lures listed above and you will enjoy your time on the water.

This article from Karl’s has a great explanation for how to fish with topwater bass fishing lures.

If you have your own favorite topwater fishing lures for bass then please leave a comment below so we can all learn from your experience. We love to hear from our readers and are always looking for new lures to try.

Happy fishing!

Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing I prefer than heading down to my local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test. My favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. My dream is to catch a Black Marlin.