A Guide to Topwater Popper Fishing

A Guide to Topwater Popper Fishing

A Guide to Topwater Popper Fishing

If you're looking for an exciting and challenging way to catch bass, then popper fishing is the perfect technique for you. Using a popper lure that imitates the movement of prey on the water's surface, you can entice bass to strike aggressively. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the various aspects of topwater popper bass fishing, from finding the perfect spot to choosing the right lure and employing effective strategies.


Choosing the Best Popper

The key to choosing the best popper lure is to consider both its appearance and sound-producing capabilities. Opt for poppers that resemble the prey species commonly found in the waters you're fishing, such as frogs, mice, or small fish. Additionally, select poppers with concave mouths, as these create more popping sounds and increase their appeal to bass.

Another important factor to consider is the size and weight of the popper. In calm conditions, smaller and lighter poppers tend to work best, as they create subtle ripples and can be more enticing to bass. On windy days or when fishing in choppy waters, larger and heavier poppers make more noise and create bigger disturbances on the surface, increasing their visibility to bass.

Lastly, make sure to choose poppers with quality hooks that are strong and sharp. This will ensure a better hookset and increase your chances of landing a bass once it strikes.


Finding the Perfect Spot for Popper Fishing

When it comes to topwater popper fishing, finding the perfect spot can make all the difference in your success. While observing the water for signs of activity is a good starting point, there are other factors to consider that can help you pinpoint the ideal location.

One important aspect to pay attention to is the structure. Bass are known to congregate near underwater structures such as fallen trees, rocks, and submerged vegetation. These structures provide cover for the bass and act as ambush points for them to attack their prey. Take your time to carefully scan the water and look for any of these structures that might be present. Casting your popper near these areas can greatly increase your chances of attracting a strike.

In addition to the visual cues provided by the water structure, it's also crucial to consider the water temperature. Bass are cold-blooded creatures, which means their activity levels are greatly influenced by the temperature of the water. During cooler months, bass tend to seek out warmer water. This is because warmer water helps to increase their metabolism and makes them more active. Look for areas where the sun's rays can warm the water, such as shallow bays or areas with rocky bottoms. These spots can serve as hotspots for bass activity, making them prime locations for popper fishing.

Another factor to keep in mind is the presence of baitfish. Bass are opportunistic feeders and will often follow schools of baitfish. If you notice baitfish jumping or see bass breaking the surface, it's a clear indication that there is feeding activity happening in that area. This is a great opportunity to cast your popper lure and imitate the movements of the baitfish. Bass are more likely to respond to a popper lure when they are actively feeding, so take advantage of these moments.

Remember, finding the perfect spot for popper fishing requires a combination of observation, knowledge of bass behaviour, and understanding of the water environment. By paying attention to visual cues, water structure, temperature, and baitfish activity, you can increase your chances of success and have a thrilling day on the water.  


Popper Fishing Strategies to Consider

In addition to the general tips mentioned above, there are specific strategies you can employ to increase your chances of catching bass with a popper lure. One effective technique is to target areas with submerged grass, edges of reeds or lily pads. These areas provide cover for bass and attract various kinds of prey.

Another strategy is to fish near points, particularly during the early morning or late evening. Bass often position themselves near points to ambush prey, and a well-placed popper can trigger a strike.

Lastly, try "walking the dog" with your popper. This involves a zigzagging retrieve pattern where you flick the rod tip while reeling in to make the popper move in a side-to-side motion. This imitates the movement of a wounded or disoriented prey and can entice bass to strike.


Best Conditions for Popper Fishing

While topwater popper fishing can be effective in a variety of conditions, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of success. Generally, bass are more likely to respond to topwater lures when the water temperature is high.

Additionally, calm or slightly choppy water conditions tend to be more favourable for topwater fishing. Bass find it easier to locate and attack prey on the surface when there are minimal disturbances in the water.

Lastly, early morning and late evening are typically the best times for popper fishing. Bass are more active during these periods, and the low light conditions create a sense of cover for them to approach prey from below.


Understanding the Best Times to Fish a Popper

While early mornings and late evenings are generally good times to popper fish for bass, it's worth understanding the factors that influence bass activity throughout the day. During the summer months, bass tend to retreat to deeper and cooler waters during the hottest parts of the day.

Therefore, focus your efforts during the early morning, late evening, and during periods of lower light. However, in the spring and fall, bass can remain active for longer stretches throughout the day, allowing for more viable popper fishing opportunities throughout the daylight hours.


Tips for Successful Popper Fishing

Here are some additional tips to help you become more successful at topwater popper fishing:

  • Experiment with different colours of poppers to find what works best under different lighting and water conditions.
  • Don't be afraid to try different retrieves, such as a steady retrieve, a stop-and-go retrieve, or a fast retrieve followed by a sudden pause.
  • Pay attention to the behaviour of the bass when they strike. This can give you clues about their preferred presentation and retrieve speed.
  • Keep an eye out for birds diving or congregating near the water's surface, as this may indicate the presence of baitfish and active feeding bass.

Stay mindful of the weather conditions. Overcast days or low-light conditions can often be prime times for topwater popper fishing.  



Using a popper can lead to exhilarating battles with big bass. To increase your chances of reeling in the biggest bass, consider upsizing your popper lure to match the size of the prey in the area. Larger poppers create more commotion and are likely to attract the attention of bigger, more aggressive bass.

Additionally, focus your efforts near areas that provide ample cover and are likely to attract larger bass. Fallen trees, docks, and deeper rocky structures are common hangouts for trophy-sized bass.

Lastly, be patient and persistent. Not every cast will result in a strike, but by refining your techniques and paying attention to the behaviour of the bass, you'll increase your chances of landing that trophy-sized bass with a topwater popper lure.

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