Do Topwater Lures Work at Night?

Fishermen on a boat night fishing with topwater lures

Many anglers lure of choice at night is a topwater style lure. Topwater lures are great way to catch bass at night and are well known for catching big bass.

There is no thrill in bass fishing quite like a topwater hit. Whether it’s a violent strike or a subtle gulp, fishing with top water lures is a fun way to fish. But do top water lures work at night? In this article we go over this question, as well as the best lures and colors for night fishing for bass using topwater lures.                      

What are topwater lures?

Let’s start off with some of the basics. Topwater lures are a type of fishing lure that is designed to be fished at the top or surface of the water column. The action of topwater lures is key in attracting fish as it imitates living creatures. These surface lures resemble smaller creatures that would normally be considered food for bass. Topwater lures are a killer night time lure that flat out catch bass. There are many variations and styles of topwater lures, which we will go over later.  

Do topwater lures work at night?

Night fishing can be a great time to catch big bass on topwater lures, especially in the summer. But many anglers either miss out on this great opportunity or don’t realize the favorable conditions that night fishing can present. Night time is the right time. Night fishing can open an entire class of bass that don’t normally feed in the daytime. Think about that one for a second. Big bass will can often be found cruising around in the shallows actively feeding and can and will absolutely destroy your topwater lures if you fish them right. 

Advantages of fishing at night

  • More active fish
  • Less competition
  • Bigger fish
  • Calmer waters
  • Better shot at catching a trophy bass
  • Beat the heat

Best topwater colors for night fishing

Before we go into specific lures, let’s take a moment and discuss the colors to use while topwater fishing at night. Every angler has a different preference when it comes to selecting certain color schemes for top water lures. In my opinion, its best to keep things simple. In most cases the only colors you will ever need fishing at night is black and white. It’s easy to get distracted by the vast color options each lure manufacture makes but keep it simple and save some money by sticking with black and white.Chartreuse can also be great option if you aren’t having any luck with black and white.

Topwater Colors:

Black Lures – Black topwater lures contrast well against the lighter sky and can be deadly. Silhouettes are key at night and important for when fish are looking up. Black lures provide bass with a silhouette figure that gives them a clear target to track down. Having a clear target will call big bass out from heavey cover and shallow water.

White Lures – When the conditions are right, a white colored topwater lure can be the ticket. If you think about it, most of the bait fish that you are trying to imitate have a white belly. A white colored lure is great at mimicking this and it’s what a bass will key on as they cruise the shallows looking to feed. A great time to throw a white topwater bait is on a calm night in clear water or on a full moon.

Other Colors – If you are looking to branch out and go against the norm. Try using bold colors. Many anglers have a lot of success using flashy colors such as chartreuse or June-bug.

Best topwater lures for night fishing

There’s simply not a more thrilling way to catch bass than on a top water lure, especially at night. Besides the fact that topwater lures are just fun to fish, they are also known for catching big bass. They are a great lure for calling up bass out of cover or for fishing in the shallows. Whatever the reason for throwing a topwater, anglers have thousands to choose from. So we put together a list of the most effective and popular topwater lures for fishing for bass fishing at night.

  • Rebel Pop-R
  • Snag Proof Bobby’s Perfect Frog (Calm bait, subtle)
  • Lunker Punker
  • Heddon Zara spook
  • Heddon Super spook (Color: Bone White) murky water super loud bait.
  • Lunker Punker (chartruse, or bone white)
  • Buzz Bait (black or white) half ounce
  • River2Sea Whopper Plopper
  • Poppers
  • Strike King’s KVD Sexy Dawg
  • Jitterbug

Other bass fishing baits that work at night

  • Spinnerbaits with Colorado Blades
  • Bladded Swim Jigs
  • Big Worms (10 inch power worm fished on texas rig, 3/8 oz weight)
  • Jigs (with or without a rattle)
  • Crankbaits (10xd)
  • Lipless Crankbaits
  • Creature baits
  • Storm wiggle wart (Black)

How to fish topwater lures at night

There are several different approaches anglers can take while fishing with topwater lures at night. The best approach will be dependent on the conditions and the bass behavior. Adapting to ever changing conditions is an important skill for every angler. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind that will help you to adapt while out night fishing.

In my opinion, big movement and slow movement are the key to landing more fish at night (at least in most cases). But your strategy might change depending on the weather conditions, moon phases and the water clarity.

Murky Water and Low Light Conditions

In darker water and especially at night, bass have a tougher time tracking down their pray. Use noisy and loud lures to grab their attention. Bigger lures fished with a slow retrieve, make it easier for the bass to pick up your bait which will get you more strikes. Big profile and big thumps, catch big bass at night especially when fished slow.

Full Moon and Clear Water Conditions

When there is a full moon or on nights that are brighter, it may be best to stick with natural colored lures like whites and browns and go with a subtler approach. A full moon can be one of the best times to go fishing. With more visibility you have more flexibility in how you can work your baits. With the added light, a faster lure retrieval might be more effective tactic. It’s always a good idea to down size your baits profile, just like you would during the day in clear water conditions. 

Target areas for bass fishing at night

During the night, bass can found in the same high percentage areas as they would be found during the day. However, they take advantage of the low light conditions and can often be found cruising in shallow water chasing after their forage. The following areas are some great spots to target while night fishing for bass:

  • Shallow water
  • Boat docks
  • Main lake points
  • Bluffs
  • All types of structure

Always remember it’s important to be constantly experimenting and trying new things. If something isn’t working, try and mix things up until you can figure out what the bass are keying on.

Final Thoughts

Although there are many ways to catch bass night fishing, nothing can more exciting than catching them on topwater lures. Topwater lures are a proven nighttime technique that can catch some absolute monsters. Night time bass fishing is an amazing opportunity to catch a giant. Get out there and go fishing!

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

Recent Posts