Best Time To Use A Topwater Popper (And How To Use It)

Fishing a topwater lure is one of the more exciting ways to fish because you can actually see something come up and hit it. There are a number of different options to pick from but one of my favorites has to be the popper.

It’s not going to be effective all year round but it’s something everyone should know how to do. If you want to catch fish on certain days you’re going to have to pull it out of the bag. Here are the best times to use a topwater popper:

  • On hot days.
  • At night.
  • Early morning.
  • When the water is calm.
  • No wind.
  • If there are lots of bugs.
  • When fish are breaching.

I’m sure you’ll be able to catch fish at different times but this is when you’ll want to focus on using a topwater lure. A popper is what I’ve had the best results with (compared to a frog or buzzbait) and I like using them because they’re easy to cast and have a smaller profile. Since they’re smaller you can catch other fish as well. Continue reading or watch the video below for more details on when and how to use a popper.


What To Look For In A Popper

There are a number of different shapes, sizes, and colors when it comes to a popper. I prefer my popper to be a natural shad looking color because it’s what the fish are already used to. Some of them have crazy colors and I’m not saying they don’t work, but I think something more natural will give you better results.

I also like a popper that has a smaller face to it and is more compact. Some of them are pretty bulky and I think having something with a smaller face would look more like a real baitfish. See our favorites here.

The next thing you’ll want to look for is a popper with a feathered hook on the back. Most of them do have this but I have seen a couple that didn’t. It makes quite a big difference in my opinion.

The final thing you want to look for is a popper with sharp hooks. Kinda obvious but it’s more important than a lot of other baits to have good hooks. Since it’s a topwater lure, fish will take a swipe at it as a reaction to it hitting the water. If you have dull hooks it’s not going to snag them as often and if you do happen to snag one, there’s a good chance of him coming free.

How To Use A Topwater Popper

Now that you have your popper and it’s the perfect time to use one, the next thing you’ll have to do is figure out what type of rod/reel to use and what fishing line to put on.

Let’s start with your rod and reel. I prefer using a baitcasting reel to throw a popper and I like using a casting rod that’s under 7 feet tall. You want to have the most control over the rod and sometimes casting is a bit tricky if your rod is longer. I also like using a lighter rod and normally go with a medium because they’ll cast a longer distance (since a popper is light).

Now for the fishing line. You’ll want to make sure you have a floating line. A popper is a floating lure and if you’re using fluorocarbon then it’ll mess with the presentation. You can use straight monofilament or braid because both of them float.

Once that’s all figure out, you’re ready to go. You’re going to want to look for an area of cover because that’s most likely where they’re hiding out. Grass beds, rocky bottoms, and fallen trees are all places where they probably are.

When the popper hits the water you’ll want to let it sit there for a couple of seconds (you might get a reactionary bite). When all the ripples are gone you can start your retrieve. It’s important to be patient with this lure and take your time. I’m sure you can just reel in and you might get something but you’ll have better luck if you go slow.

You’ll want to mix in some pauses, twitches, and change the angle every now and then. Slowly start reeling in, pause, give it a couple of twitches, hold the rod to your side, and reel in some more. You can mess around with lifting and lowering your rod as well but that’s kinda the strategy I’ve been using and it seems to work pretty well.

Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. I created this site to test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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