If you are a keen fisherman and you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of every cast, then you have come to the right place. Here you’ll find out how to use popper lures, when to use them and even what the best ones are. Simply take a look below to find out more.
What are Popper Lures?
A popper is essentially a manmade lure. It’s got a hollow body and it’s made to float. As it floats, it makes popping sounds which helps to attract nearby fish. The shape of the lure essentially represents a small fish. When you toss it in the water, it will then mimic the jerky movements of a wounded baitfish. Popper lures traditionally have hooks in the middle and on the back. Popper fishing is a fantastic way for you to catch bigger fish, including bass or bluefish. The most exciting part of fishing by using a popper lure is that you will see explosive movements in the water surface, as the fish attack the lure. You should start by rigging your lure with the right line. You can then cast it in an area where you expect fish to be, before reeling it in towards you. As you reel it in, you need to make some subtle twitches as this will make the popping sounds that ultimately attract the fish.
Poppers are usually used to try and catch bass, giant trevally, tuna and other bigger fish. Poppers come in a huge range of colors and sizes too. If you are targeting bigger fish, make sure that you use a bigger popper. Normally people would use a smaller popper when they are targeting bass, and they will use a big popper when they are targeting GT.
Attracting Predatory Fish
Poppers normally mimic struggling insects, baitfish or even amphibians. They splash the water’s surface as a lot of predatory fish are opportunistic, they attack without giving much thought. This makes them very vulnerable to tricks such as this. The poppers target the instincts of the fish, as well as adding a great deal of excitement to your fishing experience. Even though poppers come in various shapes and sizes, a lot of them are shaped like a cup. They make huge splashes in the water, and this creates a lot of noise.
Best Popper Lures Setup
Experienced anglers all agree that there are three different ways for you to rig up a popper. Most of the time, the shape of the popper will determine the hook combination you use. You will also need to take into account the target species too. The giant trevally will hit the popper’s head, so you need to try and make sure that you hook this if that is the fish you are going for. You can make head hooks yourself if you want, but there are many available on the market.
It’s good to rig larger poppers on a hook on the hind eyelet, using a Kevlar cord head hook which is connected at the towing eyelet. Alternatively, you can use twin hooks on the front eyelet or a single one on the back eyelet. If you’re doing this, you’d have nothing on the towing eyelet. Twin hooks should be positioned back to back, using the split ring. You can use a zip tie to keep them in position, which will eliminate fouling when you are casting.
Choosing your Rod
When you are rigging your popper, it’s a good idea for you to opt for a medium rod if possible. This will be of great help when you are setting your hook up. It’s also ideal if you want to tire and fight the fish before you try and pull it out of the water. A medium-sized rod is between 6-7 foot. The ideal rod would be long enough for you to cast the popper in the right spot, so take into account the conditions which you are fishing in if you can. As mentioned above, Kevlar lines work well. The ideal braided line for your popper should be around 40lbs. You will get the best results if you pair your popper with a good braided line. You have to make sure that the fish does not spot the line. Experiment between lines of 30-40lbs if possible, and also test the line to make sure that it is not going to break. When you are rigging your lure, spool-braid the line as this will make sure that you can withstand significant force when fishing. The loop knot is the best way for you to secure the popper if you’re worried about it coming loose.
How to Fish Popper Lures
Setting your reel at a higher gear will help you here. This will give you the chance to set your hook in case you know that a fish might grab your lure suddenly. You should ideally be at 7:1 if possible. Remember that some reels have a predetermined value. If this is the case, then you’ll want to choose a higher gear if you are dealing with poppers. The indication lines that are on the dial will usually let you know if you are setting the right ratio.
If you want to fish by using a popper lure, then you need to cast your popper out to the target area. You then need to let it settle briefly if possible. Take in very small amounts of the line slowly and make very small movements as you bring it in. The popping will imitate the action of prey. If you want to boost your chances of being able to catch something, then don’t set the hook immediately after the fish strikes. Let it try and take the popper under the water first and then set the hook if you can.
Usually, poppers are fished with a fast retrieve. The rod tip is normally held very high as this will keep a popper moving. The standard retrieve will involve a snapping motion with the rod while bringing it back at a very steady pace. You have to make sure that you keep a tight line, or the fish may hit when you have too much slack and this won’t hook them. The more splashing and commotion you can create the better.
When to Use Popper Lures
Poppers come in a varied amount of shapes and sizes but they are usually either made out of wood or hard plastic. They all have a flat or a blunt face though, as this is designed to make noise and it’s also designed to make noise as it is retrieved along the top of the surface. Using this method is essential if you want to be successful.
So when can poppers be used? You can use poppers at any time of the day, but you have to make sure that you don’t use them during the dark or when Danny-type swimmers are more appropriate.
If you know that you are fishing for very stubborn fish, then a pop-and-stop approach can be good. Make sure that you leave a few seconds between pops as this is a very effective way for you to fish. This is especially if you have stripers that are being finicky and rising to the lure but essentially missing it. Poppers cast around tightly packed baitfish or mackerel can be deadly.
It’s incredibly vital for you to wait until you feel the full weight of the fish before you set the hook too. If you rear back and if you try and catch the fish as soon as they crash the bait, then this can be very ineffective. Using no-stretch lines as mentioned above can be better as you will be able to counteract the force of the wind more than you realize.
Poppers from various manufacturers will all sink at different rates, so you have to make sure that you begin your retrieve as soon as the lure hits then water as this is the only way for you to make sure that your lure is going to float. If you know you’re using a lure that floats, then when the lure hits the water, let it settle for 10 seconds then give a forceful pop. After this, use a shorter time before the pop, and then go steady.
Best Popper Lures
If you want the best popper lures, they can be found below.
Aorace Fishing Popper
The Aorace fishing popper comes in a huge amount of color variations and is ideal if you want to set yourself up for success when fishing. Fish won’t be able to resist it and it’s very versatile, meaning that if you’re not quite sure what you’re going for, you can be prepared for just about everything.
Rebel Lures Fishing Popper
This popper is a legendary topwater bait that has won thousands of dollars for fisherman who often take part in bass tournaments. If you’re fishing for bass specifically, this is the popper for you.
Yo-Zuri Fishing Popper
A traditional popper with a wide mouth to ensure maximum movement. The internal 3D prism finish will also help to draw curious fish in, before popping aggressively to ensure a bite.
John Coo Fishing Popper
This popper has feathers mixed in with a laser paper in the tail. It’s incredibly reflective and it has a laser coating outside, meaning that the bait can catch light from all directions. Ideal if you’re attracting fish from far away.
Actume Fishing Popper
Stable and fluent, the Actume fishing popper is not easy to turn around when casting, so you can increase your total throw distance. Very suited to beginners.