Favorite Topwater Bass Fishing Lures the Pros Like

Fishing pro holding bass

Primetime for topwater fishing is upon much of the bass fishing world. Who doesn’t love watching the brutality of nature at its finest as a bass tears a new one into your favorite topwater plug?

Randy Howell driving boatFour accomplished fishing pros share their favorites to toss on top fishing lure choices. See if you agree.

by Pros4- 1Source's Dave Landahl

Randy Howell

“I have three favorites for topwater for sure,” said Howell. “The Livingston Livingston Walking Boss fishing lure, the Livingston Walking Boss Lure Part Two, and the Livingston Walk-n-Pop 67.

Livingston Lures Walking Boss
Livingston Lures Walking Boss

“They are three totally different styles of baits that are all easy to work and effective, plus they have an electronic baitfish shad sound that makes them like dynamite for catching bass.”

Jeff Gustanfson

“My favorites are a popper, a walking bait, and a prop bait,” said Gustafson.

Jeff Gustafson driving boatGustanfson's Popper Fishing Lures

“For the topwater popper , I use the Jackall SK Pop Grande. I like a popper for fishing slow over specific pieces of cover, a clump of grass, a boulder, log, etc. I like that’s it’s motionless when a fish bites, increasing the chance that they’ll get the bait. Poppers work!”

 Rapala Skitter Walk Hard Bait
 Rapala Skitter Walk Hard Bait

Walking baits

“They are good for covering water and fishing for suspended fish. They are bigger baits that have the ability to call fish in from long range. The downside is that fish miss them sometimes. I like a white or bone colored bait.

PowerPro Braided Microfilament Line
PowerPro Braided Microfilament Line

Prop baits

“I like to use these around spawning fish because I think the noise they have drives fish nuts.”

“With all topwaters, I like to use 40 lb Power Pro braid fishing line for my main line, then a 15-20” leader of 20 lb mono,” states Gustafson. “The stiffer mono never gets caught up in the hooks and is an invisible link to the bait."

“I like to throw the topwater baits on a 7’2” medium heavy Shimano Expride rod and a Shimano Curado DC reel.”

Brent Chapman

River2Sea Whopper Plopper
River2Sea Silent Whopper Plopper

“I love fishing topwaters,” said Chapman. “I have a few favorites. The hollow body frog- you can fish it anywhere."

Brent Chapman holding bass“A Whopper Plopper is another great one. It’s so easy to fish and catches big ones."

“You have to try the Westin Lures Freddy the Frog. It’s a big bait that’s fun to throw and catches big ones just like big swimbaits.”

Keith Poche

Keith Poche holding bass“I like to throw a walking bait, a popper, and a buzzbait for topwater fishing,” says Poche.

“The Berkley J-Walker- a big fish bait I use during the shad spawn or just on feeding fish early in the morning. I will also throw it all day long if it’s an overcast day."

 Lazer Eye Buzz Master Buzzbait
Bass Pro Shops Lazer Eye Buzz Master Buzzbait

“I throw a Berkley Bullet Pop for those big post-spawn females that are still hanging around fairly shallow that want a little slower presentation. Also, I catch a lot of male bass guarding fry."

“A great bait for getting a lot of good reaction bites early in the morning is a Humdinger buzzbait. I also fish it all day if it’s overcast outside.”





While individual preferences may vary, here is a list of some popular topwater bass fishing lures favored by the pros:

  1. Heddon Zara Spook: This classic topwater lure is known for its "walk-the-dog" action, imitating injured baitfish and triggering aggressive strikes from bass.

  2. Rebel Pop-R: The Pop-R is a popping bait that creates a splashing and chugging sound, mimicking prey on the water's surface and enticing bass to strike.

  3. Strike King Sexy Dawg: This topwater walking bait has a realistic design and creates a zigzag action that drives bass wild, especially during the early morning or evening hours.

  4. Whopper Plopper: The Whopper Plopper is a buzzbait-style lure with a unique tail propeller that creates a loud, enticing sound and surface disturbance, attracting bass from a distance.

  5. River2Sea Bully Wa 2: This frog-style lure is designed to be fished in heavy vegetation and mats. Its lifelike appearance and weedless design make it a go-to choice for targeting bass in dense cover.

  6. Spro Bronzeye Frog: Another popular frog lure, the Bronzeye Frog is highly effective for fishing over lily pads, grass, and other vegetation. Its lifelike action and appearance make it a top choice for bass anglers.

  7. Booyah Pad Crasher: Designed to be fished through heavy cover, the Pad Crasher is a hollow-body frog lure that produces a realistic swimming action, attracting bass in thick vegetation.

  8. Rapala Skitter Pop: The Skitter Pop is a versatile topwater lure that can be popped, skittered, or walked, depending on the retrieve style. Its loud popping sound and realistic appearance make it a reliable option for enticing bass.

  9. Jackall Pompadour: This unique lure combines a propeller with a rear cup, creating a buzzing and splashing action that imitates a distressed or injured baitfish. It excels in open water or around cover.

  10. Livingston Lures Walking Boss: The Walking Boss is a topwater bait that emits sound and vibrations, mimicking injured prey. It features built-in electronic technology that produces realistic fish sounds to attract bass.