A huge rainfall (7.5 inches at my home) had just flooded the creeks with muddy water. My drive to Point Mouillee SGA required crossing 4 stretches of road flooded curb to curb. On the Huron River in the Flat Rock Dam Pond, lily pads were over topped with a few feet or water. Point Mouillee's wetland water level was up 10 inches. The cat tails on the western edges of some cat tail patches had been knocked down by strong winds and uprooted submerged weeds pile up on top of them. Water clarity was OK and there was more open water to cast to. Fishing was slow. On my first hit, I landed a medium sized pike on a 2/0 white HookUp Popper. He moved on the popper 4 times before getting hooked.
I landed 2 more smaller pike. All 3 had taken it deeply hook down in the gills. This first one bled a little but pike recover well from gill injuries. My second hit was a bass near 20 inches that hit close to a cattail clump. Immediately she was pulling away hard and I pulled back very hard before lightening up and then she came off. On the 2/0 HookUp Popper I hooked 8 bass, several of them good sized, another one about 20 inches. Only one 13 incher stayed hooked long enough to land. Either I didn't pull hard enough and they got into submerged weeds and got some slack or rubbed the fly out by head shaking against the weeds. Or I pulled too hard and then they came off.
I was fishing with the hook barbs broken off but usually this works OK for me. I found out when I photographed the flies why this HookUp Popper maybe held fish so poorly. I had mistakenly tied this HookUp Popper with only a 2/0 hook but with a 3/0 sized head. The pictured fly should have a one size bigger hook.
As peak evening bite was due to start, I switched to a topwater flashy 3/0 White Dive Banger. Fishing it as a popper, it landed 4 out of 5 bass 15 to 19 inches. The shorter hook shank on this pattern can make it harder for them get leverage to shake off. The biggest one jumped twice which worked to my advantage this time.