As water levels fall in reservoirs nationwide, bass will be chasing shad more in open water. Drawdowns, as they’re known, drop lakes to winter pool in preparation for the upcoming spring influx, while allowing for various shoreline maintenance.

Because the lower water leaves much of the shallow cover high and dry, laydowns and docks in deeper areas typically attract big numbers of fish; but these hotspots are few and far between. Covering water to locate active fish is the name of the game and topwater baits offer a convincing impersonation of the shad these fall bass are chasing.

Finding shad schools, either visually or with electronics is step one, as the bass won’t be far from the food. Once you locate a promising area, walk a Heddon Super Spook Jr. or a One Knocker Spook through the active zone. If you need to switch it up, try the Booyah Boss Pop for more erratic splash appeal.

Expect violent strikes, but be ready to follow up any misses with a subsurface bait. One of the best – a weightless Texas-rigged YUM Dinger. Toss this enticing stickbait at the point of attack and let it shimmy down like a wounded baitfish. Another option: Cast the Dinger just past the hot zone and twitch it through the water column.