Topwater bass fishing gets hot in June
By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
June 7, 2002
Early June is traditionally the time many bass start their feeding frenzies after a long hard spawn. During this time the bass will literally gorge themselves on any type of bait that may become available.
As many of the bass patrol the shallow banks and submerged ledges in search of forage, they become especially vulnerable to topwater baits.
A recent trip to Okatibbee Reservoir brought back fond memories of topwater action from years back. As I was working the shoreline with a topwater bait, I noticed a couple of bass bust the surface just ahead of me. Upon arriving at the spot, I cast a big Devil's Horse right on the bull's eye of a nice bass. Almost as soon as the bait hit the water the feisty fish nailed it and sent it skyward.
As I continued to work the shoreline, this scene was repeated over and over again. It seemed like the bass had never seen a topwater bait before. It didn't seem to matter what type of bait or what color, they were really zeroing in on it. Most of the bass were working the shallow water while holding along buck brush and buttonbushes or in submerged grass.
Now what caused these bass to suddenly lose all of their senses and go on a feeding frenzy you might ask? Well, the mayflies were hatching and falling into the water by the thousands. Anywhere you could find a willow tree or some type of tree hanging out over the water, there would be literally thousands of these bugs swarming and falling into the water. Of course, the small baitfish and bream were really tearing them up.
Occasionally anglers would spot a lunker largemouth or striper crashing the surface in search of an easy meal. It seems the bass were feeding on the shad and bream that were feeding on the mayflies. That might explain why there were so many bass hitting topwater baits on the surface in the shallow water. Although this does occur occasionally on area waters, it usually doesn't last long. Once the mayflies are gone, the bream and bass will relocate also.
Though my primary lure of choice on this day was a Devil's Horse, several other baits are very effective also. When the bass prefer a noisy bait, the Nipi-di-dee is almost as good as a devils horse. Both resemble large baitfish or bream and make easy targets for hungry bass. When the surface activity slows down and they quit taking the propeller type baits, chrome Bang-O lures become quite deadly.
Once the boats stir up the waters a little bit the bass may become shy of the larger prop baits, and that's when another of my favorite baits comes into play. They no longer make the Norman ZZ Top, but it is still one of the most deadly topwater baits known to anglers. The bait is a tad smaller than a Zara Spook and has rattles. Early, late or midday, this bait is deadly on large bass. I've caught more large bass on this lure than any other topwater! If you like to fish topwater baits, then there will never be a better time to go than right now.