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Plopper style bait hook up rate

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Trying to figure out if it is me, the bass need glasses, or it is the nature of the bait. 

 

Fishing the savage gear smash tail 100 I had six blowups that missed before one connected. Is this normal? I was retrieving it as slow as I could and have it still plop while fishing the interior of a reed bed. While the hits are cool and exciting, I want to land more fish. 

 

I did have a go pro on, so I can rewatch it, but when they came out of the water for the bait their white belly was facing me. The day before I was 1 for 1 but it was a rush from behind hit and the bass never came out of the water to take the bait. 

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The bass aren't getting it. The regular whopper plopper 90 that I use actually has been one of the better hooking topwaters for me. I only lost 2 fish on it and I probably caught more than 50 on it. I did notice that the misses are practically all the same as they blowup right directly behind the bait. They don't miss it by much which makes me think they either are trying to chase it away or perhaps kill it by making it sink. I found wake baits like the Storm Arashi wake cranks or the Yo-Zuri 3DB Wake bait do really well when they are missing the bait right on top.

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I've only missed one on a Plopper and that one was hooked and 90% of the way to the boat when it shook off.  When I use them though I seldom do a straight retrieve.  I do an occasional stop and start and most strikes take place right at the stop or the start. 

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Never had a problem with missing fish but I do get irritated when something gets stuck in the prop 

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I will work to get a video up on you tube and link it in. Frustrating but glad I finally started getting some hits. Topwater has never been a strength, I struggle finding the right time to toss them. 

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Most days it's really good but I've had days when they really seem to miss it a lot.

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I've had multiple blowups without hooking up.  I also believe they are just missing it, or they're telling you that you need to alter something a little for them to engulf it.

 

I've had several muskies take a whack at it, but no hookups at all on one.

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There be days like that. A lot of my misses are something other than Bass. Usually a follow up cast a minute or two late produces a Sunfish or Rock Bass.

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Watching the video was enlightening. While on the first one I twitched the tip well after it was gone, in my mind I thought I had pulled it away from the fish. Second one I didn’t twitch at all. What I noticed about the first two that missed was they were near reeds, that may have messed with the fishes attack angle. The third was in relatively open water giving the fish room to work. Turned off the video after I caught the one, but had a few more misses. Guessing the tight quarters had a bit to do with it, or could have just been one of those days. 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, NYWayfarer said:

There be days like that. A lot of my misses are something other than Bass. Usually a follow up cast a minute or two late produces a Sunfish or Rock Bass.

 

Rock bass crack me up. Fishing plastics I get them a lot and the bigger ones can fight like a largemouth with the exception that they have this shake like they are electrified when you are reeling them in. Not sure what causes them to do that, but it is an easy way to know you aren’t hooked up with a largemouth or smallmouth. 

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17 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Most days it's really good but I've had days when they really seem to miss it a lot.

I know that you and others fish these a lot. What I would love to see is a thread talking about the conditions you fish them in. The day I had was mid 80s a bit overcast with a little wind to ripple the surface about 2:30 in the afternoon. The plastic bite on bottom had disappeared at that point. 

 

Right now now I am just chucking it at different times and noting when it works, which isn’t often. 

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21 hours ago, Dens228 said:

I've only missed one on a Plopper and that one was hooked and 90% of the way to the boat when it shook off.  When I use them though I seldom do a straight retrieve.  I do an occasional stop and start and most strikes take place right at the stop or the start. 

The best thing you can do when fishing any top-water is STOP!

I don't believe I've ever caught a bass with a top-water lure in motion. I've seen them "submarine" up to it in motion. Then I pause, and let the fish take it. Most times it's a pretty good "blow-up" on a paused lure without any other visual clue. Of course, don't set hook immediately. Wait to feel the line get heavy, or simply wait a second or so.

 

Karl

 

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On 6/30/2019 at 11:30 AM, diehardbassfishing said:

The best thing you can do when fishing any top-water is STOP!

I don't believe I've ever caught a bass with a top-water lure in motion. I've seen them "submarine" up to it in motion. Then I pause, and let the fish take it. Most times it's a pretty good "blow-up" on a paused lure without any other visual clue. Of course, don't set hook immediately. Wait to feel the line get heavy, or simply wait a second or so.

 

Karl

 

 

That's how I do it. Lot of pauses. I've rewatched my videos. Sometimes it seems like they miss it deliberately, like maybe they saw at the last second that it isn't something they want to eat. I've seen fish seemingly "miss" it by several feet.

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On 6/30/2019 at 1:30 PM, diehardbassfishing said:

The best thing you can do when fishing any top-water is STOP!

I don't believe I've ever caught a bass with a top-water lure in motion. I've seen them "submarine" up to it in motion. Then I pause, and let the fish take it. Most times it's a pretty good "blow-up" on a paused lure without any other visual clue. Of course, don't set hook immediately. Wait to feel the line get heavy, or simply wait a second or so.

 

Karl

 

Have to disagree with that one. I can count on one hand the fish I've caught on a plopper that wasn't in motion, and I can't fish a walking bait too fast for the smallmouth here most days, not to mention it would be really hard for me to pause my buzzbait and keep it on the surface, a straight retrieve with not pauses is my most productive Slammer retrieve and crawler retrieve too. 

 

Maybe it's a regional thing, some things work some places that don't in others, but if you pause a plopper with a following fish here (the rare occasions you can see it coming), more than likely they'll stop, stare, then sink out of sight. 

On 6/30/2019 at 11:58 AM, cgolf said:

I know that you and others fish these a lot. What I would love to see is a thread talking about the conditions you fish them in. The day I had was mid 80s a bit overcast with a little wind to ripple the surface about 2:30 in the afternoon. The plastic bite on bottom had disappeared at that point. 

 

Right now now I am just chucking it at different times and noting when it works, which isn’t often. 

I will fish them almost anytime this time of year except when the water is exceptional rough. The rougher the water, the more fish tend to miss it, but they'll miss it even when conditions are good. One of my first good bites on the Smashtail 100 was on a nice overcast day with just a little wind and in shallow water where it should have had no issues connecting with my bait, especially since it was a large fish, but it missed everything and was the only fish to do so that day.

 

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So far I’m 0 for 1 with a whopper plopper so my hookup ratio is 0%......... I’m hoping this improves before I die but the outlook is bleek 

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For me, after a blow up and miss, I'd kill the retrieve for a few seconds before starting up. A lot of times the bass will try to stun the fish (blow-up) and circle the wagons for the kill.

 

If he circles the wagons and still doesn't button up, a follow up with a trick stick will get em

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7 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Have to disagree with that one. I can count on one hand the fish I've caught on a plopper that wasn't in motion, and I can't fish a walking bait too fast for the smallmouth here most days, not to mention it would be really hard for me to pause my buzzbait and keep it on the surface, a straight retrieve with not pauses is my most productive Slammer retrieve and crawler retrieve too. 

 

Maybe it's a regional thing, some things work some places that don't in others, but if you pause a plopper with a following fish here (the rare occasions you can see it coming), more than likely they'll stop, stare, then sink out of sight. 

I will fish them almost anytime this time of year except when the water is exceptional rough. The rougher the water, the more fish tend to miss it, but they'll miss it even when conditions are good. One of my first good bites on the Smashtail 100 was on a nice overcast day with just a little wind and in shallow water where it should have had no issues connecting with my bait, especially since it was a large fish, but it missed everything and was the only fish to do so that day.

 

As an aside, having fished the 90, 110, and 130 ploppers, I found the smashtail 100 to be the easiest to work. Tail got going relatively quickly even with a short and light steel leader to protect against Esox bite offs. It also worked pretty slow too, really nice bait.

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Change out stock hooks.

As for misses - whatever the bait was doing to elicit the strike - I'll keep doing after a miss.

So if I'm throwing a walking bait and get hit but the fish missed it - I keep on walking it. 

If I'm throwing a popper and the fish hit & missed it at rest (which rarely happens to me btw)  I'll leave it sit. Might pop it once after a moment, but I'm not moving it much (distance wise) at first. 

Come back hook ups are more common for me with moving topwater baits than baits like poppers.  Perhaps because there was more than 1 bass following the bait. 

Either way, getting big brown bass on walkers & poppers always pegs my fun meter . . . .

 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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Here's my 2 cents:

 

Video - is it normal to troll fast, towards your casted lures?  That may spook fish and mess with retrieve, IMO.

Consider slowing down, and cast broadsides.  If you found fish, why not pause and work the area, fan 360, then move up to the next location that doesn't overlap, and repeat?  If fish are clumping up, you want to be able to find those spots.  If they are indeed all spread out, it is apprpriate to keep on the move but consider slower/broadsides?  Maybe that's just a difference in trolling style.
 

Coming out of cover to hit a lure puts a fish at risk.
Coming to the surface, puts a fish at more risk (birds, etc.)

 

Clear water and bright light, adds to that.  Ideally an overcast day (look at cgolfs clouds!), and low light times, can improve the topwater bite.

When fish are more easily spooked (clear water, bright sunny day), casting farther can help too.

 

Lure: Why stick with one lure?  If it's not putting fish in the boat, try something else.

A different action (Slow popper, erratic walking, etc.)

Color

Size

 

Video is a pretty area to fish, makes me want to go fishing!

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1 hour ago, FishingGeekTX said:

Here's my 2 cents:

 

Video - is it normal to troll fast, towards your casted lures?  That may spook fish and mess with retrieve, IMO.

Consider slowing down, and cast broadsides.  If you found fish, why not pause and work the area, fan 360, then move up to the next location that doesn't overlap, and repeat?  If fish are clumping up, you want to be able to find those spots.  If they are indeed all spread out, it is apprpriate to keep on the move but consider slower/broadsides?  Maybe that's just a difference in trolling style.
 

Coming out of cover to hit a lure puts a fish at risk.
Coming to the surface, puts a fish at more risk (birds, etc.)

 

Clear water and bright light, adds to that.  Ideally an overcast day (look at cgolfs clouds!), and low light times, can improve the topwater bite.

When fish are more easily spooked (clear water, bright sunny day), casting farther can help too.

 

Lure: Why stick with one lure?  If it's not putting fish in the boat, try something else.

A different action (Slow popper, erratic walking, etc.)

Color

Size

 

Video is a pretty area to fish, makes me want to go fishing!

It's awesome, N WI is amazing. Loons and Eagles sharing the water with you makes for a great trip. The only downer is the Millfoil, but they are working on getting rid of that.

 

The weird thing that day was most hits were close to the boat, essentially 50% reeled in. I generally work my way slowly through the interior of the reed beds, I don't stop often because there is a lot of water to cover. The wind/waves were coming at me so I think that makes it look like I was moving rather quickly, TM was set just above the move forward or slip back speed. Having an aluminum boat makes TM control a blast on a wide open lake especially when the wind is blowing.

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