Topwaters are great search baits, perfect for anglers who want to strategically cover water and look for active bass. Booyah brand ambassador Scott Larsen of New Port Richey, Fla., however, urges fishermen to remember how some surface lures can have tactical applications, too. 

Booyah’s Pad Crasher and Pad Crasher Jr. are among them. “The temptation with a surface lure is to keep moving and cover water,” he said. “There’s a time for that, but you often hurt your chances of catching a bigger fish.”

Instead, Larsen, seeks out spots - an isolated tree or clump of vegetation - where he thinks an oversize bass lives and makes repeated casts beyond the target, stopping-and-hopping the lure when it enters the strike zone. Hopping, he explained, is nothing more than a twitch of the rodtip (an inch or less) that lifts the lure’s nose slightly and causes the rubber legs to flair, without moving the lure across the surface.

“Give it one-, two-, three-, four-, five- quick hops, then let it set,” he said. “Sometimes you have to cast many times past the same target from different angles, but eventually the stop-and-hop will agitate the fish enough to trigger a strike.”

Another situation that calls for a tactical approach is when Larsen sees a fish, flashing on his lure or a live baitfish, or simply moving a stem of grass. “Again, it may take several casts, but the bass won’t have moved far from where you saw her, so keep at it.”

The Pad Crasher Jr. is Larsen’s first choice around lily pads and sparse cover; he reserves the full-size version for spots where matted vegetation or an algae bloom is thick. The lure’s extra bulk moves more water and gets noticed easier, he says.