Top Secrets of Using TopHat Jigs

Those of you who follow TopHat Jigs may have heard that they recently received at patent for their design. I reached out to owner Derek Martin about an article on why fishermen all over the country are using TopHat Jigs. Martin informed me the profile of the bait along with the tail action was simply putting fish in the boat for anglers on a consistent basis. However, Martin told me not to take his word for it and for me to reach out to both tournament anglers and guides who use TopHat Jigs on a daily basis.

The first fisherman I contacted was Larry Knowles from Mount Vernon Illinois. Knowles is a guide on Rend Lake in southern Illinois and the head to the pro staff for Tophat Jigs, located in Mount Pulaski, Illinois. Knowles has fished since he was five years old and fished Rend Lake since it opened in 1968. As of 2020, Knowles fishes 100% with Garmin Livescope and using TopHat Jigs. His favorite color on Rend Lake is Cupid color, which is all pink. Knowles fishes two ways probably 75% casting and 25% vertical jigging with the tail being flat side down, which causes a slower fall rate. There are two things he likes about the Guppy Gobbler. “One it’s unique design with the now patented design, and it’s durability and toughness,” said Knowles. With the bait coming in two sizes two inch and one and half inches, it has a lot of options on how you can use it. Knowles said, “Currently we are working on a three inch bait as we speak. We have designed the bait with great toughness so anglers can catch multiple fish using only one bait.”

Next, I reached out to Chad Rogers of Vicksburg, Mississippi who calls Grenada Lake home, but fishes Eagle Lake, Ross Barnett, and Enid Lake quite often too. Rogers tournament fishes the Magnolia Crappie Club and the Wally Marshall Classic. Rogers has been a TopHat Jigs pro staff members for three years and mainly uses Garmin Livescope now. One of the things Rogers mentioned was, “I have watched fish in muddy water come ten foot away and hit the jig. It just amazes me at the reaction fish have to it. I fish it Mermaid horizontally when I’m vertically dropping. When pitching I will pitch above the fish and give it rigged in the minnow style with the tail vertical.” Rogers said his favorite color is “Sleeping Beauty, Sparkles, and Alien and I consistently uses them to put them to put fish in the boat. Sleeping beauty, Sparkles, and Alien right now are my primary colors.” Rogers and I also talked a lot about profile vs. color choice. Rogers stated that, “Right now I’m going to say color over profile. I can switch colors and watch them react.” Rogers said the thing he likes most about TopHat Jigs is, “They are very durable baits and I’ve recorded sixty fish on one bait on Sardis.”

Lastly, I spoke with Stephan Scudder who guides in North Texas, where he owns Bubba’s Crappie Guide, mainly fishing Lake Lavon. Scudder also fishes the Crappie Anglers of Texas trail, were he sits as the board of directors. Scudder also fishes some of the national trails like Crappie Masters and Crappie USA. “My main styles of fishing would be using Garmin Livescope to cast and long pole them. There is nothing more satisfying to me than sneaking up on them and fishing strait down on them with a long rod. But second is casting to the ones that just won’t let you get that close,” said Scudder. “The main thing I like about the Top Hat Guppy Gobbler is the many ways in which you can present the bait and it’s action. This is a bait you can swim by them and get some of the best reaction strikes you can imagine. This is also a bait you can drop strait down on them and has enough movement to entice them to eat it when they just really don’t want to bite.” Scudder also added, “One of the great things is it durability you can catch a crazy amount of fish with just one bait.” Like Knowles and Rogers, he also rigs the bait multiple ways. Scudder said, “I rig the bait both ways depending on the way I am fishing, that’s one of the great things about it unlike most other baits. If I am swimming it by them I rig it like a minnow where the tail has the same movement as bait fish. If I’m jigging right above them I will rig it like a mermaid. Where it can just flutter right above them to get the reaction strike.” I asked what his favorite color was and he replied, “My favorite color is hard, I believe that is just on were you are fishing and color of water. Top Hat makes a color for all conditions and that is something they have put a lot of time into. However, if I had to pick one it would be the Bubba Bug that is a bait that Derek and I designed because first that is my go to color on most bodies of water that I fish here in Texas. It’s also named after my son that I lost about five years ago.” Scudder also added, “TopHat Guppy Gobbler is unlike any other bait on the market from the multiple ways you can fish it to the colors for ever condition you can think of. The presentation of this bait is key in its ability to just catch fish. I have caught multiple two and a half pound plus fish on these baits and will always be my go to if I’m guiding or tournament fishing. It just always seems to produce even when the bite is tough.”

Be sure to check out the TopHat Jigs Guppy Gobbler and all the colors they have to offer at