How To Catch Big Redfish, Trout, & Snook On Topwater In The Summer
Summertime is one of my favorite times to catch fish on topwater lures.
The fish are active and hungry and can’t turn down an erratic topwater lure darting along the surface.
Redfish, trout, and snook all love these lures, but if you want to catch them you need to know:
- Where to throw topwater lures in the summer (this will depend on if you’re targeting redfish or trout)
- How to retrieve your topwater lures for more strikes
- Which lures (and lure colors) to use
Check out the video below to learn these tips and more!
Summertime Topwater Tips [VIDEO]
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Where To Use Topwater Lures In Summer
There are two main spots to throw topwater lures in the summer:
- Grass flats
- Coastal marshes
Here’s a breakdown of each of these two spots:
If you’re fishing grass flats in the summer, you can find redfish and snook close to the mangroves in 1-3 feet of water.
And if you want to increase your chances of finding these fish, fish around mangrove shorelines with points and oyster bars.
If trout is what you’re after, you’ll want to fish a little deeper in the 3-5 foot range.
The edges of flats and potholes are great spots to find trout.
If you’re fishing in coastal marshes for redfish, you’ll want to fish in water about 1-3 feet.
Points (especially oyster bar points), muddy banks, and entrances to marsh mazes will all hold redfish in the summer.
You can find trout in similar spots, except usually in water a little deeper — about 4-5 feet.
They’ll often be outside of the marsh mazes near points closer to deeper channels or creeks.
How To Retrieve Topwater Lures In The Summer
Topwater lures are no good if you don’t have the proper retrieve.
You want your lure to erratically dart around the surface, and you do that by doing a walk-the-dog retrieve (see how to walk the dog in this video).
If you’re not getting bites, speed up or slow down your retrieve to see what the fish are dialed in on.
Best Summer Topwater Lures
One of the big mistakes people make is going out and buying a lot of different topwater lures with crazy patterns.
The thing is, the fish are really only going to see the belly of the lure and see it from behind, so color doesn’t matter too much.
I like to go with a bone color and, sometimes, a dark color like black or purple.
I really only use the darker color topwaters if I’m fishing before sunrise or the water is really dark.
Here are my three favorite topwaters:
This fat-bodied lure has a low-frequency rattle and is great for when fish are hunting by hearing or feeling, such as before sunrise.
It doesn’t have the best action, so when the sun is up, I like these next two lures…
This is a classic topwater lure and has great action to get fish to strike.
This is Salt Strong’s new topwater lure and has the best qualities of the two lures above.
It’s got a topedo-style body for great action, a tapered nose for casting distance, and a low-frequency rattle to attract loads of fish to it.
Plus, it comes with single inline hooks which are better for the fish, can help you catch bigger fish, and are less likely to snag you.
Summertime is an excellent time to catch fish on topwater.
If you’re fishing coastal marshes, fish shallow points for redfish and deeper points near channels for trout.
If you’re fishing grass flats, fish shallow shorelines tight to the mangroves for snook and redfish, and deeper edges of flats for trout.
And for both types of spots, areas near oyster bars are more likely to hold fish.
Have any questions about fishing with topwaters in the summer?
Let me know down in the comments.
And if you know someone who loves to catch fish with topwater lures, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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Good morning Salt Strong! Folks, I wanted to throw my two cents in on the new Moonwalker lure. I finally had a chance to get it on the water and here is what I saw (Sunrise, grass flat, incoming tide, SSE 9mph, 7′ M/F, baitcaster, 12lb braid, FG Knot, 20lb mono leader, Nonslip Loop Knot). Only had Trout strikes, no Reds.
– WtD action was good, I didn’t have any issues with the front hook catching up it my line.
– Casts we’re on par with the Super Spook JR.
– There was slight chop. The lure did well with and against the current I was in. I didn’t notice any nose dives due to chop.
– Very noticable when grass got on the hooks (good thing).
– I was getting a small “Pop” and slight “Spit”, on each good turn, from the nose (very cool).
– Just to change it up from the SS JR, I dipped the top of the lure in “Spike-It” Garlic chartreuse dip.
I like this lure and I’ll be making it my Go To for the next few trips to get some more miles on it. My only suggestion would be to change the color from the current Bone color to your Slam Shady, that would really be awesome!
Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Moonwalker, Rick!! I have no doubt you’ll be on those reds soon!
I tested the new moon walker Top water bait this week end down in the ten Thousand Islands ,Had good action but seemed The line hooked the front hook a lot on the retrieve, walking the dog and had to stop and clear, Had a couple of blow ups but missed opportunities,thinking the smaller hooks ? may be the angler ? went back to the favorite skitter walk and had a great morning. Will try again
Here are two key things that cause the line to get caught on the front hook most often:
1) Do not use any hardware when tying to the lure (no split rings or snap swivels) because the weight of them will pull the line down towards the hook
2) Use a mono leader instead of fluoro… mono has a much slower sink rate compared to fluoro, so using a mono leader will help keep the leader line away from the hook
Thank you Mel!! Glad you found this tip helpful sir!
Just got the Moonwalker. Took it out a couple mornings ago to give it a try. Got several snook hits, then started catching after a walk and a pause, then a walk and a pause. I also picked up a keeper mangrove snapper…a nice surprise. The Moonwalker has great action. This will be my new go-to topwater.
That is awesome! That moonwalker is the “reel” deal!! Thanks Jim!
What size inline hooks do u use for super spooks and the jr’s?
I prefer the 2/0 personally!
Absolutely correct been fishing topwater plugs for about 18 going on 19 years now started fishing the salt in 03 of March after catching my first 2 reds and 2 largemouth all under a dock located on a creek bend in a brackish water creek and all these fish were caught on a culprit red shad colored 6 inch plastic worm flipping a dock but after that excursion I decided on trying to fish more of the salt then before and in about an hour after hearing how effective it can be taught myself how to walk the dog so to speak with my still favorite plug the ole bone and silver spook Jr once I learned that retrieve I never looked back on fishing freshwater bass again plus I love to eat fish and to me there is no comparison in taste saltwater fish outweigh in taste by to me 10 to 1 in comparison thanks for the info and all you do😁
Absolutely Steven! Topwaters are a tough lure to beat, in fresh or salt! Thanks for watching sir!
Is it worth painting a Moonwalker dark gray for use before dawn, or will you make one like that?
I’ve not thought about altering the color scheme, but if you wanted to spray paint one black or dark grey, it wouldn’t be a bad scheme to have! I do recommend putting the chartreuse head on your “dark” scheme to assist with you being able to visually see where the lure is as you work it… without it, the dark grey or black blends in too well!
Love the use of graphics, on water video, and lure difference. Great instructional video. Buzz
Absolutely Buzz!! Thanks so much for watching sir!
At about the 3:30 minute mark on Wyatt’s video, there is a trout that looks like the front hook is much larger than normal. Is that true, or was it just the angle of the camera?
It must just be the angle, because I always use the same size replacement hooks.
The moonwalker came with an extra set of hooks. Is there a recommendation regarding leaving the “stock” hooks on vs switching them out for the larger hooks that are shipped with it?
They said in an earlier post that the manufacturer sent this first shipment of lures without the upgraded hooks attached. They are providing the better hooks for you to change out. Future shipments of lures will have the upgraded hooks already installed.
Teri nailed it. We recommend switching to the larger single inlines that were included, as the stock hooks are not the correct size.