Can’t top fishing topwaters or a morning on Geneva Lake

A morning fishing topwaters on Geneva Lake in Wisconsin with Dave Kranz reinforced the old thrill.

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Dave Kranz lands a largemouth bass, the first and biggest fish caught fishing topwaters Tuesday morning on Geneva Lake in Wisconsin.

Dave Kranz lands a largemouth bass, the first and biggest fish caught fishing topwaters Tuesday morning on Geneva Lake in Wisconsin.

Dale Bowman

WILLIAMS BAY, Wis.The bald eagle floating the shoreline seemed to be a sign when Dave Kranz and I started topwater fishing on Geneva Lake.

Northern pike and muskie surfaced sporadically, but bass were slow to start. I missed one, then Kranz had a dink jump over his lure.

We fished Pop-R Blue Darters on braided line with spinning gear. With his clients, Kranz found that to be the most effective topwater.

At 7 a.m., Kranz boated the first bass, a 3-pound largemouth that ended up being our biggest. It missed the Pop-R at first, which allowed me to turn and see it slam the bait the second time.

I live for such action.

Kranz, who owns Dave’s Bait, Tackle and Taxidermy in Crystal Lake and guides on the side, knows. That’s why, when a client canceled, he called me to topwater-fish for a few hours Tuesday.

I’ll make that drive for topwater fishing.

After we moved to a weedy flat in 9 to 11 feet of water, action dramatically improved.

I landed my first fish, a 2-pound smallmouth that was my best and our only smallmouth, just after I missed a small largemouth.

Topwater fishing is considered best in low light, but our best fishing came when the sun had cleared the treeline.

Kranz had a theory: ‘‘Cast into the sun. That way, the fish aren’t looking into the sun and you can fish topwater a lot longer.’’

I pondered that, then decided it made sense.

There was another advantage. Even though the lake was busy with other anglers, we fished virtually alone. No one else was topwater fishing then.

Since I last fished with Kranz, he started an eclectic YouTube channel called ‘‘Dave Kranz Living the wild outdoors.’’ He continues writing for Fishing Tackle Retailer magazine, too.

Kranz is on his 369th episode of the podcast WeFishASA for the American Sportfishing Association. He will be soloing after this month when longtime partner Steve Sarley leaves.

It was the kind of morning where we covered the outdoors industry, then Kranz opined: ‘‘Side-job money is the best thing that ever happened to every tackle dealer and tavern in the world.’’

That’s the truth.

Dave Kranz holds a pumpkinseed thatt hit a topwater, a Pop-R Blue Darter.

Dave Kranz holds a pumpkinseed thatt hit a topwater, a Pop-R Blue Darter.

Dale Bowman

Kranz caught a pumpkinseed, which made my morning. Then a 5-pound largemouth swam past, just above the weeds. On my next-to-last cast, a big fish boiled but did not finish.

It was time.

‘‘Beautiful lake,’’ Kranz said. ‘‘Even a few hours make sure the day is better.’’

For the shop or guiding, call (815) 455-2040 or go to Facebook.

Wild things

The whining of dog-day cicadas pierces evenings. . . . The screeching of fledgling Cooper’s hawks rakes the air. Coopershawks.com describes it as ‘‘a whistling ‘eee-eew, eee-eew’ sound.’’ I’ll stick with screeching.

Stray cast

Backing Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is mistaking a snakehead for a bowfin.

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