Bass & Bluegills, Hook Up Choker Popper Pattern

Bass Bluegill Popper Pattern

My secret Bluegill pond used to have very big Bluegills.  I have been seeing blue worm containers littering the banks for the last few years.  I am worried the big ones are gone and the gene pool is headed toward smaller Bluegills forever.


Fish were hitting a prototype #6 Black Bluegill Choker and getting hooked well, only a few hooked deep.  The foam head needed to be a bit bigger so it floats higher and the larger head momentarily can catch on the outside of their mouths so they can be hooked before they can gobble it down deep. 

This hook up popper is like the Hook Up Gurgler, a fly that will ride snag free over or around all manner of surface weeds.  It is more durable and does a better job of hooking hits.  The substantial foam head is cut to have a wide flat shape to turn hook up when held in a fish's mouth. 


The small Cheater Float was to help the Choker stay on top with the saturated Fluorocarbon leader almost sinking it.  The Bluegills will hit the pink cheater as well as the fly!?  It is best not to strike then.  Bluegills on topwater are a great way to work on a deliberate strip strike habit. 

BlueGill Choker    Black, Olive, Chartreuse

  • Hook    #6 or #4 straight eye, Light Sproat, like the KSun 7013, or an Aberdeen Hook, Best to break off the barb.
  • Thread   Fire Orange 140D or 210D, make a hot spot Butt and tread strand tail
  • Head    Foam Disk sliced as shown, #6 - 7/16 inch Diameter,  #4 - 1/2 inch Diameter
  • Tail         Marabou:  Black, Olive, Chartreuse, White, Yellow, Purple
  • Body      Dubbing color of the Tail
  • Legs      4 Rubber Legs spaced 2 along each side of the body

Bass Choker    Black, Purple, Chartreuse, White, Yellow

  • Hook    1/0 Medium Heavy Predator Hook
  • Thread   210D Fire Orange for dark colors, Chartreuse for light colors
  • Head    3/4 inch Diameter Disk cut to shape
  • Tail      Long Marabou
  • Body    Estaz Regular color like the Marabou
  • Collar #1   Schlappen Hackle right behind the head glue in point
  • Collar #2  Pearl Flashabou  3 strands folded to each side of hackle collar
  • Collar #2   Splay of 2 to 4 red rubber legs on each side over hackle collar

    The #6 in Black or maybe Olive is best for most Bluegills and will hook fish as small as 4 inches.  The #4 also works for 10 to 16 inch Bass and should take some Bluegills down to 6 inches.  The 1/0 is for bass in weed cover, Bass colors like Black, Purple, Chartreuse, White and Yellow are good choices.

    July 4th I fish a no ramp small impoundment of the Huron river.  The weeds were mostly too thick to fish.  The Hook Up Choker is a good choice to cast toward open pockets.  When it lands off target you can slide it across whatever weeds to get to water open enough to fish.  Using a 1/0 Black Bass  Choker, I got this bass on a quick cast back after he had stuck and missed the first  cast.

    The foam head ripped off the popper.  That's why prototypes need to be tested.  I'll use the stronger River Road Cylinders and go back to the more resilient Crafts 6000 glue.  Also lost a hooked bass and caught a 4 inch Pumpkin Seed on a 1/0 Purple Choker.  A #4 Black Bluegill Choker caught another bass and a good 7 inch Bluegill after getting lots of hits from good Bluegills.  An experimental 1/0 Black MopWorm Popper got hit relentlessly by Bluegills. 


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