July is prime time for throwing topwater baits in Ohio. Oftentimes, anglers in Ohio think that downsizing their topwater baits is the right move this time of year. Sometimes that is the case. But over the last few years I’ve found that giant topwater walking baits regularly elicit more and better quality blowups than their smaller counterparts.
The concept of throwing big baits to catch big bass is nothing new. However, as it relates to topwater baits, only in the last few years have anglers been upsizing their topwaters. Many lure manufacturers now offer walk the dog style baits that are 4 inches and longer. These baits come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and all have unique characteristics. Some are extremely noisy, built with internal rattles, and designed to furiously slosh the surface. Others are surprisingly stealth, cutting across the water with finesse and speed.
A few of the more popular oversized walk the dog baits on the market right now include (pictured in order below): River2Sea Rover 128; Lucky Craft Gunfish 135; ABT Lures King Dawg; Jackall Bowstick 130; and the Heddon Super Spook.
Why do these baits draw strikes? A popular theory is that bass hit ‘em for no other reason than they haven’t seen them before. I recently wrote an article that discusses these “jumbo” topwater baits in detail for FLW Bass Magazine. Be sure to check it out in an upcoming issue!
Although low light periods in the morning and evening present the best windows for capitalizing on the topwater bite, bass will often blast big surface baits in the middle of the day around shade pockets and over thick cover, particularly when there’s a nice chop on the surface. The next time you decide to pick up your topwater rod, try tying on something over-the-top big. I think you’ll be surprised with the results.