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Top Water Fishing Techniques: Popping, Walking, Prop, and Wake Baits Explained

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We are discussing different types of top water fishing lures, including popping, walking, prop, and wake baits. Popping style top water lures are great for targeting a specific area, like a laydown tree in the water, and making fish react to the popping sound. Walking style lures, such as frogs and hard baits, are good for covering water and catching lethargic fish. Prop style lures, like buzz baits, are used for covering water at a faster pace.

  • Technique: Hard Topwater (Wake)

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Video Transcription

Top water. That's the topic of the day. We've been getting talked to a lot by our customers and all the employees that work here at the time of year for top waters upon us. A lot of frog fishing is going on in our neck of the woods up here and buzz baits and things of that nature. But the top water hard baits and soft bait families have come up a bunch and we just added a new technique to our technique pages in the wake bait style abates. And it sparked up this conversation. What are the families of uh, top waters and the four families we haven't divvied up in our popping walking prop style baits and wake baits. Uh, you know, and I'll take you through real quick with all four of those families meaning the general application for those type of baits starting off with like a popping bait. Probably the most famous popper of all time. The Rebel Pop r uh, the Iraqi Pop from Storm, one of my favorites. There's the Megabass pop max. There's a whole bunch of the rico.


There's a bunch of super popular poppers throughout history and also popping frogs. I'm gonna kind of lump them in together because this, this uh, specific top water technique is great for target fishing. What I mean by that is if you're visually looking at a target and you want this bait to get a fish to react in a certain target zone. Popping style. Top water is perfect for that. You're not necessarily covering water. You've got your target there. Whether it be a lay down, there's a tree laying down in the water, You see kind of a v in the branches and you want to put this right in the middle of there and kind of make it stay in that target zone by making it pop and sit in that sweet spot. So that fish comes up and grabs it. And that's why I like a hard uh style popping bait shines right. If I know there's a brush pile a couple of feet under the surface and I'm gonna put this bait right on top of, I'm gonna leave it in that target zone and make it pop and make that fish come up and react and bite it. So if you're target fishing, that's where the popping style top water comes into play.


Generally next up is walking style baits. So these are gonna have slender pointing your noses on them. So you gotta walking frog from like terminator here and you have the sexy dog from striking here in a top water hard bait in a walking style bait. And this is where you impart that walk the dog action where using slack line on your rod, you're just twitching that slack line uh and imparting a walking the dog action to the bait. So it's going back and forth and it's covering water. This is one of my most confident. This is my confidence tactic when it comes to uh top water fishing because now I don't always know where the fish are. Trust me. So I have to look for him quite a bit. And if you're covering water, that walking style bait, whether being a frog or being a hard top water like this, you can cover water, but you're moving the bait slow enough that sometimes you can get more of those lethargic style bites. Uh you know, you're not covering water to super fast speed, so you're not necessarily missing some of those fish that might not be super, you know, fired up and just crushing everything that they're, that's going by them. But you're covering water, you're moving. And sometimes if you get those missed strikes, you follow up with the popping style top water. So the walking baits are a great way to cover water. Uh, if you're out there looking for your big top waterfall bite.


Next up is prop style top waters. Uh that's, I guess we could kind of lump in a buzz bait with this. I kind of put them in a little bit different category for other reasons, but, but now I'm covering water and a little bit more of an aggressive pace. Um so you see there's even frogs now, like this buoy, a toad runner, the tekel sprinkler frog that where you've got a boot style chop o slash river to see whopper popper style tail on it. That's a prop on the back that's causing a big plopping prop commotion on it. One of the most famous top waters of all times. The devil's horse here. This can be believed or not straight retrieve. You can throw it out there and give a straight retrieve with pauses and it's just ripping through the water and kind of spraying water up with the prop style action to it.


This is another style of top water that's perfect for covering water. I know when you get into these prop baits, there's some florida fishing that goes on with these uh where it is target, like with like the prop baits or like popping style top water where you could actually, you know, in a gap in the lily pads. If you think there's a bed there or something like that, you can kind of just give it a little small jerking motions and it just kicks the blades up, spits. But for the most part with a prop style top water, you're once again covering water. You're doing it with a little bit more speed, then you technically would be doing it with the walking style baits.  So if you're really in, do your need to cover some water. If you're let's say, fishing a big reservoir down south, you've never been to and you want to cover a whole creek arm with a top water bait.


This, this is a great style bait to go down there and just cover water with and see if you can find some active fish last but not least to go into the wake bait. This is probably the one of all the top water families. I struggled with the most the man's minus one. The man's baby minus one and minus one is probably the most famous in my mind of all the wake style. I've fished them myself quite a bit. I haven't had the same success levels I've had with these style top waters myself, but I can tell you right now, this particular morsel here, this is the sixth sense speedway is one of the most popular big bite getters out there right now. These baits shine really. It's a bait that you kind of want your boat for those negative fishing situations where maybe they're not hitting something that causes as much commotion as a prop, prop style bait, They're not hitting a bait, let's like a walking style bait or a popper.


You want something more subtle that there fish are obviously keying in on bait fish up shallow and they're hitting it on the surface. You got to think of the top of the water being another form of structure because it's creating a ceiling for them to trap baits up against. So the wake style baits really do work in those negative times where those fish aren't necessarily super aggressive, they're not attacking anything making any major commotion. This is a much more subtle, almost finessed way to get a big top water bite. So you've got the wake bait style baits here, you've got your prop baits, you got your walking baits and you got your popping baits. So remember if you know where that fish is and you want to get that big bite, sometimes it's best to tackling with that popping style if you're getting some bites, but you're not sure 100% where the next bite's coming, you can try a walking style bait if you're just covering water because you're completely clueless and you have no idea where that big bite is gonna come from. But you know, they're gonna eat a top water, try a prop style bait. And if you can't get those fish to commit to any of these top waters, throw a wake bait. All four families are different styles of top water baits that will catch them for you. So go catch them.
 

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