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Your Ultimate Guide To Fall Topwater Fishing

Your Ultimate Guide To Fall Topwater Fishing

Any time I catch a bass is exciting, but to me there is no greater thrill than to watch my topwater lure skitter or sashay across the surface and the water suddenly explode as a bass engulfs the bait. Here's a breakdown of fall topwater fishing to get you those strikes. Bass can be taken on a variety of baits that run at various depth ranges throughout the year. However when the surface water starts cooling down in the fall, bass love to hang out in the shallows or suspend near the top of the water column over deeper water where the fish become susceptible to topwater offerings.

So when the leaves start to turn colors in autumn, bass feast on baitfish, frogs, grasshoppers or any other creature that happens to swim near or skim on the water’s surface. Bass are opportunistic feeders so I load my tackle bag full of topwater plugs and plastic toads to imitate the various prey these predators will attack on top.

Fall Topwater Lure Choice

My first choice for bass surface action is a buzz bait. I have never been able to figure out what this lure is supposed to imitate, but the commotion the blade creates as it buzzes across the surface just drives bass nuts. A buzz bait is also my most frustrating fall topwater fishing lure because of all the times the fish hit and miss, so I recommend adding a trailer hook to the main hook. Buzz baits work best for me in stained to murky water on cloudy days with a slight breeze that ripples the surface. If the weather is cloudy and calm or if bass continue to miss the buzz bait (even with a trailer hook attached) I will switch to a plastic toad. The twisting legs of the plastic toad produce a subtle gurgling as the lure runs across the surface and sometimes creates more solid hookups from bass that tend to shy away from the louder buzz bait.

Fall Topwater Fishing Weather

On cloudy or partly cloudy days in clear-water situations I favor a Googan Squad Two Step for my topwater offerings. The zigzag action of this topwater plug looks like a crippled baitfish struggling on the surface—an easy meal to any bass. Windy days also generate some exciting fall topwater fishing action if you choose the right lure. When the waves are rocking and rolling, I prefer throwing a topwater chugger or a River2Sea Whopper Plopper to draw a bass’ attention in that surface commotion.

Updated September 8th, 2023 at 10:20 AM CT