There is nothing more exciting to see a fish strike a surface lure. Surface lures work especially well when fish are shallow and the water temperature is 60 degrees or warmer. The water should be relatively calm otherwise the fish do not notice the action. The best hours to fish surface lures are generally early in the morning and at dusk into the evening. But there has been fish caught on surface lures in the middle of the day. For lure colors a very good universal color is black, it works well on all water types clear, stained or dark. Black provides the best silhouette against the sky as the fish looks upward towards the water surface. Other colors will work as well dependent on the forage in the water system such as Orange/Yellow for Perch, Green/White for Frogs, and White/Blue/Chrome for Shad and Shiners.
Crawlers produce a plopping/gurgling sound, used on calm water with a steady slow retrieve. (Left) This crawler, also known as a creeper, has wings mounted on the side that will swim across the water. (Right) A large face plate will make this crawler body move back and forth producing a wake on the surface.
Chuggers have an indented cup on the face of the lure, it catches water when the lure is jerked over the surface producing a popping/chugging sound. A favorite of bass anglers for many years.
Center Rotating Blade
Commonly know as a Globe, this has been a favorite surface lure for muskie anglers for many years. The center blade rotates upon the retrieve producing a bubble trail.
The tail section rotates creating a plopping noise from the blade attached. The tail rotating lures works well on calm water to slight chop. Commonly used for fishing pike and muskies.
The jointed surface wobbler creates a clicking sound as the lure rocks back and forth when retrieved, and the tail prop adds a wake. Work this lure slow on calm water in the evening.
The propeller lure has props on the nose and tail or on the tail, this topwater lure is versatile, run it slow with a straight retrieve, pop it using a stop and go method, or buzz it across the water to trigger aggressive feeding fish. Excellent lure for new anglers to experience top water fishing. Also know as Propbait or Topper Bait.
The stickbait has no lip or propellers, they also have no built in wobble. The angler must supply lure action through a series of short sharp cadence pulls upon the retrieve creating the side to side action known as “walk the dog” on the surface. Also known as torpedo lure.
The flaptail rocks back and forth while the brass blade on the tail slaps the water with a plopping sound. The retrieve is very slow allowing the bait to work. Used on calm water.