Well some might have heard me mention topwater flathead action before. I fiqured it was time to lay it out for anyone interested,this is still an ongoing trial by fire method for me and I'm still learning myself. Anyway here goes. A few years ago I was casting early morning topwater and caught a nice flathead,then two casts later another,then about 15 minutes later another flathead smashed my topwater lure. I thought to myself on the way home that it had to be more than just a accident, and was determined to try targeting flatheads with the topwater. Here's what I discovered. The first night in question was a hot summer morning just before sunrise with a full moon and no wind over a shallow flat in a bay of a 3000 surface acre lake. The next time I tried it it was a couple days later and that night the target was flatheads,about the only dfference was a 5 to 10 mph breeze blowing and once again I did well,catching 4 flatheads on the topwater popper vs. only one small one on a live bait in the same area. On different nights I found that the topwater worked real well some nights and not at all on others,heres a layout of what worked and what didn't. The first thing I noticed is that this tactic worked best with a big noisy lure,the storm brand rattling chug bug"big bug" which is the saltwater version fit the bill perfectly.the next thing I noticed was that a full moon was clearly a nessesity,as all action turned over to the baited rigs on dark nights,so I think the moonlight was helping the flatheads find the bait on the brighter nights and that they were feeding on the surface,on dark nights all my bites were on live bait on the bottom. the other was the wind,real windy nights netted nothing for hits,my deductions were that the noise from the lure was being masked by the water noise making it difficult for the cat to locate the lure. Hot temps seemed to help also,my thinking is that the cats were super aggessive and predatory in the warm water. And last but not least was the area fished,the best luck came from shallow flats averaging 2 to 8 foot of water,but thats where the cats were so take that for what its worth. The retrieve, here's the best retrieve I had luck with. After the cast a hard ripping retrieve for 5 to 10 feet,followed by a gentler popping action for 5 or so feet with some 20 second pauses in the bait,most hits came right after slowing down and pausing the lure. Most of the hits were vicious lure crushing attacks that had the cat hooked on their own,with a few "sippers" that would just sneak up and just inhale the lure off the surface. I used a longer muskie type rod that seemed to really work well casting the larger poppers and my favorite topwater line fireline because it floats and doesn't sag into the water making it easier to keep a tight line to the lure on long casts. I realize this may not be everyones cup of tea,and that it's a tactic that only seems to work when the conditions are right,but when out in the summer toss a big topwater popper into your tackle kit,you just never know when the situation will present itself to you for some serious topwater flatheading action. It's fun and easy and can really put some nice fish on your rod. Remember a flathead is first and foremost a apex predator that hunts opportunisticaly and will hammer anything moving they see as food. If conditions are right this tactic can allow you to cover alot of water quickly and easily to find those active fish. Good Luck out there,and remember this next time you find yourself in the right situation,you'll love it!