Wake Up and Smell the Bass - A Tutorial on Fishing Topwater Wake Baits

Fishing topwater wake baits is the perfect way to get your “bass-fix”. This technique is especially effective when largemouth bass are feeding on topwater bugs. To maximize your success, the best times to take out your wake bait are early in the day or late in the afternoon before sunset.

Let’s break down how you can pull off this effective technique to bring in huge strikes from hungry bass.

How To Fish A Top Water Wake Bait
Begin by selecting a medium-sized wake bait such as the Bio-Shad Wake Bait in the 4" size and attach it to an appropriate rod and reel combo. Take care that the line you use isn't too thin, as the bass will be able to break you off on a big bite, and you don't want to snap your line on an accidental backlash. We usually fish 18-20lb monofilament minimum. You also want to make sure that your reel has maximum drag for when those big bass come knocking. Now it's time to hit the water!

FishLab Bio-Shad Wake Bait

First, cast your line out over a body of water where you have seen evidence of active fish feeding patterns, such as jumping or splashing around on top of the water surface. Give your bait about five seconds before beginning your retrieve pattern. The loud splash can sometimes spook fish that are close by. This gives them a few seconds to settle in. Use quick jerks of the rod tip followed by small pauses; this will create a "walking" action on top of the water surface that mimics real aquatic life and entices those hungry fish into striking at your bait!  You can also fish these wake baits on a steady retrieve. Wake baits are designed to create a huge wake behind the bait drawing in big strikes from great distances.

Here is a video by FishLab product designer, Mike Bennet on fishing the Bio-Shad Wake Baits.

Keep an eye out because when a bass does strike, they will do so with powerful force! Be sure to set the hook quickly but firmly into their mouths, otherwise they might escape with only minor damage to your pride! Keep working until you get a good bite and then start reeling in that prize catch. As soon as you have successfully landed one, reset and cast again for another round of fun fishing action! 

Here is a video of the Bio-Shad wake bait in action and landing some nice smallmouth bass.

One tip is to not continue to cast into the same spot.  You should continuously fan cast and work different areas of water.  A fan cast means you can stand in the same spot but cast to a slightly different spot working an entire area.  Imagine the image of a handheld fan. 


Fishing a top water wake bait can provide some great entertainment for any fisherman looking for a challenge–and rewards! It takes skill, patience, and practice to master this technique but once you do, you are sure to enjoy some exciting moments on (and off) the water. So, grab your gear and head out there – happy fishing!

You can check out the full lineup of FishLab baits HERE.


See you on the water!