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Frugal Maniac

Bemidji MN, 56601

Fishing Lures and Gear

We can not stress enough how important it is to have the correct gear for what is being fished for that day. The best example would be if going out fishing for a 1000 lbs. and decided that the best fishing set up would be a Ultra-lite Trout fishing set up. Most ultra-lite set ups use 2 lbs. test fishing line and would not be the best choice to catch a large shark. 


When you have the opportunity to fish need to put some fish in the freezer, "live" bait is the best option to catch fish. The most basic and ultimately most universal live bait is worms/nightcrawlers. Yes the good ol' nightcrawler never disappoints. 

I have caught perch, sunfish, bass, northerns, trout, catfish and even walleye. But with that said; there are other options that are sometimes better bait. If you use them, they are superior, and it work even better when used for the different fish.

There are so many options to consider when picking the right bait. You'll want to think about what the fish eat, are they bottom feeders, do they eat insects, or are the carnivorous (the top of the food chain). They can be used with jigs, lindy rigged, trolled, hung below a bobber or fished on a bottom rig.

Some of this bait is easier to find than others. For example, worms can be dug, plus a lot of gas stations have them. Minnows can be trapped in local lakes and streams (check your local regulations). I used to purchase frozen smelt at my local grocery store and use it to catch Northerns. 

I would spend some time catching rough fish, cut them up and use them to catch large Lake Trout aka. Mackinaw. I've used maggots on a jigging spoon over 150 ft of water 15 feet down picking up suspended Kokanee Salmon.

There are some concoctions that can be created with rotten nasty old, make you gag, chicken and beef liver. I have also used sweet corn to catch Rainbow Trout, they do love it. Dough balls for carp the possibilities are endless. A fisherman could spend countless hours learning the art of bait fishing. 



Crappie Minnows


Dough Balls






Meal Worms






Flies and Fly Fishing​

Have you ever wondered how to fly fish? I grew up in Montana fly fishing in the mountain lakes, rivers, and streams. I got lucky; I had people around me that knew and loved fly fishing. 

Now with that said I learned a lot of this awesome past time by studying, reading books, learning about bugs (entomology) and got tons of experimentation time. Because I am middle aged I had to do most of this the old way, books, VHS tapes (which were far and few) and lots of practice. 

Now there are so many options that the new aspiring fly fisherman has right at their finger tips. Videos, YouTube and how to books. The initial investment does not have to break the bank, and your options are huge, from lite trout rigs to heavy Northern pike and deep sea set ups. I will add that this adventure is a never ending learning process that will never disappoint. 

1) What is Fly Fishing? This method of fishing has been around for centuries. Originally used to catch trout and salmon. But over the past century has been adapted to about everything that swims and eats. Freshwater and Saltwater included.

2)Fly casting? This is done when holding the fly rod the correct way and standing in a position that help to anchor the fisherman properly. The most common and the casting method that is easiest to start with. This method is called an over hand cast; stand straight with your head at the 12:00 position, I will pull out about 6 feet of fly line out of the reel. Now pull the fly pole back to the 10:00 position keeping ahold of the fly line not letting it slip. Now pull the pole forward to the 2:00 position letting the line go so that it moves out. Now I pull out another 6 feet of line and repeat. If you go past either position it will cause the line to tangle making a mess. Practice, Pactice, Practice, you'll find the more practice the farther the line will go out and the more control and less tangled up messes there will be.

3)Fly Rods? Fly rods are long flexible and slender. They are made out of fiberglass, graphite and even bamboo. Which I'd have to say if you ever get the chance to fish with a bamboo pole it is well worth your time. The eyelets on the fly pole are spaced and set to help manage the thicker diameter of the fly line. The butt of the fly rod is very short compared to other styles of poles which helps the fisherman easily control the line.

4) The Fly Reel? These are used to hold the line and control a fish once they have been hooked. These are mounted on a spool that gets filled with the fly line and are mounted to the base of the pole. There are different levels of quality but all tend to be simpler in design.

5) The Fly Line? This is what the fly is attached to it is different then monofiliment and comes in different styles and weights depending on what fish is being targeted. There are some lines that almost become invisible in the water so the fish cannot see them. There are floating lines for dry fly fishing, weighted lines for nymph and streamer fishing. There are lines that are made to control heavier and larger fish. At the end of the fly line between it and the fly is something called a leader. This is made out of monofiliment in a lighter thinner line than the fly line itself.

6)What are Flies? Flies are "tied" on a hook to look like an insect or minnow. They are made out of feathers, hair, wire and few other synthetic materials. There are a few different generic fly categories and each looks like a specific insect or minnow:

                 1. Dry Flies: these imitate insects on top of the water.

                 2. Wet Flies: these copy insects that are in the water either dead or alive. These are fished under the water.

                 3. Nymphs: imitate insect larva and pupa that are at the bottom of the water column.

                 4. Terrestrial: imitate grasshoppers, caterpillars and crickets; usually get fished on top, adjust for under water.

                 5. Streamers: represent minnows and larger forage.

These are just a few of the basic designs, but with these five, the ability to copy what the fish are eating is endless.

When just starting out, the need to get the convenience items is not a necessity, but they do make it a little more comfortable. Things like waders, wading boots, a vest, and a net. There are a few things that we would recommend; these are sun block (can you say water reflecting sun and super sunburn), a hat and polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglass can help you sight fish because you can see into the water and protect your eyes from sun burn. Last but definitely not least insect repellent, just because you are fly fishing does not mean the insects need to be fed too.

Jig ​Fishing

I have over the years learned how to fish jigs. Jigs are something not everyone fishes right turning them into a huge disappointment that never gets tried again. Jigs are an awesome bait that can be used for many different species and times of the year. There are different types Jigs that fall into the jig fishing category. We will cover a few different styles of jig fishing Bass jigs, round jigs (a go to Walleye jig), and Ice Fishng jigs.


A Bass jig is usually composed of a lead jig head, silicone skirt, and tipped with pork or soft plastic. A lot of people will fish these to fast and often times in the wrong location. The best way I can explain how to fish these baits is to imagine that you are doing your favorite past time wanting it to last. You want to make sure it will last so you methodically do it until you are complete making sure that you did not miss a thing. Using a bass jig should be fished the same way, cover the area slowly, imagine it is another animal looking for something to eat on the bottom of the lake, river, or stream.

When it is spring use jigs around brush, lily pads that are coming up, docks and in rocks. Always remember to fish shallow water, it warms up faster then the rest of the lake. The warm water equals more active fish that are ready to eat. Try using a 1/2 ounce jig tipped with a pork trailer. As it warms and the fish become more active some times you'll find that using a jig instead of a crankbait will produce more fish. When a larger jig is dropped in front of a unexpecting bass they'll have a hard time turning down such an "easy" meal, Bass are opportunistic. Fish them in old creek channels, beds, grass and in lily pads.

When the heat of the summer starts to wain and the leaves start to change the Bass are getting ready for winter.

 The water is cooling off the fish are slowing down, their metabolism is shifting into winter mode where the fish do not need to eat as much. Use jigs around fallen trees, dying lilies, stumps and any docks that are left in the water.

When Jack frost is nipping at your toes the bass tend to school up and go deeper. The deep water stays warmer which makes them feel more comfortable. If you find one bass you can usually count on there being another. Bass are opportunistic and if a lure falls in front of there face they'll take it. Remember, in the winter they will not expend a lot of their energy to eat, everything has slowed down including their system.

They do not move far from where they and usually will not chase anything like in the summer months because it use to much energy. When the Bass jig has been mastered it will produce fish on a regular basis if you remember the most important lesson of a jig fisherman, SLOW DOWN. This will keep the jig in front of the fish longer resulting in a fish that cannot refuse an easy meal.


Yes one of the most productive fishing lures that a Walleye fisherman can use is a jig. However they are set up differently then a bass jig. Sometimes it is just a matter of a 1/16 oz. ball jig tipped with a Shiner that will deliver fish cast after cast. The next time the need for a floating jig is the trick. I have used both certain times of the year and had tons of success. A tip to remember that I learned the hard way is to make sure whatever bait that you choose to use is positioned on the hook so the bait looks natural in the water.

I the spring I have had really good catch rates with a 1/16 oz. white or chartreuse jig pulled along the bottom of a river or stream tipped with a Fathead, Shiner or white curly tailed grub. While the fish are spawning and in the rivers migrating to and from their spawning grounds, with this combination you'll have a chance to pick up some fish.

The summer time presents an opportunity that is not had in any other season. When the water warms up the fish go deeper and when they are that deep a 1 oz. jig jigged vertically off the side of the boat will produce large fish. This is a time to catch one of those once in a lifetime fish. Do not be shy to look deep for fish this time of year. I have caught a large walleye in water as deep as 90 ft when it is and has been super hot outside.

When fall is in the air and the lakes have cooled down just a little bit you'll want to try bouncing a jig off of rocky points and rises. In shallower water than before, 10 to 15 ft. When focusing on these areas it will help locate active fish.

Generaly speaking, I will approach a lake first by researching to see if there are any lake maps. These maps show invaluable information that will give you an idea where to start fishing. Is there a ridge line that you'd want to follow. Is there a sunken island that is in the middle of the lake that would hold the forage that the walleye are eating. One of my favorite spots on a lake I fish is an island that rises out of 30 feet of water up to 10 feet deep about 60 feet around. This spot is not on a map but is one of most productive spots on the lake. Most lake maps will show these kind of area and are undoubtedly a great place to start.

I always start fishing in areas that are around 15 to 20 feet deep. The walleye seem to love these area's in the lake. If you are not catching fish, move shallower just a little bit and see if the fish are in the shallows. Likewise, move out to 25 to 30 feet to see if the fish are hanging out in the deeper water.

Ice Jigs

The jigs used for ice fishing fit into a category of its own. Most are super small, I've fished jigs down to 1/100th oz. But on the other hand, I have used jigging spoons that weighed as much as 3oz. and were 3 inches long. Because the Ice Fisherman is sitting on top of a sheet of ice fishing through a hole. Because you fish in a small area and technically everything being fished could be called a "jig" and referred to as jigging, because of the way it is fished, "vertical".

When ice fishing these smaller jigs it is a good idea to use a slip bobber for a strike indicator. Some of the fish that you'll catch will bite either so lightly that it is almost impossible to feel. Others need to take the bait and "chew" on it for a while before they'll commit to eating the bait. I like using glow in the dark colors they seem to attract the fish. I used to use lots of whites and chartreuse before the glow in the dark colors were offered. Tip: carry an old flash style camera and use the flash to charge the glow in the dark colors. I'd say use your phone but when they drop down the ice hole it is a lot of money down the drain.

If you are asking yourself what is jigging for ice fishing? It is different than Bass jigging and kind of similar to jigging for Walleye. When using a jig there are times when the fisherman will pull up the pole slowly to imitate a lazy/slow moving insect/minnow. There are other times I have brought in fish with a constant jerking motion. Maybe a quick pull and then sit for thirty seconds and repeat. It is something that is often times different each day, and sometimes even changes throughout the day. If you'd like more information about ice fishing check out our Ice Fishing page here.....

As you can see jig fishing is a technique of fishing that is worth your time to consider. In the spring it is one of my go to baits for Bass fishing. A round 1/16 oz. ball jig tipped with a shiner for Walleye in the spring is at times the only way to catch them. And of course while Ice Fishing it is the one of the best ways to pick up active fish. Give it a try you will not be disappointed.


Trying to find a new fishing reel should not be to hard. There are a few things that you'll need to consider thou. What is the reel going to be used for? What are the fish that are going to be targeted? When this has been figured out it makes finding the reel that is needed so much easier. We would like to give you some advice when looking for a new reel that will help.

To start with a new reel that has non-slip grips on the hand crank and the base of the reel will help with control when reeling in fish. It really helps with larger fish so that during the fight you'll never loose control of the handle. If the reel does not have the non-slip grip it is not a deal break if you find a reel that you like. But this feature will assist the angler when battling the fish.

A must have addition to any new reel are ball bearings. Ball bearings increase smoothness and how well the reel performs. More bearings will equal better performance. The low end reels usually have 2 bearings and as the bearings increase the better the reel works. I have a couple of reels that have 10 bearings, it almost reels itself. With the increased number of bearings the reel will not go backwards, which causes tangles and slack line which could allow a fish to escape. To test the fishing reel; reel in a little bit of line and let go of the handle. Next, pull the line out of the reel if the handle turns in the opposite direction to see if it unreels if it does the angle could loose control of the battle. This issue can be resolved by finding a reel with more bearings.

Check out how much line the reel will hold. There are 2 specifications that you'll want to know. What is the maximum lb. of line weight that the reel will hold. Find out how many yards or meters of line that it can hold. If the reel is set to hold 6lb test it will not hold much 20 lb. test if that is what it is going to be used for. And likewise using 6 lb. test on a reel rated for 20 lb. test would be a potential rats nest waiting to happen.

It's time to consider the design of fishing reel that is needed. There are three main designs; closed faced, bait casting and spinning. Each design has a place where they excel. For instance a closed faced reel is an excellent starter reel when teaching children and adults alike how to fish. But they also work great in areas where the fish being chased are in a stream with thick brush that will tangle the fishing line when it is being cast. A bait casting reel is a favorite for bass and musky fishermen. This is due to the control that the angler is granted. With that said the bait cast reel has a greater learning curve. The spinning reel is one of the most common reels that the majority of anglers use. The ease of casting along with the distance and control makes these a universal go to reel. When considering the reel design think about what kind of fish and the style of fishing you'll be doing.

When of the most important things to think about is what is going to be targeted. I know I have said this it is one of the main considerations. If all the angler needs is a universal reel that would work for many different species of fish, we'd recommend a reel the holds from 8 to 12 pound test and it'll be fine. But if the fisherman wants to target panfish more having a reel set up for a 40 lb Musky would be a disappointment. So think about what is going to be needed. Something specific for a larger species of fish, a ultra-lite set up for Trout and Panfish, or a workhorse that would work for many different species. Another thing to think about is the type of cover that is being fished. If fishing in an environment with a ton of brush and potential snags a little heavier reel might be needed. In that instance using heavier line and a light leader would be the ticket.

One last consideration is how much the reel weighs, most are pretty close to each other. For example; would you rather throw around an axe all day or use a 8 lb splitting maul? Yes the mall works great but will make the person splitting the wood wear out faster. So with that in mind would you rather use a reel that fits your hand and is lighter on a full day fishing trip? Or would it be nicer to have one that is comfortable to use and is easy to control.

As you can see there are a few considerations that will help to find a good reel. It should never be intimidating but it is important to consider a few things that will make the choice a winner. 

Pole/Fishing Rod

The technology that has been implemented in the fishing poles that are used today is far beyond the poles of yesteryear. These newer poles are much different then the cane poles of the past. These new poles have added features that allow you to use reels that make fishing even better. 

Compared to the cane pole the spinning rod has led to the ability to tire a fish out before retrieving it. With this feature it has allowed for less break offs and retrieval of more fish.

Just like the original cane poles the new fishing pole like the cane pole is thick at the bottom an tapper up to a thin tip. This design allows for stability and flexible movement for the whole length of the pole. Poles range from 6 to 16 feet long and work specifically to what they are designed to do. Ultra light, medium, heavy, casting, spinning and fly. Each one excels in each one of there categories.

Cane Poles: These are the simplest in design of the poles they can be made out bamboo, flexible wood, fiberglass or graphite. They are tipped with fly line or a braided fishing line. These do not have reels and can be used to "pull" fish out of heavy cover.

Spinning Rods: this type of fishing pole is undoubtedly the most popular pole in the world. They can, depending on the weight, used in type of cover for any fish species that you want to target. They have been used successfully for trout, walleye and bass fishing. There are an abundance of lengths to choose from.

Casting poles: this pole is a favorite for bass fisherman they are easy to flip and cast once you get used to them. These hold more and heavier lines to help pull larger fish out of the structure that they hide in.

Jigging Rods: work shine when using heavy lures and baits especially when there are deep. These work good 180 to 200 feet down when fishing the ocean. These poles are made out of solid materials that improve their fishability. These work great when fishing in the alternating currents of the ocean. With these currents these heavy poles and lines will help hold the line right where the fish are at. 

Soft Plastics

It is time to choose which soft plastic design you are going to use. When doing this there are a few things that will need to be considered; like water clarity, cover, temperature, the sky and how big are the fish that are being targeted. 

Try to figure out what the fish are eating and copy it as close as you can. Don't throw a 10 inch worm at fish that are eating 3 inch shad. When the water is clear use smaller lures with less action. The fish see everything when the water is clear. If it looks like it should not be there they will not touch it, except in the spring when the bass are guarding their nest. In stained water, use those lures with floppy legs and tails because the bass are fishing by feel aka "lateral line".

When the water is cold use plastics like tubes, tailless worms and the minnow style sliders. Try to use smaller baits then you would use when in is hot out.On the other hand when it is warm out using smaller baits will catch a lot of fish, but a larger bait will catch larger fish. When in clear water use bright colors for the visual effect. In the dark or in stained water use darker colors because it casts a larger shadow.

If fishing in cover and being up close flipping and pitching a crayfish, lizard, tube or minnow is a sure way to pick up a fish or two. I have in the past flipped a frog over a log and used the log as a fulcrum to vertically jig. This has been a go to because the fish love the presentation (don't try this if using light line and pole).

As humans we tend to get one favorite lure and use it in every lake every time we fish. That's great but you know those days when the fish are not biting try mixing it up you'll find that if matching the bait to the conditions and what the fish are eating that you will have fewer days of getting skunked. 

Spinners and Spinnerbaits

Spinners have been created to represent minnows. They can imitate either a single minnow or a whole school of minnows. There are a couple of different styles to look into. When you live in an area with lots of trout the spinner that might come to mind is the classic inline. In another part of the country a safety pin spinner comes to mind; aka. spinnerbait. If you're in the Northern Midwest part of the US. a spinner harness might come to mind. 

For those fishing in streams and lakes packed full of trout the inline spinner is often times the first lure that will hit the water. These work great to find active fish that are ready to eat and some just hit the spinner out of anger. These are built on a steel shaft with a clevis/hasp to hold the spinner blade on the steel shaft. It then incorporates some kind of body to add weight and bulk. Some use a bead and attach a hook, in most cases a treble hook dressed or plain. The blades are french, Indiana, Colorado, and some blades rotate around the shaft. Each one has a different action that allows each to work best for different times of the year, conditions and fish species. There are different sizes, colors and finishes to help with different fish, water conditions, and water clarity.

The next spinner, the safety-pin/spinnerbait, is a favorite of bass fisherman in the 1/4 oz. to 1 oz. size. Musky fisherman like the 1 oz. up to 2 1/2 oz. baits. In the spring time they work great to run along deep ridges in a lake on a slow troll with a down rigger or planner board. The smaller versions work in the spring to cast and retrieve in the shallows that have warmed up. As the year progresses and summer rolls in spinners can be the only thing needed to catch a Bass. Reel the spinner in as fast as you can, real fast stop and real again, or pull the rod tip left then right, try to switch it up. When switching up; it will peak the fishes interest giving them something they have not seen, or pick up ones that will just hit it out of a instinctual jerk reaction. Late summer early fall is the one of the best times to pull these spinners for Musky, they love these large baits. Reel it in fast varying the speed and never forget to finish the retrieve with a figure 8 so that it gives the fish a chance to strike the lure.

The last popular style of spinner that we will talk about is the worm harness style spinner. These spinners are used with a blade a hasp threaded onto the fishing line and connected to a couple of hooks to hold the bait. There are many different colors that can be used and have quick change options that can be adjusted to the changing conditions that can occur while fishing. Use sinkers to change the depth that is being fished. Most anglers will use them while drift fishing or trolling. Variy the speed when it is drug across the bottom will improve the catch rate. Use a wind sock if drifting to help you slow down, increase the speed on the trolling motor to see if the fish will hit the bait out of an ingrained "easy meal" reaction.

With so many different options to be fished with spinners they are a must have lure to have in your tackle box. With these lures in anyone's arsenal it will give the fisherman the options that are need when fish get finicky. 


Spoons have been a preferred lure for many years. From fishing in a river, jigging them below the ice, or trolling behind a boat. There are so many different shapes and sizes that have been created over the years. Some like a Swedish Pimple, are made for verticle jigging. Others like the original Dare Devil that was created to cast and retrieve. There are the long longer skinny spoons that work great for trolling.

Considered the simplest of all other lures, they got their name because they look like the head of a spoon. They act for the bait fish by doing a flickering and wobbling movement or action. Spoons are excellent starters when learning how to fish; easy to use and very affordable. 

When using a jigging spoon most times they can be tipped with some sort of bait, maggots, worms, waxies or minnows. As the name applies the work by jigging the lure (pulling it up and down). As these are used more different techniques will be learned that will attract fish. Drop it to the bottom and pull on the rod,I have picked up those finicky walleye doing this. Two quick jerks up and let set has worked great with panfish. Don't be afraid to experiment these catch fish and are inexpensive.

When using the classic spoon retrieving them from the bank, boat or float tube is not a matter of cast and retrieve. Like the Jigging spoon they will catch more fish when adding action to them. Try reeling fast, stop mid retrieve to replicate an injured minnow. Reel fast and then slow down, the best teacher for learning how to use a casting spoon is to watch what the minnows are doing. Studying the minnows movements and coping that will make your spoon attractive to the fish. This will help improve the amount of fish that you catch.

Trolling spoons work great with planner boards and down riggers so they can be fished at a specific depth. Adjust the speed of the boat to add extra action to the spoon. Always remember if you do not have a down rigger or planner board that the more line that you have out will mean the deeper your lure will be.

Experiment with different spoons to see what works and if you are adventurous make your own. I have in the past made spoons our of old spoons that I picked up at garage sales. There are so many different shapes and styles all you have to do is cut of the spoon handle (save it they make good jigging spoons) and start experimenting.

Terminal Tackle

Fishing is a relaxing sport that allows you to relax. Many people want to experience fishing, but are unable to buy the appropriate supplies for their adventure. When we go to the local sporting goods store we are surrounded by so many different fishing options. If not careful, we can walk out of the store with a whole lot of pretty lures that may never catch a single fish. When it boils down to if you want to go out a put some fish in the freezer, the best thing to use is a sinker or bobber, a hook and some worms, maybe a cricket, or grass hopper.

1) Hooks – Come in many different shapes and sizes and are the very foundation for any successful fishing trip. Hooks are affordable and allow you to have a variety of sizes with out to much of an investment. Most hooks look like a letter "J".

2) Rigs – Use some kind of a rig for the each different fish or condition that is being fished. One rig uses heavy sinkers that allow you to pick up fish that are at the bottom of a lake, creek or river. The other style involves bobbers that allow the bait to be suspended at a preselected depth. The only decision that needs to be made is figuring out which option and depth the fish are at.

3) Sinkers – Just as the name implies this helps cast further sink faster and stick to the bottom. These will help glue the line to the bottom of a river in fast current. They will get the hook to stay in one area and not allow it to move until the fish grabs the bait. You'll notice when going to the store there are tons of different sizes, shapes and weights. Having a good selection allows you to have options when they present themselves.

4) Bobber – Depending on were you are from they can also be called a cork or a float. They come in handy when trying to get your bait suspended in front of fish that are also suspended in the water column. But the main purpose of a bobber is to see when the fish bites. Always make sure to size the bobber is the set to the weight of the bait being fished. Make sure that it just barly sets out to the water so the fish will not feel any resistance when it bits the hook. My favorite is a slip bobber but each bobber has it's place.

5) Swivels – These are used when fishing live bait on a lindy rig. They also get used when fishing for fish that have teeth,with spinners, spoons or an other bait that you are trying to keep the line from twisting up. These little connectors are need to make some lures have the best fish attracting movements. Swivels come in different sizes depends on the weight that is needed.

Don't forget the tackle box you'll need a place to keep all of this new gear. Keep it organized will help when trying to keep on fishing with out spending to much time looking for new gear. 


Topwater fishing is one of the funnest styles of fishing that anyone can ever experience. It does not matter if you are bass fishing, Northern Pike, Musky and even Panfishing. The action and excitement that you will generate from topwater fishing is something that the whole family will love.

Bass fishing with topwater baits is without a doubt the most fun you can have fishing for large or smallmouth bass. People watch these bass tournaments on the tube and see all these pros using plastic and spinner baits jigs and crankbaits, forget about the fun and excitement you get with topwater baits. Topwater baits create great action and stories to pass on to family and fishing friends.

The best time I find for topwater bass fishing is in summer, the colder the water the slower the response, and the more you have to work that bait. Early morning and evening are best for topwater bass fishing.

Of course weather effects your choice of lures also, on a bright sunny day it is better to have a light wind to go with it, a bit of a chop makes the bass less spooky. On a calm sunny day use a heavier lure and lighter line for longer casts. Bass tend to become real spooky in calm and clear water, so the further the cast from you the better off you'll be. Wind can also change the type of topwater bait you can use I believe that when the wind comes up you should use a smaller bait that makes a lot of noise. The larger baits just plow through the chop, while the smaller baits ride the chop and still make that enticing noise to get the strike you want. Also try to fish through the troughs created by the wind.

Bass fishing topwater baits has some of it's own quirks you want to make pinpoint casts to cover areas and make a clear retrieve. Most of your topwater bass fishing will be done in shallow water over weed beds, flats and around objects and shoreline cover. The majority of bass population remains in shallow water all summer.

To fish bass with topwater baits cast about a foot or two past your target and bring it as close to the cover as possible. If you do not get a strike after the first few feet reel in and try again and make another cast. When fishing cover like this there is no need to reel the bait all the way to the boat. Work the bait slowly to get that strike from the bass that is hiding in the shadows and under cover. Have patience when fishing topwater baits, let the ripples disappear, and let the bait sit a few seconds before you make you retrieve.

When the bass strikes a topwater bait, wait till you feel the fish before you set the hook. If you try to set that hook when you first see the strike you'll miss more than you will catch. I can't count the times that lure has been nocked back towards me by the bass striking that topwater bait. One of the most popular topwater bass fishing lures is the popper. 

Poppers-The front of the popper is dished with the eye in the center of the face. When reeling in the lure it will make a BLOOP noise when properly retrieved. The best time to use these are when the water is warmed up, clear, calm and in shallow water. The harder you pull back on the pole the more water will be moved making a loader "snap/pop" will be made.

Stickbaits- are round cigar shaped lutes that are made out of both wood and plastic. They are weighted in the rear of the lure so that the front of the lure sticks out of the water. Just by jerking the bait and reeling in the slack aka. walking the dog. This action replicates a injured swimming action that the fish love.

Propbaits- are hotdog shaped lures fitted with propellers on one end and sometimes both. Work these baits, slow, fast and even walk the dog. They grab the fish's attention. Watch what the fish are doing, they will let you know what they want. They work best around sunken logs ,lily pads, basically shallow structure. Make sure that the props are turning freely.

Wobblers and Crawlers- such as the Jitterbug or the Crazy Crawler. These will make loud plopping sound when reeled in steadily. Slower is better with this lure.

Buzzbaits- are similar to spinnerbaits and are made to be fished on the surface of the water. There are two designs of buzzbaits, in line and over the hook models. These work great in clear water and pick up less weeds then the others practice working these baits so you can create the noise and commotion that the fish will react to.

Weedless Spoons- are also in this category, designed to be fished in dense cover, either through the thickest weeds, lily pads, or grass. They go through the toughest cover you can find. Fishing with weedless spoons for bass you will want to be using heavy fishing tackle, rods and reels. I like to point my rod tip at the lure on my retrieve, and again here be patient and allow the bass to take the lure.