How Early Is Too Early For Topwater? By Pete Robbins , Page 2

How Early Is Too Early For Topwater? 
By Pete Robbins	, Page 2

Spring 2021

p O w O EA a RLY te r ?

ballgame if you have a massive cold front come through and it goes from 65 to 55. That’ll make it difficult. And if it’s 49 and you have three warm nights, or a warm rain, that’s when you’ll really see things come alive. Bass are cold blooded animals, like snakes. A trend like that usually means they’ll be actively feeding. You may have to throw something slower or bigger, like a big wake bait or glide bait, but that’s when I’ll start thinking about topwater.”


For Arizona hammer Tai Au, it starts during the pre- spawn on western fisheries from his home state up through California, when water temperatures get up into

some other rats with varying success since then, but keeps returning to the two-piece Woodrow.

“They cost $125 each, and I own five of them,” he added. It’s not something he’ll typically throw all day, but instead he turns to it when he has a reasonable limit and wants a kicker, and speculates that this calls up the big girls looking for their final big meal before they start the spawning process in earnest.

“For whatever reason, that is the best rat I’ve thrown. I like the three-piece model at night, but compared to other rats that two-piece Woodrow just has a wider walk, and makes a distinctive noise. They feel that deep thunk.”

He’ll use it to cover water, but it excels as a target bait,

the fifties. A KVD Splash popper and a Whopper Plopper,

and Au gets particularly excited to throw it at isolated wood

might get the call, but more likely he’s turning to a wake

cover outside of spawning pockets. On the Delta, he’ll also

bait at this time of year, and in particular a Woodrow Rat.

work it between sparse grass patches and sparse tules,

“I got turned onto it by my brother six years ago,” he

aiming to bisect likely ambush points.

recalled. “We were at the Delta and the fish were in all

“The biggest mistake people make is that they work it

three stages. Some were fat and full of eggs, others were

too fast,” he explained. “Throw it out, let the rings dissipate,

spawning and some others were post-spawn. I had 32

and then creep it as slowly as possible while still getting

pounds on the first practice day I threw it and 30 pounds

that noise out of it. Bass don’t want to get in a fight with a

the next day.”

rat that looks completely healthy.”

Unfortunately, a cold front came through on

tournament day and forced him to change gears, but at that point he knew he had a winner. He’s tried


Unlike Au, both Gleason and Reehm most often wait to throw topwaters until they’re convinced that

fish are up cruising, or actually spawning.

“For me, it’s when the potential’s there for

fish to be on beds,” Gleason said. “IF


By Pete Robbins

page 55