As we move into the latter days of September and with both dove and teal seasons going full swing, it is also time for some great fishing. Both freshwater and saltwater action will begin an upward trend only to peak in late October or early November. Those anglers that do their thing in late September get in on the fall action before those who wait. With the water becoming a few degrees cooler, there will be some of the best topwater action since the early springtime. This is the case on both the freshwater and saltwater scenes.
On the inland and jetty saltwater scene, the ever-popular topwater action has begun. That doesn’t in any way mean that you couldn’t score on topwaters before now. It just means that the speckled trout are now much more consistent in striking the lures.
Deciding which type of topwater lure to go with many be a brain twister for newcomers to the topwater lure action. There are a number of companies that are now producing them. There are those that remain on the surface when they are retrieved and those that may dive a foot or so and then resurface. Some of the topwaters will have rattlers inside them and others will not. There are also those that are in two sections that have long been called “broken back” varieties. So which style lure that you choose to go with will be a trial and error situation for anglers just beginning to use the lures. For the more experienced, most have already chosen their favorite style. This is usually because they have used them for longer periods of time and scored well.
Colors are, in my opinion, mostly the angler’s choice. For some reason unknown to this writer, there are some folks that will only use any certain colors for their topwater lures. My experience after having used many colors over many years is that the lure’s action is more important than the color. Yes, my experience, in fact, is that it is prudent to choose darker colors in clear water and on sunny days. In off-color water, the brighter colors seem to attract more strikes. Keep in mind that I am referring to the use of topwater lures. Subsurface or bottom bumping offerings are a completely different situation.
On the inland lakes and bays, it seems that shorelines with grassy banks are good places. The shallow reefs that are present in most waters are also good places to give a try even if they are out in the open water. The action and sound coming from the lure will draw strikes.
Another really good aspect for using the topwater lures is that folks that are fishing from the bank or in the surf are as likely to score well as those folks that are afloat. By being in your selected fishing area at first light and finding the schools of nervous baitfish, you could be on to some super action. Most of the time the lures produce larger speckled trout than other offerings. Besides specks and the redfish at the jetty as well as in the surf, Spanish mackerel will take them. I use a short covered steel leader whenever I go where there could be Spanish mackerel. I enjoy them striking the lure, but without a steel leader they will literally take it home.