When To Use Topwater Lures In Winter Weather Conditions

Are topwater lures as effective in the wintertime than in the warmer months?

When are the best times to use topwater lures in winter weather conditions?

Topwater lure action is not the best in colder weather, however, you can still catch fish on the surface in winter!

Check out more here!

When To Use Topwater Lures In Winter Weather Conditions

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There are certain conditions during the colder months where topwater lures still excel.

However, these conditions need to align just right to provide the best scenarios for a topwater bite.

Top 3 Things To Look For

1. Warming Trends

A warming trend is typically 3-4 days after a cold front comes through where outside temperatures have crept up a bit and are more stable.

Also, if there is a long period of time between one cold front and the next in the region of 2-3 weeks, the middle of those weeks may provide the warmest and best time to get out and fish.

2. Fish Activity

You need to observe fish behavior and ask yourself, “Do you see fish actively chasing down bait in the water?”.

If fish are chasing down bait and coming up to the surface for a meal, this is a sign they are willing to strike topwater lures.

Moreover, if you see fish up shallow they are more comfortable and warmer which can indicate a good time to use topwater lures.

3. Low Light + Warmth

If you are fishing in an overcast sky combined with slightly warmer temperatures than previous days, these conditions provide topwater opportunities.

You can even throw topwater in the middle of the day if you have enough cloud cover above you.

Also, foggy conditions are a great time to try some topwater lures.

Ultimately, using topwater during late fall and winter when temperatures cool comes down to a combination of all three indicators.

Ask yourself if you see these categories present and if so, you could have some topwater lure success.

Types Of Topwater Lures

As far as topwater lure choices, a walk-the-dog style lure that mimics a back and forth presentation on the surface will work best.

A Heddon Super Spook Jr. excels at the walk-the-dog presentation and induces plenty of strikes.

The color choice comes down to preference, however, bone color or white will always perform well.

Baitfish have natural light, white color on their belly that the bone or white color lures will imitate.

The Salt Strong Moonwalker is a similar plug that is just as effective as a Super Spook Jr.

When To Use Topwater Lures In Winter Weather Conditions [VIDEO]

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Equipment Used:


summer lures

Topwater action can be hard to find in the colder months because lethargic fish are not willing to expend calories by chasing bait down and striking the surface.

However, if you follow the warming trends and find the best times to work a surface lure, you can find yourself enjoying a steady topwater bite!

Be sure to look out for a combination of the three main indicators mentioned above when using topwater lures this winter!

Do you have any questions or suggestions when it comes to using topwater lures during late fall and winter?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about topwater lures in winter, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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John Peitsmeyer
4 months ago

I really appreciate you sharing this video. Last year was a first for me as I really got into top waters for fresh water land locked stripers! I purchased several moon walkers recently as I really dig the adrenaline rush of top water blow ups. I am wanting to head back to the Texas coast for some cool weather fishing soon and was wondering about the top water possibilities this time of the year. You have answered my questions. Beautiful red by the way! 🎣🎣🎣

Buddy Harrison
4 months ago

Nice work Tony! thanks for sharing this info.

Great looking Gheenoe!

Steven Free
4 months ago

I remember in the early 2000s reading an article in my Florida sportsman mag about when to use topwaters and the article said that any temp under 70 degrees a topwater wasn’t very effective so I always stuck to that idea until I ran into a young guy that had 3 nice reds 1 his girlfriend caught the other 2 he caught all on topwater plugs in 60 degree water?!! And he told me he had found that until the water gets below 55 degrees topwaters are still effective and since then I have caught on occasions trout and reds on topwaters in the dead of winter but you are correct for them to be effective certain conditions have to be met thanks for the tip and all you do😉👍

Lyle Crafton
4 months ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

It’s like hunting in the winter and waiting for that first little ray of sunrise to filter through the trees to warm up your freezing *ss. Boy does it feel good.

David Stone
4 months ago

Two weeks ago, out on Mosquito Lagoon, it was overcast all morning. I was able to throw a Moonwalker and a Zara Spook until about noon. I was working spoil islands in about two-three feet of water and caught several nice size trout and one over the slot red. Even though the water temp was cooler, the fish were in the shallower calm water sunning and ready to eat.

Ray Markham
4 months ago

“Cold weather” is relative. Can you please be more specific in stating what temperatures you refer to as cold water or cold weather?

Randy Pruden
4 months ago

I was thinking about winter and top water bait’s this week end, and how to approach. Thanks, Tony for answering my questions.

Ronald H Mattson
4 months ago

Thanks for the video. If you can watch John Skinner fishing the Rebel ‘Jumpin Minnow’ starting always with chrome color.

Joshua Simonson
4 months ago

great timing, I just bought a Heddon Super Spook Jr 

Jonathan Fortune
4 months ago

Good lesson Tony. I will dust off the Topwater plugs as I had retired them for winter


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