A classic lure that has been putting fish in the boat for a long time. A popper is just a lure that bass cannot resist. Just like a frog, poppers have good “drawing” power and can yield results for most of the year. 

Where / When

Given that a popper is worked to imitate a surfacing or injured baitfish, it would make sense to use one when the bass you are targeting are in a feeding mode for baitfish. In preparation for preying on baitfish, bass will stage themselves in a familiar piece of cover, likely on or around some significant structure, to ambush a pasing school. This occurrence may happen on a day with a cold front, where baitfish will school up and travel to warmer waters. Bass may stage themselves within submerged brush piles / trees, around boulders, rocks, that may be on a underwater point, hump, or some distinct underwater structure. The bass relate to those things because the baitfish relate to them as well, possibly for navigation purposes, or for a sense of safety. When this happens, a popper can be very effective at drawing up those bass out of their cover to the waters surface.

Other than targeting a feeding frenzy, fishing poppers around docks, and other shallow-water submerged structures can pull out every bass in the vicinity. In these situations, the way you work the popper should override the usual importance of its color or size. This is because you are trying to create a reaction strike. Work the popper with speed, with random pauses; the goal is to draw attention through erratic motion,

How to fish a popper

Try different popping to pausing rates: pop it x amount of times, then let it sit for x seconds, repeat. In the warmest months I will have minimal pause between pauses, and in the cooler months I will pause more often, with longer pauses.

Necessary equipment:

  • Rod: 6’6” to 7’ Power: medium, Pction: medium  – rod length depends on your height and whatever is comfortable
  • Reel: 7:1:1 to 7:5:1 gear ratio reel
  • Line: 20 lb braid to 12-15lb monofilament leader / or straight 12-15lb monofilament

Colors / Size

The best thing to do is to match the color, and size as close as you can with the forage that bass are currently feeding on. You get can a good idea by looking at a school of scattering baitfish.

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