Why Bass Hit Topwater Flies

Why does a bass - or any fish - hit a topwater fly? This smallmouth bass article answers the question for all flyfishers.

This is an article from TheNewFlyfisher, which quite frankly is every bit as nice as any fly fishing site out there. We do not expect you not to love other sites - we just feel that there are so many out there the average angler cannot do what we do, which is look for the best articles on the prettiest and most well-managed sites. This is sure one of them.

This article is actually about Smallmouth bass, but the underlying issue - why bass (or any fish) will strike a topwater fly so aggressively - will effect anybody fishing with or interested in fishing with a long rod. The article is just great.


Why do bass take poppers? I think that they represent a lot of prey items to bass. From a small frog to an insect, something that moves and seems to be trying to get away – it rings the dinner bell for bass! In terms of technique, the key is to cast the fly near likely looking structure and then let it sit. I mean sit. Often the fly will be hit 15-20 seconds after it has landed. Recently on Hawk Lake this often happened.

It is hard to avoid the temptation to automatically retrieve or pop the fly. How often have you turned to talk to a friend and then heard a splash as your fly was taken. That’s because you allowed it to sit and let the bass look it over. When retrieving the popper, make sure it truly splashes and gurgles in the surface film. After a few pops, let it stay motionless – let the splash ring dissipate. You will be amazed how often you will see a big bass slowly come to the surface to inhale your offering.

The whole article is here at TheNewFlyfisher.com.

The Online Fisherman

GHM logo