The 3 Easiest Topwater Lures For Beginners To Use


I wanted to take the time to address some of the easiest topwater lures for beginners to use.

Topwater fishing is one of my favorites because it is so exciting but also super effective.

For new anglers and beginners, topwater fishing can be slightly intimidating.

Find out which topwater lures are easiest for beginners in the video below!!

Easiest Topwater Lures For Beginners [VIDEO]

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Equipment Mentioned:

Rattlin’ Chug Bug

The Chug Bug is a 3.5-inch topwater lure with a concave head design and internal rattles.

The concave face of the plug creates a “popping” noise as you work this lure along the surface.

This in tandem with the internal rattles is designed to call those fish in to strike.

Moreover, what makes this so easy for beginner anglers is you work it very similarly to a popping cork.

I first like to cast this lure out and give it a quick pop or two and let the ripples dissipate.

Then repeat this motion periodically throughout the retrieve.

This will vary depending on how the fish are reacting to the action of the plug.

The Rattlin’ Chug Bug is a lure that you can constantly change your retrieve with to fine tune what will get the most strikes on that given day.

Strike King KVD Wake Bait

I like to refer to this lure as the paddletail of topwater lures.

You basically work the Wake Bait the same as you would a paddletail lure.

All you need to do is cast it out there and straight retrieve.

This lure is so easy to use and its super effective.

I’ve also noticed this lure tends to catch the bigger fish in the area and is my go-to lure when the fish are actively feeding in front of me.

I recommend using these lures when the wind is up and there is a slight chop in the water.

The Wake Bait is designed to put off massive vibrations and additional noise from its internal rattle calls fish in from a long ways out.

In the middle of the waves, wind, and choppy weather, you need a lure the fish can pick up on and locate.

Another situation that is ideal for using the Wake Bait is when targeting schooling fish.

Lately, I have been coming across more and more redfish schools and I have luck plucking one from the cluster but then end up losing where the school is during the fight.

The Strike King KVD Wake Bait allowed me to continue casting and I was able to find where the schools of fish went not too long after reeling in a fish from that same school.


Although a Moonwalker can be seen as slightly more advanced, the walk-the-dog technique is worth learning.

Some topwater lures are easier to walk-the-dog with than others are.

For example, you could walk-the-dog with the Chug Bug lure, but because of its design it would be much more difficult.

The Moonwalker actually sits lower in the water towards the back of the lure.

That means that with each twitch of the rod during your retrieve, the lure will zig-zag back and forth in the water.

It is much easier to learn the cadence of the walk-the-dog retrieve using the Salt Strong Moonwalker.

Rod & Reel Setup

It does NOT take any specialty equipment or outfits to use any of these lures mentioned.

I personally like using a 7’6 Medium power rod with 10lb braided line and a 30lb monofilament leader on the end.

Also, I connect the line to my topwater lure using a loop knot.

If a lure comes with an additional split ring on the nose of it, I’ll remove that and use the loop knot instead.

I believe this lessens the points of weakness on the entire system and the loop knot provides the intended action.

Snug knots do impair the action slightly by restricting how far the topwater lure can swing side-to-side.


i fished with topwater lures for a year and this is what I learned

If I was a topwater beginner right now, I would start out with the Rattlin’ Chug Bug first.

If the wind is up or decides to pick up when you’re out on the water, that is when you should reach for the Strike King KVD Wake Bait.

And finally, to learn the walk-the-dog action, you should rely on the Salt Strong Moonwalker.

Keep things simple, work on your techniques, and the results will follow!!

Have any more questions about the easiest topwater lures for beginners?

Do you know of any other topwater lures that are easy for beginners to use?

Let us know down below!!

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Terry Schwarz
7 months ago

Looking for the link to the video that teaches the walk the dog cadence.

Joseph Carney
9 months ago

Chug Bug’s even catch Osprey. I caught one while fishing in my back yard pond. The osprey took a few good runs before I got it knocked down and put a towel over its head to get the hooks out of its talons. I sure would not want those talons or beak to get ahold of me.

Ron Whetstone
9 months ago

Pat great video to help get someone started on topwater fishing. The Chug Bug has been in my box for years. It was the topwater lure my wife likes because she didn’t get as tired as she did with walk the dog style lures. It is the lure I caught my largest topwater trout on a 30+ inch gator. It’s also the one I tied on when I had a beginner on the boat. My favorite walk the dog baits are the Moonwalker and TopDog Jr hands down. I have never tried a wake bait. That snook looks familiar! LOL. Tight lines bud.

Omer Dumais
9 months ago

Why 30 lb leader? I use 20 lb leader and prefer to not have too many rods on my yak just to change leader line size for a topwater vs a soft plastic. Hard to believe one vs the other could make much difference. Would be nice if SS coaches would help us newbies keep it simple, reduce variables and what if scenarios. Kind of getting like YouTube, another new option and tactic every video, gets confusing. Almost 1 year into my SS membership and still confused after watching several videos by different coaches and founders.

Ron Whetstone
9 months ago
Reply to  Omer Dumais

Omer you for sure can use 20 lb leader with your topwater if your fishing in an area were your targeting just redfish or trout on the flats or have no structure nearby. Thats all I use in the winter and spring in my area no matter what lure I’m using. During the summer and fall though I use nothing less than 30 lb with my topwater lures because we get snook and tarpon in our area during that time. If you are in an area that has snook and tarpon year around then I would use 30 lb at a minimum year around. Also fish are less leader shy with a topwater so you can get away with a heavier leader. Because of that people will use a heavier leader so there is less chance of getting broke off especially considering how expensive topwater lures are compared to a soft plastic.

Omer Dumais
9 months ago
Reply to  Ron Whetstone

Makes sense, thanks

Rick Daniel
9 months ago

Hi Pat,
Great timing on this video. Maybe I need to give those first two lures a try depending on the conditions. I have been trying to Moonwalker but failing miserably . When attempting the walk the dog style retrieval, the lure wants to dip under the surface. When I do get it to stay on the surface I struggle with the full walk the dog motion, the lure flops from straight ahead to the left and back to straight ahead in the cadence. Performance seems to be further impacted by wind and current. Oddly enough, I seem to do better with the skitter walk.

Mark Johnson
9 months ago

New to Salt Strong artificials the last 3 months… far no luck with the chug bug or the wake baits in limited usage, however the Moonwalker is money with feeding lady fish and hungry jacks and snook hiding under the mangrove shade here in SW FL.

Steven Free
9 months ago

Never tried a wake bait even when I used to only bass fish long before I started fishing the saltwater but I would also imagine if one retrieved a Rapala or other similar plug very slowly so as not to make it dive it would work just as well but I might still try the wake bait just to see thanks for the tip and all you do😉

Thomas Marks
9 months ago

All great lures. The strike is awesome with the fish “busting” on the lure. Often you see them coming up miss the try again and again. It’s exciting! But let me offer a tip, as exciting as it is don’t look at the lure, at least until you get the fell of the bite. Too often beginners try to set the hook before the fish had the lure in its mouth. They try to set the hook on a fish attack and miss or when the fish is on the surface about to bite. . You have to wait until you fill the bite not seeing the just seeing it coming up behind the lure, Looking away fewer actual bites are missed. Once the timing for setting the hook is learned up the excitement and watch the lure.

Neal Hagood
9 months ago

Thanks for the great run down on the 3 (and MY) favorite top water baits.

Terry McLaughlin
9 months ago

Great info Pat. Thanks for the explanations of uses. I noticed on the KVD the rear hook is pointing forward? Is that by design? Thanks again for sharing your expertise , it’s really appreciated


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