many bass tournament anglers, topwater fishing has almost reached
a state of near extinction, and that's a shame, for topwater
fishing can provide consistent action, yield big bass, and give
anglers anticipated excitement better than any other lure.
Tournament bass fishing is anything but
relaxing, and any sport that has the potential to pay purses in
the thousands of dollars is simply work.
Very few tournament fishermen rely on
topwater baits and most are more concerned with banging out seven
or eight casts per minute with a spinnerbait or crankbait than
taking the time to thoroughly work out an area with a topwater
To the non-tournament bass fisherman,
however, topwater fishing is undoubtedly the first choice of the
majority, especially during the summer months.
Topwater bass fishing is one of the best
ways to introduce a youngster or newcomer to the sport of bass
fishing. A topwater strike from a bass, regardless of the size is
A buzzbait, Pop-R, Jitterbug, or an old
Hula Popper plops slowly across the calm water surface, and
suddenly, without warning, the angler hears a loud noise, the
water explodes, and the thrill of feeling a bass on the end of the
line excites both novice and pro's alike. The excitement of the
unexpected is what this type of fishing is all about, and that
which makes this the best of bassin'
Topwater bass fishing in Oklahoma usually
begins around the first of May and continues throughout the year
up into late fall. During the hot summer months, topwater fishing
is usually best at daylight and again late in the evening. On
cloudy or windy days, topwater fishing can be good the entire day.
Although there are numerous ponds,
creeks, and watershed lakes that are prime waters for topwater
enthusiasts, three lakes located in the southern part of the state
have a particular reputation for being good topwater lakes.
Lake Murray near Ardmore, Lake Texoma
along the Red River, and Lake Arbuckle east of Davis are all prime
topwater lakes throughout the summer and up into the fall months.
Lake Murray is perhaps one of Oklahoma's
most scenic lakes, and contains some of the clearest water found
anywhere here in the Sooner State.
Because of the water clarity in Lake
Murray, you must fish some type of cover, and that generally means
mossbeds, cattails, stickups, or rocks. Good areas that always
seem to produce bass are the upper ends of both the west and east
arms of the lake. Both of these areas have good water color due to
the amount of vegetation present. The many rock ledges and points
found down around the dam are also good bets for some topwater
Early morning or late evening, I like to
work a topwater lure around the many rocky points found on the
lake. On a bright sunny day, fish will feed on these points up
until 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., but then because of the clear water, you
will have to seek areas with some form of cover.
Sprawling Lake Texoma along the Red
River, is another favorite with topwater fishermen, and for good
reason. The lake contains miles of rocky shoreline, flooded
willows and rocky points.
Texoma is so vast in size that it would
be impossible to adequately cover all of the prime topwater areas.
Some of the most common and locally popular areas are Cumberland
Cove, Newberry Creek, Bridgevew, Washita Point, Buncombe Creek,
and the islands, specifically North Island and Treasure Island.
A reliable pattern on Texoma that often
can mean the difference between success and failure is fishing the
boathouses found all over the lake.
Arbuckle Lake, much like Murray has
really clear water and miles of rocky shoreline. This lake has
some quality smallmouth bass and when the brownies are on a
topwater bite, the fishing can be awesome.
Prime areas on Arbuckle are the main lake
bluffs up in the Buckhorn Creek area, the rip-rap found along the
dam, and the shoreline in various areas of the lake where you find
grassbeds and laydowns.
The lake each year gives up some really
big bass, and lot of these big fish are taken on topwater baits.
Some of the more popular topwater baits
on these lakes, or for any of our ponds or flood control lakes
here in Oklahoma include the Rebel Pop-R, buzzzbaits, Storm's Chug
Bug, Heddon's Zara Spook, the Splash-It by Don Iovino, and the
My favorite topwater bait is Don Iovino's
Splash-It. This is a great topwater bait on all of the lakes that
I fish and when both the largemouth and smallmouth are schooling
it will catch lots of fish and out performs any other topwater
bait that I have ever used. The Splash-It comes in a wide variety
of colors, but the best ones for this area are the gray ghost,
pearl/chartreuse, baby bass, bluegill and a new color just
introduced called the Miracle Minnow.
In lakes that contain lots of shad the
best color is the gray ghost and this color works extremely well
on Murray, Arbuckle, and Texoma. The gray ghost Splash-It has won
a many a bass tournament on Texoma with anglers catching limits of
smallmouth weighing better than 3 pounds each.
If you are interested in the Splash-It,
contact me at 405-238-2243 or by e-mail at email@example.com
or Don Iovino at www.iovino.com<.
If you like to fish buzzbaits on windy
days around rocky points or over the tops of grassbeds, good
colors for area waters are white, chartreuse/white or chartreuse.
I prefer the larger size 1/4 or 3/8-ounce Terminator buzzbaits
when it's windy. When fishing clear water on calm days, or when
fishing for smallmouth at Lake Murray or Arbuckle, I like the new
Terminator Tiny-T buzzbait which weighs 1/8- ounce. I have caught
some really nice brownies and Kentuckies on this small buzzbait,
especially during low light conditions when fished around rock
ledges. I usually throw the white color of the Tiny-T, but when
it's cloudy or the water stained, the white/chartreuse color works
best. Don't be afraid to throw this small buzzbait, it will catch
both numbers and quality fish.
Topwater fishing for bass is basically a
very simple form of angling, for it allows the angler to impart in
each lure the action he desires. Granted, you may not win many
bass tournaments with a topwater bait, but a topwater strike is
something that carries on an age-old tradition and gives many
anglers the greatest of bassin' excitement.
Remember to practice catch-and-release.