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snake95

Guide to topwater selection?

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I love to fish poppers, but they seem very slow now that I have gotten used to buzzbaits and ploppers and prop baits.

 

After a few years fishing various topwaters, including lots of lures that maybe aren't supposed to be topwaters, here are a few questions:

 

1. When do you select a popper over the other baits that can be (or are) worked so much faster?

 

2. When you want to fish slow on top, i.e with a popper, when do you go with a floating minnow and a jerk and stop retrieve instead?

 

3. When do you select a propbait over a plopper (or vice versa)?

 

4. What conditions do you to start with a walking bait over the others?

 

Thanks, guys. 

 

 

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I start with my favorite (a popper) and then just keep trying different ones till I find what’s working that day. Time of year affects it a little. Usually don’t throw a frog when there’s no frogs around although you can still catch them

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I love topwater (who doesn't) but barely run poppers. Here is my general outline...

 

Water is dead calm - Spook, popper, floating prop bait. Anything you can stop and let is sit before continuing the retrieve. Think subtle.

 

Chop or current - buzzbait or walking baits with a continuous retrieve or at least less stops.

 

Basically the noisier the water the noisier I make the bait. The calmer the water the calmer I make the bait.

 

Frogs and heavy cover are in their own category. However I will walk frogs up the sides of docks regardless of conditions.

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I select a popper over a ChugBug when I want a smaller profile bait and one without a rattle. Unlike many anglers, I don't walk a popper, I just work it two pops, pause, one pop, repeat the majority of time adjusting the speed as needed.

I pick a popper over a Spook  when I'm target fishing cover in fairly calm water. I like a Spook for drawing fish up from structure and a prop bait when there's a ripple on the water.

Prop baits, like Torpedos , and ploppers are used in the same situations and just offer a different sound IMO

When in doubt, I always start with a Spook. That's just me. I'm a Spook 'freak"

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1 hour ago, snake95 said:

I love to fish poppers, but they seem very slow now that I have gotten used to buzzbaits and ploppers and prop baits.

 

After a few years fishing various topwaters, including lots of lures that maybe aren't supposed to be topwaters, here are a few questions:

 

1. When do you select a popper over the other baits that can be (or are) worked so much faster?

 

2. When you want to fish slow on top, i.e with a popper, when do you go with a floating minnow and a jerk and stop retrieve instead?

 

3. When do you select a propbait over a plopper (or vice versa)?

 

4. What conditions do you to start with a walking bait over the others?

 

Thanks, guys. 

 

 

Hello, fellow popper addict here. I've been in love with the popper for over 20 years so I'll answer with my personal opinions in the order of which you asked.. 

 

1. I pick a popper when it's overcast/cloudy and calm. With cloud cover the fish are roaming around a little more and will come and investigate a popper more often than if it's bright and sunny. Overcast mornings or overcast late afternoons are usually the highest percentage for the ole popper. If it's bright and sunny you CAN get fish on the popper, but you'll need to fish the popper a lot closer to cover vs out in open water. If it's sunny I'll fish a popper right along visible weed edges or around docks. They will come hit it in the sun, but you'll need to put it closer to their safe spaces. 

 

2. I fish the popper painfully slow if the water is very calm. You'll always get bit on the pause, so why not pause more? The commotion gets the fish curious, the pause gets them to eat. So I pause.. a lot. If there's a bit of chop, i'll pick a popper that also walks very well like the Megabass Pop Max. Work it a little faster but still give some nice pauses now and then. 

 

3. I've always had the best luck with the prop bait (xprop is my fav) with a little chop/wind. Dead calm the prop bait doesn't produce like it does with a little surface activity. 

 

4. Some days fish want walking the dog so I'll toss a spook-like walking stick..  some days they want a super slow popper presentation. I don't think there's a specific tell with the particular conditions... just the mood of the fish that day. I will say that the slower I work a popper, the more effective it is.  If the conditions "feel right" for a popper bite.. but they aint hitting the popper, then out comes the whopper plopper or the spook. If they don't want it low and slow, I'll try giving it to them fast and noisy. 

 

The only poppers I use these days (in order of favorites) are 1. Chug Bug  2. Pop Max  3. Rapala X-pop (for when I want to downsize). Seriously don't think i'll ever buy another popper other than those 3. Chug Bug is the king though. Forever and always. 

 

I ALWAYS change out the tail hooks with ether the VMC or gamy feather hooks. The stock tail hooks on all poppers SUCK. 

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Topwaters are my favorite for big bass. I've caught a lot of good bass on poppers but frogs and spooks have done better on size - prop baits (which I don't fish enough) are big bass killers if you stay with them.

Buzz baits can be lunker producers

Another bait I consider a topwater the way I use it is the original rapala - twitching a #11 or bigger accounts for some huge bass in Florida that you never hear about.

Sorry to ramble on here - I am embarrassed by how many frogs and spook type baits I have accumulated over the years - but when limited I have chug bug, a spook or boing, a furbit, a frog, a phillips crippled killer, whopper plopper, an old 3/8 oz. hula popper in my small box.

The last couple of years I've used a pop shadz which is kind of a popper/frog/fluke deal that can really catch fish.

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When I fish a popper  its usually big . We use to call them chuggers . I like windy rough water and make as much noise with it as possible . Sharp , short jerks of the rod  tip that spits water 6 foot or more . The noisiest one I have used is an old Pico Pop . I    still have one that gets playing time . My other one is a vintage Rebel which is about twice the size of a standard Pop R . Check around resale shops , there were lots of them made . Heddon was a big manufacturer  of chuggers .

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22 hours ago, punch said:

3. I've always had the best luck with the prop bait (xprop is my fav) with a little chop/wind. Dead calm the prop bait doesn't produce like it does with a little surface activity

@punch thanks, and I've found the same thing with prop baits.  I also like the Xrap Prop, but still catch them on the old torpedo.

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