When I was 16, I hardly knew anything about Bass fishing but it already had a hold of me, I just didn’t realize it. I was at the lake with my family one summer afternoon when I grabbed an old rod in the garage and tied on really the only thing that we had, a Rebel Pop-R.
On my first cast i hurled the lure across the small cove beside a dock that had a gnarly lay down beside it. The ripples from the cast settled as I twitched the bait once, then twice, trying to imitate what I had seen Hank Parker do on TV earlier that morning, when all of a sudden what seemed like a cannonball splashed and my bait was sucked under. After somewhat of a hook set, or knee jerk reaction, I started to reel in my first top water fish and my life has never been the same.
Right now its summer and the water temp is in the 80’s but find the right pocket and you may stumble on a flat, full of bream beds, which is when the Pop-R really shines. Perhaps what I like most about the Pop-R is that it can be thrown ALL DAY; its not a top water lure that you feel like needs to be put away once the sun is high. In fact, some of my best trips with a Pop-R have come from 12-3pm when its 95 degrees. At that time I like to find a cove that has a feeder creek in the back, which produces a higher oxygen level, target the shady side of the bank and work the bait parallel back to the boat. Any sort of cover, docks, letdowns, submerged grass, rip rap, are all prime examples of places I like to target when throwing a Pop-R. As with every bait, vary your retrieve to see what the bass are after that particular day. With this type of bait, you want it chugging and spitting water as you twitch the line. If you have been working it fast with no luck, slow it down, twitch, twitch, long pause. Wait until the ripples disappear and do it again. There is hardly anything in fishing that has only one way to go about using it correctly. Experiment.
However one of the critical components of getting the Pop-R to move like we want it to is your line. It must float. Otherwise, the nose of the bait may sink below the surface and negate the splashing erratic behavior we are searching for. Use either monofilament or braided line when throwing your pop-r for the best results and hook ups. They can be thrown on a spinning rod or bait caster and is really up to your personal preference and depends on the size of your lure.
Color options can be pretty overwhelming so I keep it simple. These are my go to’s
- Chrome and Black
- Bream pattern
On clear lakes and sunny days the clear Pop-R is what I have tied on but if it’s overcast, rainy, or the water is a little stained, I go with the Black and Chrome. On the trips where I hone in on a specific bream bed pattern, I will use the bream color, but that usually happens after picking a few off with the clear color as I try and locate the fish. If you haven’t tried a Pop-R before, a highly recommend tying one on this summer as you head to the water.
Watch this video for some awesome blowups on a Pop-R