BelleVille Lake Smallmouth on Top Water July22, 2022

I drive by this spot, Belleville Lake, Down Town between the bridges every work day.  There are competent looking bass fishermen fishing deep here.  The bridges are 100 yards apart and posted no wake-5mph so this is one spot on the lake to not be bothered so much by huge motor boat wakes.  I hit it pretty early and stayed to about Peak Motorboat for a Friday afternoon.  Lots of good rip rap shoreline to fish here, lots of little smallmouth and some over 12 inches.  I lost a lot of the fish hooked and missed a lot of hits.  I was using the same beat up 3/0 White Marabou Banger I used on Erie a few days ago.  I missed and lost a few better fish along the way.

Kayak topwater Smallmouth Bass  Popper Flies
Kayak Smallmouth topwaterPopper Flies
Kayak Smallmouth Topwater Popper Flies
Kayak topwater Smallmouth Popper Flies

At the  last spot left, a big bass took the popper coming toward me.  I set hard and was tight to him for a second, then he came off.  The next cast the same sized fish took and I got his picture.  If that was in fact the same big bass coming back for a second hit, it was the only time that happened all day out of dozens of missed hits.  These are hard pressured fish compared to the Erie Largemouth who frequently came back harder if they missed on the first try.

Kayak Topwater Smallmouth Popper Flies

A few cast later, I hooked another good fish a couple inches shorter. 

This fly has landed 40+ fish in two trips out, it has hooked and lost about that many more.  Belleville Lake is a Shad lake and the Great Lakes have Shad and other flashy pelagic bait fish that predators love.  The Prism Tape protects the foam face from damage from fish jaws and being cast hard into rock, steel and brush shoreline cover.  In protecting the foam face, it also prevents increased water absorption which is important to keep the right action.
       This is a moderate flash version.  My flashier version uses the wider, longer Magnum Opal flash and some Regular Silver Flashabou mixed in.


    3/0 Marabou Banger Popper Flies
    • Marabou Banger
    • Hook   #1 to 3/0 Predator Hook, Standard to 2XShort
    • Head   1/2 of White Foam Cylinder, square cut front, 25º cut back face
    • Prism Tape  1/2 package width, wider than head to shroud tail tie in
    • Tail   Full Marabou 3X to 4X Tape width
    • Tail Flash  Opal Mirage longer than and on both sides of Marabou
    • Waist Flash   Full Clump of Pearl Ice Dub, center tied on top& sides
    • Eyes    Foil or Plastic sheet stick on
    • Gill    Single Slash of Bright Red Nail Polish

    The tail and flash materials are tied to be inside the overlapping Prism Tape.  The head, Prism Tape, Eyes and Gill Slash are assembled separate first.   The bare, exposed inside of the prism tape overlap must get a light coat of glue that is allowed to dry.  I use Liquid Fusion fabric glue.  A hole is poked through the foam near the bottom edge of the foam. Then the tail and flash materials are tied on the hook to butt up against the bottom of the 25º back face of the foam cylinder.  Lastly, the built up tread wraps on the hook with the tied tail materials, are treated with some glue and forced, twisted through the hole poked near the bottom edge of the foam.

    White, Silver and Opal  or  Chartreuse & Opal are good colors.

    For Salt water I found a similarly tied version with a more standard, slimmer head and Bucktail for the tail to be good.

    4/0 to 6/0 Musky versions can be made with a Deceiver style tail assembly, or a hollow tied tail-body can be made of synthetic fiber & Bucktail


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