Bass & Gills Shallow on Poppers

I fished the evening in a shallow, weedy Huron River impoundment that lacks any access for Motor Boats.  I seldom see another fishing human here.

The deadfall on the right shoreline is an excellent spot except today there was a heron hanging out there.  He disappeared, but by carefully examining scenery photographs such as this, one can occasionally find Photographic Proof of their extraordinary skill of holding their wings just so, and hanging motionless in the sky, waiting for the impatient, unseeing human gaze to move on.

The muddy main river channel is out of sight on far left behind a massive, solid bed of Curly Leaf Pond Weed, from where, newly hatched Damsel Fly adults launch into there feeble fluttering flight toward the shoreline.  The spawning beds and almost  all the fish are to the far right near the shore in the mixed weeds and stumps over a rocky bottom.

On the #4 Black Mop Worm Popper, I got a stunningly big beautiful male Pumpkinseed which flopped off the kayak deck and free of the barbless hook.  This fly wasn't working well,  A better proportioned Mist Green Mopworm Popper immediately got more hits.

I didn't deserve this bass. Frequently a lot more patience than I can manage to do on purpose is required.  For big fish, "Dead Sticking" is frequently the only way you get them.   I do this by either before the retrieve or after finishing the retrieve, I let the popper sit out there while I do a bit of paddling or untangle my shooting line piled up in the cockpit.  I had retrieved this popper up to the edge of some green slime.  It sat there while I was otherwise occupied, then boom.   Wait, that's my ring tone, Its Mr Bass on line one.  This second bass I did everything right, easily done in this case.

I made a long cast into a big pocket of open water, from 10 feet away, a big wake rushed straight to the fallen popper.  I waited, she arrived but didn't hit, then one small pop and she ate it.

  The first bass was the only Smallmouth,  5 species shown in all along with some interesting Bluegill-Pumpkin Seed Hybrids.  Usually Bluegills own the alpha beds here, now there were many more Pumpkin Seed Sunfish and hybrids.  Lots of variation show in the photos, A Damsel Nymph, an incapacitated adult and a cut off green rubber leg wound up in some of the photos.  So I can't blame the small pike that blasted the little green popper without getting hooked.


Mop Worm Popper

The #4 Mist Green Mop Worm Popper has lost 2 legs on the near side and is roughed up a bit on the head.  It was well recieved as was the larger #2 Hexy Mop Popper.  It has 4 legs on each side and a fluffy grey saddle stem tied back over the thorax for gills.

  • Hook    Down Eye Dry, Mustad, KoreaSun, Sticky or any popper hook
  • Thread  Fire Orange 140
  • Tail      Furled Mop Chenille, tied back so twisted loop makes durable tail
  • Thorax     Synthetic Coarse Dubbing
  • Rubber Legs  2 or 4 on each side with dubbing supporting them
  • Head  Roam Cylinder, Square cut front, Back angled cut as shown.
The square cut front is easy to get right and an effective popping face.  The angled back face makes for a smooth transition to a buggy dubbed thorax it also allows the hook and  buggy back features to hang lower in the water.  This is a more attractive target for the fish.  The low in the water popper is less like to be blown out of the path of and overly aggressive onrushing fish, and it goes down in the suction strike, so fewer missed hits.


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