I really like throwing a topwater in late summer and early fall because a lot of fish are returning to the shallows and roaming the banks in small schools looking for shad. Because you tend to cover a lot of water to find these wolfpack bass, use a surface lure that you can get some distance with on the cast.
My favorite is a Lucky Craft Gunfish 115. It’s a walking bait that makes a good commotion on the surface, with bubble trails and rattles. I use 30-pound-test Sunline SX1 braided line with it for extra distance. Another advantage is that because SX1 is a really soft line, the flexibility allows the lure to walk better. One thing I’ve found is that it’s also a good idea to use a foot or two of Sunline Super Natural 20-pound-test monofilament leader between the braid and the Gunfish because otherwise it can turn so hard to the side that the front trebles will actually catch on the braid. The monofilament leader gives it enough stiffness to keep that from happening. Also, the mono leader acts as sort of a shock absorber when a bass short-strikes you. It’s got enough give so that the fish will be less likely to tear out the hooks.
---- Keystone Light pro Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif.