Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Let's Talk About...Topwaters

Hello Folks,

Started my Occupational Therapy today. I'll be attending OT from now through October 22, 2010. My script allows me to attend therapy three times a week and that is what I am going to do. We will be working on flexibility until the seventh week out from the surgery. After the seventh week, the therapist can begin helping me to strengthen my arm once again.

I'm going to start something new today. The title will start out with "Let's Talk About... " I will pick a topic to discuss. It may be about certain lures or maybe another topic associated with fishing, in general. Until I can get back on the water and bring you some great pics and stories of fishing outings, this will give me the opportunity to continue to share my fishing background and knowledge with you. I hope you enjoy it!


In my opinion, there is nothing more visually exciting in fishing than to see a smallmouth bass slam into a topwater lure. I have seen fish come out of their shallow water haunts to follow a topwater. It reminds me of a living submarine, wake and all. "Whoosh!" My heart is pounding and it takes everything I have to wait until I feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook. That moment of hesitation is so crucial, yet so difficult for us who have been taught to set the hook at first possible chance.

There are many different types of topwaters from conventional fishing to fly fishing. I will concentrate on conventional fishing in this particular post. Maybe someday, I'll touch on my fly fishing background... maybe! :)


I've had the pleasure of attending several seminars put on by a master of the topwater popper, Zell Rowland. Zell mastered the popper years ago and has designed his own over the years. He is an expert who takes his bass fishing to the next level by perfecting his topwater technique.

Zell spent hours customizing Pop'R's to meet his standard for performance. He would shave down the bottom lip and then send his poppers off to a neighbor who was a fly tyer. His neighbor added feathered tails to meet Zell's specifications. Zell was doing things with poppers that no other professional angler was doing at the time.

I have modified a few of my Pop'Rs with fly tying feathers. I'll have to look for the one that I added hackle that looks like frog legs... Cool and deadly, too!


The bottom two lures show a Pop'R style topwater and a Rapala Skitter Pop. Depending on the shape of the lip, some poppers actually spit rather than actually making a popping sound or a "Boink" sound. My good friend, Dell, loves his Pop'R lures and throws them quite often while we fish. So, I get to see them quite often on our fishing adventures.

There are many cadences one can use with a popper. For example, an angler can cast this lure and retrieve at a very fast... "pop, pop, pop, pop..." retrieval. This action will often excite bass and cause a reaction strike.

If the fish are lethargic and do not seem to be attacking the quickly moving popper, one can slow the lure down to a... "pop, pop, pause, pop, pop, pause..." cadence to see if bass are attracted.

We have even slowed the cadence to a... "pop, lo-o-o-o-n-g p-a-u-s-e, pop"

I have witnessed bass following below poppers and stick baits. They are such curious creatures and often are "sizing" this thing up. One little twitch and "WHAM!"


Oh, my... I love my buzzbaits! As evidence with the video I recently posted. I love chucking this lure a mile, bringing it to the top, and reeling it back to the boat.

I've had many different strikes on a buzzbait... violent to a subtle slurping.

It's a rather easy lure to learn to fish. I love fishing it mostly over pronounced ledges, but it's just as effective in open water.

The buzzbaits on the left in the above picture is currently my favorite - A Boogerman. A Boogerman has a flat lead head that allows the lure to stay on top a bit easier. It is the buzzbait that I threw while making the bussbait video.

Dad be continued