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KING

Top Waters

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Had some fun last year with some early morning weedline bass on some good 'ol Pop-R's.

Looking to stock up on a few new things this winter and am curious what other Poppper style baits people are using and also any other topwater baits in general people enjoy!!!

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Hiya -

In clear water, walk the dog baits can be awesome, and fish will come up a LONG ways for them. Always liked the Skitter Walk, Sammys, and I like the new Strike King KVD walk the dog bait more than I thought I would.

Poppers - Skitter pops, Strike King poppers, a Yo-zuri 3D popper they quit making (argh...) and I really got to like the River2Sea Bubble Walker last season. I like poppers you can also kind of walk the dog with.

Prop baits can also be really good, and they're pretty underfished I think. A Boy Howdy or Devil's Horse can crush open water smallies.

Most underrated topwaters though, especially around heavy cover, are spoons. Jawbreakers, PT Spoons, Barney Spoons (although good luck finding those), Title Shot spoons... Super efficient heavy cover search baits, and fish murder the things. For some reason they've fallen out of fashion over the years, but in some situations you can't beat 'em.

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There is a new top water frog popper bait that's coming out. Not sure who is making it but it is available now and looks very promising. Just looked it up. It's made by Evergreen lures, a bit spendy though.

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They are a little pricey, but I love the Lucky Craft gunfish baits. Agree with RK on how much I liked the stike king walk the dog bait.

Also agree that jawbreakers are GREAT heavy cover baits, but you WILL lose fish at first for sure. One of the hardest hookup baits ever since its a moving bait that you need to wait on to set the hook.

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A moss boss is a similar bait to the jawbreaker that can be worked slower in most situations. To me, it makes that pause before the hook set a little easier to do.

Tough to beat the spook for a walk the dog bait.

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I LOVE little "panfish poppers" that are suitable to my 4wt fly rod, seem to make LMB go crazy at times. Don't be afraid to downsize your topwaters ever!

I move them slow when I want to get bluegills in the heat of summer, but skitter them JUUUST too fast for most bluegills to decide to strike and you can often entice a LMB. When I'm doing it right I often have 3 or 4 little bluegills tailing the popper, then WOOOOSH a bucketmouth rockets up and engulfs it.

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I caught two smallies on a Rebal Pop R at the same time. One 16" and the other 13". Another one I like is the Storm Chug Bug.

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Super spook jr. still has the best pure walk the dog motion I think. as for poppers, I only use the River2Sea poppers. Theyre heavier and you can zing them way out there

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I always always always have a Jawbreaker tied on one rod. You can fish it as a topwater, like a wakebait, like a subsurface spoon, or even - I found this out accidentally last summer - let it fall to the bottom and jig it.

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I always always always have a Jawbreaker tied on one rod. You can fish it as a topwater, like a wakebait, like a subsurface spoon, or even - I found this out accidentally last summer - let it fall to the bottom and jig it.

I loved the look of those in the water and not in the water. I threw one a lot in High School and come to think of it I don't think I ever landed a fish on it. Maybe one or two dogfish in some slop, I used to get blown up all the time but never landed fish. I'm sure it was user error however!

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@MN Bass Fisher - there's definitely a learning curve to setting the hook with a Jawbreaker. I remember the first time I used one, I was something like 1 for 17 connecting on strikes. I'm a little better after a few years of practice, but you'll always miss some with a lure like that cry

When fishing with ANY topwater, it's a reallyreally good idea to have a t-rigged worm, or jig with a trailer handy. Throw it back right where you missed the fish, and you'll stick 'em a high percentage of the time.

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You're going to miss some fish with a Jawbreaker - just the nature of where you fish them. Miss a lot on frogs too in the same environment. Part of it is being patient like with any topwater. Getting blow-ups but not actual bites can also mean you're fishing them too fast. I fish them at a fairly moderate pace.

I have also found that I miss more fish if I fish them on too heavy a rod, like a typical 'frog rod' or flipping stick. I use a 7' medium-heavy x-fast and the slightly lighter tip seems to let fish suck it in better. Fish them on 60# or 80# braid and you have no trouble hauling fish out - a MH has plenty of power.

Definitely have a throw back bait rigged up with either spoons or frogs. I usually have a wacky rigged stick worm or Texas rigged beaver on the deck next to me. If I miss a fish it goes right in the hole the fish made. Get them as often as not.

RK

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I always enjoy throwing a hulapopper or a jitterbug. Brings back a lot of good memories. Those were what Dad had in his tackle box when I was a kid. Caught a lot of pond bass fishing those along the edges of the weeds. Don't fish them too often but will every once and a while just for old times sake. My adrenalin goes up just a little when i hear that "ploop,ploop,ploop,ploop,SWOOSH".

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When fishing with ANY topwater, it's a reallyreally good idea to have a t-rigged worm, or jig with a trailer handy. Throw it back right where you missed the fish, and you'll stick 'em a high percentage of the time.

Couldn't agree more! Nothing better than missing a blow up, then tossing back and hooking that fish.

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If fishing around a lot of surface "slop" or veg my #1 lure is the Spro Popper Frog, and they just came out with a mini version. They are spendy but I have found that they last 5x as long and even hold up to the occasional pike. I also found that the popper frog works better than the non-popper in open water as well. Spooled up with #80 braid, and a stiff rod, great bair for thick cover.

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A new bait that I used with good to very good results last year was the River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130.

It is 5" 1.375oz lure that has internal rattles and produces a deep low "plopping" sound.

You can cast it a mile and burn it or slowly crawl it.

Caught some big largemouth fishing it over deep cabbage at night last year.

In clear water I use the Zara Spook a lot.

Huge fan of the Yum Money Frogs.

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