June 18, 2014 by Jay Yelas
Don't Pass Up Dams and Locks for Topwater Action
There's a topwater bite all summer somewhere on the lake you fish; it's just a matter of finding it. There might not be enough topwater fish to win a tournament, but it's a lot of fun, especially if you're just out fishing for the heck of it. Topwater fishing in the summer is all about the baitfish. Most often we think about shallow water from 2 to 5 feet deep, around docks, grass or brush - or maybe points. But other places to fish topwaters for big bass are against a dam, adjacent riprap and the walls of locks first thing in the morning. The reason bass often position around such manmade structures is because of the shad or herring feeding on the algae that grows on the concrete or rocks. Bass love to pin bait against a wall or similar structure. They'll wait in the cover of deep, dark water, and when baitfish are silhouetted against the lights along a dam, or even the rising sun, the bass will go after them. This sort of topwater bite might only last for 30 minutes or so, but it's always a good idea to check such structures first if they're fairly close by to where you launch. In water that's really clear, you can draw bass up from fairly deep water. My two favorite baits for this sort of topwater fishing are the Yamamoto Tate (pronounced tah-tay), which is a walking bait, and the Shibuki, a popper. Remember, anywhere you fish topwaters, it's all about finding the best food sources for bass.