Topwater lures have no match when bass are lurking in the shallows. Their movement, sounds, and the vibration they make are irresistible for any hungry, active bass. However, choosing the right lure takes some doing. Don’t despair. We are here to help you.
We’ve come a long way from testing, researching, and asking around for the best topwater lures for bass. From all the 20 lures we put to the test, we found the Rebel Lures Pop-R to be the best topwater lure for bass. It produces vibrations, sounds, moves a lot, and is available in many different colors!
But if you are looking for the best value, then we recommend the RUNCL Topwater Frog for Bass. And, for those looking for the very best, the Heddon Super Spook, our premium option, won’t disappoint. Let’s check the rest.
Our Top 3
Our Reviews: The 10 Best Topwater Lures For Bass
Poppers are always a great option when the bass moves to the shallows. And the Pop-R is, hands down, one of the best. Its concave head displaces a lot of water and produces bass-catching sounds.
This hard-bodied lure comes with two #6 treble hooks. The one at the rear comes with an eye-catching skirt. It increases visibility and movement; thereby, making the Pop-R more appealing.
The Pop-R only weighs 1/4 ounce. So, the casting could be an issue. But all troubles end once it hits the water. It has an erratic action when retrieved slowly and a fast, straight swim when retrieved at a faster rate.
You can choose between five different sizes depending on the kind of fish you want. For example, the Magnum Pop-R is more suitable for bigger bass. Plus, the added weight increases the casting range.
This lure is legendary. It has been around for many years, producing thousands of bites. Maybe it is the walk-the-dog technique paired with erratic action, the beautiful light-reflecting colors or the in-built rattles. We won’t ever know for sure.
But we can be sure of one thing: The Super Spook is an ideal topwater lure during spring and fall. The extensive color selection guarantees to have a lure for each watercolor and forage. You also choose between two sizes: 3 1/2 and 5 inches. The latter is more suitable for catching big bass, including striped bass. It also features three treble hooks, whereas the 3 1/2 inches version has only two.
According to Heddon, the Super Spook’s hooks are saltwater-proof, which means that you can target any bass species regardless of its habitat. A true all-rounder indeed.
Frogs are ideal for rivers and lakes with a lot of weeds and lily pads. Bass knows that here is where they can find some fat and juice frogs like these RUNCLs. They have a PVC plastic construction that, according to RUNCL, tastes like an actual frog. But we don’t know for sure as we don’t dare to bite it
The double-ended hook sits right above the back of the frog. This way, the lure won’t get snagged in weeds as you work it through them. However, since the body is so soft, the hook gets exposed as soon as any bass bites.
On the other hand, you get 5 frogs for around 15 bucks. Each one has an intricate design that makes them look like a real frog. Plus, the center of gravity is just in the right spot that makes them sit life-like. RUNCL did an awesome job with these topwater frogs for bass.
Although it has an odd look and ill name, the Devil’s Horse by Smithwick is a topwater lure that has endured the test of time. It has a pencil-like shape with two propellers at either end.
The blades increase water displacement and vibrations. Consequently, drawing the attention of any predator around, including bass. You can adjust the propellers depending on the condition. Leaving them straight produces more commotion while bending them makes it less disruptive. Lastly, the three #6 treble hooks will secure anything that bites.
You can either work it slowly to trigger lethargic bass or fast and steady. The last approach is especially productive during the pre-spawn season.
The Devil’s Horse comes in a single but in two different weights. The heavier model is more suitable for long cast, while the other is better if you are fishing from a boat or kayak.
The Jitterbug has long been a favorite between anglers. It doesn’t look like your conventional topwater lure. But it works just as well.
First, the joint body produces more movement and vibrations than a single-piece lure. But you can purchase the solid version if you wish, as it is also available. In addition, the metallic lip created constant, even sounds. If you add ripples to the equation, you get a lure that bass can’t resist.
You can get the Jitterbug in 16 unique colors. None of them are light. As a result, you might have some trouble fishing in clear water. But the good news is that this lure has no match for night bass fishing. The color doesn’t fade, making it more likely for bass to see it. But even if they don’t, they will surely hear or feel its presence.
The Jitterbug is available in three different sizes. All come with two treble hooks, which are more than enough given the fact that the largest model is 4 inches long.
With 5 inches in length, the Knuckle Head is an ideal topwater lure for massive bass. On top of that, it has a hard body with a jointed head. The design allegedly looks like an injured gill and helps with the erratic action.
On the other hand, the concave mouth pops and disturbed the surface as the lure cuts through the water. It is the perfect combination to entice any bass around.
Two 1/O treble hooks make for the rest of the hardware. According to Creek Chub, both are saltwater-proof, which means that they should never rust.
Bone Flash, baby striper, threadfin shad, and silver/black back are the only four colors available. We think that baby stripers and silver/black backs are the most realistic ones. Thus are the ones we recommend.
This small 3 1/2 inches topwater lure is what you need on those rainy and cloudy days. The high pitch frequency version produces vibrations that make it easy to find, regardless of the visibility. It is a suitable option when fishing in stained waters as well.
However, you need a different strategy in clear waters. Something that loud will scare fishes away. Thus, you better go for the low pitch version for a quieter approach. Sadly, this one only comes in a single size, whereas the high pitch Badonk-a-donk comes in two: 1/2 and 3/4 ounces.
Action is nothing impressive. It moves somewhat stiffly. But it still provokes bites, which is the important thing here. The same applies to color and design. There are only eight colors available, and neither of them has an intricate design. Bone/Orange Throat and Red Head Flash are our favorites. Both look and work better than the others.
It is hard not to love the 3DB Popper by Yo-Zuri. At first glance, it looks like any other topwater popper. But once you look closer, you will notice that some things are different.
Starting with its mouth. It has a double-cupped design that enhances water displacement. In addition, the ribbed belly eases the glide and gives a walk to the dog or pop & stop action depending on how you work it. On top of that, the minimalist paint job is sublime. It looks very realistic without being too much. And the best thing is that the paint doesn’t come off that easily.
Two black nickel treble hooks and a Mylar Tails make for the rest of the lure. Since the split rings are of the same materials as the hooks, you can be sure that they will handle anything you throw at it.
It will take you some time to find the best frog in the market. Fortunately for you, we have one suggestion: The Booyah Pad Crasher! It has an exquisite soft body that will expose the hooks upon the slightest of bites. This also means that it won’t get tangled with anything, making it perfect for covered areas.
The weight of the hook keeps the frog slightly up, just like a frog that is about to leap. The tails on either side increase disruption and make the lure even more appealing. Despite being so thin, they feel durable enough to handle hundreds of bites.
There are a lot of different colors to choose from. In our case, we love Bullfrog, leopard frog, swamp frog, and dart frog colors. These are ideal for darker weeds and forage.
Lunker has defeated a thousand copycats over the years. Still today, it is one of the best buzzbaits for bass. Let’s see why.
It has a double recurve blade at the top. It is responsible for making all the noise, disruption, and buzz. This deadly combo is what draws the attention of any nearby bass. In addition, the silicone skirt leaves a noticeable whitewater trail for fish to follow and adds some extra visibility to the Lunker buzzbait. But the skirt also plays another role. It keeps the hook fairly hidden until it is too late.
The wire that joins the hook and the blade looks thick and strong enough to handle some abuse. Besides, Lunker Lures life to their reputation, so don’t worry, your brand-new Lunker buzzbait will prove to be productive for many years.
Buying Guide: How to Choose The Best Topwater Lures for Bass
Topwater lures come in all shapes and sizes. You can find many different colors and adapt to any environment you want. So, the first thing that you need to do is learn what a topwater lure is when to use it, which are the different types of topwater lures, and what to look for on each one. It might look like a lot to digest. But if you bear with us a little longer, you will find answers to these and more questions here.
What is a Topwater Lure?
To simply put it, a topwater lure is a lure that stays above or near the surface. In other words, it doesn’t sink, and if it does, it only does a few inches.
When to Use Topwater Lures for Bass?
As you might have guessed, topwater lures are more suitable when bass are in the shallows. Therefore, you must pay close attention to water temperature and season to know when bass could be lurking here. Typically summer, spring, and fall are all good seasons to fish with topwater lures. You can also use a topwater lure under the following conditions:
- Late afternoon and dusk: Bass move to the shallows as the sun gets low. This happens because they try to enjoy the little warmth that’s left.
- Early Morning: Just like before, bass move to the shallows to enjoy the rising temperatures of the water.
- Cloudy days: With no direct sunlight, bass feel comfortable swimming in shallow areas. Try to use topwater lures with blades or poppers as these are more visible.
- Shad Spawning season: Poppers are the top choice during this season. Try to find a school of shads and cast the lure on it.
- During the night: Although not many anglers tend to fish all night long, this is still a productive window. Use darker colors and topwater lures with blades to make things easy for hungry bass.
Make sure to check our piece on the best time to fish for bass. You might also check how temperature affects fishing. These insights will give you a better understanding of when you use a topwater lure for bass fishing.
Understanding the Different Types of Topwater Lures
Like we said before, there is more than one type of topwater lure. Let’s take a little time to talk about each one.
These floating lures have a cupped mouth. The line gets attached at its center, and as you jerk the rod, water starts popping.
Retrieving speed depends on how broad the mouth is. For instance, bigger mouths create more disruption. However, you have to work them slowly as they also generate more tension on the line.
Warmer months and overcast days are the best time to use poppers for bass fishing. The sound and vibration will incite the bass to bite.
The name is quite self-explanatory. These topwater lures look exactly like a frog. The weedless designs make them ideal for fishing through the weeds and lily pads. Typically they work best when bass are lurking through the weeds seeking shade and cover from the sun.
These odd-looking lures like the Smithwick Devil’s Horse have propellers that spin as your reel the line. Thus, prop baits produce noise and movement that draws the attention of any nearby bass. Prop baits work better on calm waters with no cover.
Buzzbaits are the topwater lure of choice for quick water coverage. You can retrieve it at insanely fast rates while producing enough disturbance to entice a lot of bites. They are fairly weedless, so you can work them through cover without suffering any snags.
Also known as walk the dog topwater lures, stick baits look a lot like a wood stick with hooks. Usually, they have two or three treble hooks.
You need to walk it through the water with a series of gentle jerks, hence the name.
What Color Topwater Lure for Bass?
This is a tricky question as it depends on the environment. The general rule of thumb is: Go for light, subtle color while fishing on crystal clear water and bright ones in dingy water.
Best Topwater Lures for Bass: Rebel Lures Pop-R Bass Popper
If you want to catch giant bass during summer and spring, then the Rebel Pop-R is your best bet. Its erratic action, paired with the popping sound is a deadly combination for bass. Furthermore, the thick hooks guarantee that anything that bites won’t get away.
It might be a little hard to cast. But you won’t have any trouble getting bites once it is inside the water. So, click here to secure yours for your next summer fishing trip!