Topwater fishing is one of the most exciting tactics for engaging largemouth bass; but whether you’re throwing a Rebel Pop-R or a Heddon One Knocker Spook, missed bites is simply part of the game. Sometimes a fish’s aim is a little off; other times, we pull too soon.

In any case, a fish that makes an unsuccessful run at your bait will often bite again — if you follow the advice of legendary bass pro Jimmy Houston:

“First and most importantly, don't cuss when the fish misses your bait!” Houston jokes. “Then, I'll make a couple more casts back with the same topwater if the fish has completely missed the bait.

“I make the first follow-up cast to exactly where the strike occurred and let the lure set until all the ripples die down and then a few seconds longer. If the bass doesn't strike on that throw, I’ll work the bait out fast and make the second throw well past the strike zone (where the first strike happened).”

Houston said he’ll work his topwater through the hot zone as fast as he can effectively work it in an effort to entice the fish into a second shot. If these two throws don't work, he’ll follow up with a Texas-rigged soft plastic (example: YUM Dinger, with or without a weight).