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Knightiac

Poppers vs Walking Baits

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The last year and a half have been huge for me. I'm finally starting to get into hard baits like spooks and lipless crankbaits and they produced pretty well for me. For topwater, I'm pretty much always throwing a frog or a spook, but I've got a buddy who only throws poppers. My question to yall, is when do you prefer to throw a popper and same goes for a spook? Why would you throw one over the other?

I've read answers to this on many other forums and much like every fisherman's opinion, all of the answers were different. Curious what yall thought.

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I have found both are very effective. As to when one is better than the other I haven't figured that out yet. This past summer one evening I was throwing a popper and my brother was throwing a spook. He was tearing them up. So I switched and caught quite as few as well. The next night same conditions, except it was the popper that was working great. So I really can't say when to throw which one first, I usually will start with the popper but have no problems switching.

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I know how to walk baits but I have had such bad experiences with Spook type lures  , bass missing the bait , that I rarely use them . I choose poppers or I like to call them "Chuggers"  on windy days . Those big sized ones that make a lot of noise and throw water six feet . 

 

One year I dedicated a part of each day to top water fishing , no matter what the conditions . I used every top water bait I had . The one bait that stood out was  the old Dalton Special . Bass loved that thing . It walked a little bit but I wouldnt classify it as a true walking bait . I dont know what happened to that lure and have yet to replace it  .

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Poppers are for fishing targets, walkers are for fishing areas. just a very simplistic breakdown of how I choose one over the other.

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for me poppers are fished when the water is a little more choppy and for a specific target, spooks are for calm water and for searching an area

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31 minutes ago, Scarborough817 said:

for me poppers are fished when the water is a little more choppy and for a specific target, spooks are for calm water and for searching an area

This is the criteria that I've learned for this question, laydowned surface = walkers,... slight chop = poppers,.. even more chop = prop baits.

 Ive targeted some boulders up here with a spook, with great results, so its the surface conditions that I follow

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1 hour ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Poppers are for fishing targets, walkers are for fishing areas. just a very simplistic breakdown of how I choose one over the other.

^^^^ simplicity is perfection.

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I find myself fishing poppers more often because I have more confidence in them. I doubt my abilities sometime walking a bait perfectly. But I have confidence with a prop type bait. 

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prop baits have never been to great of a producer for me personally,

poppers were the first topwater bait i learned to fish.

walking baits are the last one i learned, as to where i throw them poppers for targets walking baits to cover more water as said above.

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I like them both! Usually what dictates which I use depends on water conditions.

 Popper = Calm, Choppy or Very Stained... Walking Lure= Calm water

 

 

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1 hour ago, Spankey said:

I find myself fishing poppers more often because I have more confidence in them. I doubt my abilities sometime walking a bait perfectly. But I have confidence with a prop type bait. 

while there is a rhythm to walking baits sometimes i think it's the little change or imperfection in the walking that trigger bass to strike 

also not to bring another question into this but for those wondering what to throw when trying to cover an area when the water is choppy i throw a buzzbait

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Like @Bluebasser86 I'm hitting spots with a popper and fishing areas with a walker.

and I'll use M or MH spinning gear & braided line for both.

A-Jay

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The first time I ever used a Spook, the classic one, not any variation, I caught 5 fish on 5 casts and the 6th broke off. I didn't have another one so I tied on a Pop R and didn't get another bite. I think a Spook is a good search bait. It hits the water like a brick so you probably don't want to cast it at targets. As mentioned above, poppers are a little more spot specific.

So I really don't know what it is that would make fish differentiate. A Spook is a quieter bait, so I think it needs to be calmer for fish to locate. A Pop R will sit in place longer if you want to make shorter or less frequent pops with it.

However, I have two Spook, Jr's now with knockers and one has a chugging face. I think it helps draw fish from distance. Sometimes, when i really think I'll be getting some topwater action I'll tie a Spook on one rod, a Pop R on another and a Frog on yet another. Or I might use a buzzbait or a Chug Bug instead of one of these. That way the fish can tell you. If you are with another fisherman, don't be using the same bait as he is until you're sure fish want it more. And vice versa. 

The Chug'n Spook, Jr and the Chug Bug are hybrids of these two baits.

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That's nice A-jay. Next season I should bring my Sony HandiCam out with me and capture some stuff. 95% of the time I'm solo and wish I had a pic of a few things.

Is that a go pro attached to your wind shield?

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Ditto Bluebasser's description.

Then there are walking poppers. All you need is a dished face and an elongated body. The Chug Bug is one. I will choose one when there's a little chop on the water. On flatter surfaces I like those quieter, more slippery walkers.

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1 minute ago, Spankey said:

That's nice A-jay. Next season I should bring my Sony HandiCam out with me and capture some stuff. 95% of the time I'm solo and wish I had a pic of a few things.

Is that a go pro attached to your wind shield?

Thanks - It's a Garmin Virb and yes it's on the wind shield.  It's fun getting video and I can capture pictures out of the video I take by using "print screen" function on the PC.  Whole lot easier than fighting with a tripod.

And not to hijack the thread but over the winter I'm looking to upgrade to the Go Pro Hero5 Black and plan on mounting it on the Yolotek "The Boom" - it mounts into the seat support and extends out 8 ft - shots from it look pretty killer.  Check it out.

A-Jay

https://yolotek.com/products/the-boom-4-5to8-shipping-soon-order-today-save-25-reg-199-99?variant=10550053383

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I think that's what my youngest uses when running with kids and adults with disabilities in her cart. Marathon type stuff. Hers is great, nice photo quality. 

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In reference to bank fishing, I'll use a walking bait when covering water in front of me, and a popper when paralleling the shore line. And then there's the all mighty glide bait. 

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I prefer fishing poppers around docks and stumps while I prefer spooks by weeds and bull rushes. I.e. poppers around hard cover and spooks around softer cover

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I let the conditions dictate which I use. On calmer days, I'll use both a spook style walking bait and a popper. But, with the popper I've learned to walk the dog with it too. It's a much more subtle action than ripping & chugging the bait - and it doesn't track left & right near as much as a spook. The Rapala Skitter Pop works great on calm days. 

Now if it's windy, I work a popper more aggressively with a chugging & true popping sound. Or, I'll fish a buzz frog - horny toad or ribbit. 

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10 hours ago, wdp said:

I let the conditions dictate which I use. On calmer days, I'll use both a spook style walking bait and a popper. But, with the popper I've learned to walk the dog with it too. It's a much more subtle action than ripping & chugging the bait - and it doesn't track left & right near as much as a spook. The Rapala Skitter Pop works great on calm days. 

Now if it's windy, I work a popper more aggressively with a chugging & true popping sound. Or, I'll fish a buzz frog - horny toad or ribbit. 

 Whats the noisiest chugger you found ?

 I have a vintage black Pico Pop and an old  large Rebel chugger  about twice the size of  a Pop R but same design . On windy days I make as much racket as I can around submerged timber .Jerk it hard and abrupt  to get as much distance with the spray as possible and not move the lure much  .  Its a good technique for suffocating hot summer days , mid day , sun bearing down . I cant fish in  those super high temps  anymore but I sure miss this action .

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You could try a walking popper, like the PopMax.  Was my most productive hard bait two years running.

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24 minutes ago, J Francho said:

You could try a walking popper, like the PopMax.  Was my most productive hard bait two years running.

Always my first choice.

 

:santa-107:

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1 hour ago, scaleface said:

 Whats the noisiest chugger you found ?

 I have a vintage black Pico Pop and an old  large Rebel chugger  about twice the size of  a Pop R but same design . On windy days I make as much racket as I can around submerged timber .Jerk it hard and abrupt  to get as much distance with the spray as possible and not move the lure much  .  Its a good technique for suffocating hot summer days , mid day , sun bearing down . I cant fish in  those super high temps  anymore but I sure miss this action .

Lately, I've been using a SK KVD splash. It's pretty noisy, but more of a splashy/spitting noise. Comes with good stock hooks too. Other than it & the Rapala skitter pop, I use old fashioned Rebel Pop R. It's got that distinct cork popping noise. But also has terrible hooks that I'll replace. 

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