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Smallmouth on poppers when?

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2007/4/25 10:02
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Have not fished for smallmouth much- but the 2 days I have in the last week specifically I have not had much luck on top.

Granted the day on yough- I used buggers exclusively so maybe based on 1 days observation could not get one on top but they were more than willing with deaddrifting buggers under.

I did fish a popper and a couple similiar flies on top- nothing. But in the same spot I dead drifted a bugger and wham.

Or is it not that simple. Like trout fishing?

Any insight on this limited experience? Thanks in advance, Paul.

Posted on: 2008/8/14 13:42
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Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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I found that the poppers worked well VERY early in the morning. Once the air got warm and the sun got high, they stopped looking up.

I'd imagine the same applies to the evening.

Posted on: 2008/8/14 15:12


Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?

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Ahh- the dreaded get up early thing huh! At this time of year I thought that was just a trico thing, darn.

All good things with effort!

Posted on: 2008/8/14 15:45
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Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?

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2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
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I stopped off at Moraine yday on our way home...fished from 6:30 to dark and got them (both lg & sm mouth) exclusively on top...I tried bunny flies, deceivers, whistlers, thinking that I was missing some with the popper. No luck...all they were taking was the popper. Switched back and started having success again. I was using a large size popper, so I also tried the biggest popper I have (mustad 34011 2/0 stainless) but that must have been too big. I switched back to my original popper (approx 4-5" overall length) and started hitting them again.
I just worked the bank wading out about waist deep casting paralell to the bank, then fanned the cast out into the lake. It was overcast which helped too.

Posted on: 2008/8/14 17:13


Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?

Joined:
2008/8/10 18:44
From lebanon, pa
Posts: 246
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poppers or rather sliders work all day long.
in the morning before teh sun starts beating down on the water, a more aggressive retreive works. later when the sun is higher, almost a dead drift will take them. just let it float giving it a twitch every few seconds. this approach almost promises large blueguills and the like.
in the evening when the sun gets low agian, but the water is well warmed a slightly less aggressive tactic will take them. in teh morning i give enough of a tug to make it dive a few inches, they typically blast it after it returns to the surface and settles down.
my favorite popper is actually a slider painted white(i only use cork bodies) with two sets of rubber legs, a black hackle collar and a white marbou tail. with thte whole thing being right around 2" long, on a size 6 hook. this i call my ''medium'' popper.
this "kills" them on the creek.

Posted on: 2008/8/14 20:16


Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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My pet theory about poppers is that they don't work so well in shallow water. In shallower water you want to use sliders. As has been said, when there is a lot of light, use a dead drift. Speed up from there, but I don't like to use a "chugging" retrieve unless I see bass busting schools of minnows.. I think of poppers as minnows leaping or feeding on the surface. So I tend to use them at the end of the day and after dark.

Posted on: 2008/8/14 21:14
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Padraic
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Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Acristic wrote: "I did fish a popper and a couple similiar flies on top- nothing. But in the same spot I dead drifted a bugger and wham.

Or is it not that simple. Like trout fishing?"



I love smallmouth fishing and look forward to the summer because to me, it so much simpler than trout fishing. Fly-fishing for trout sometimes gives me a headache. Hatches to match, carrying a thousand+ flies, emergers, duns, cripples, parachutes, catskills, comparaduns, midges, some down to size #30, using fine tippets,trying to get a perfect drag-free float, etc., etc.,etc………

For fishing smallmouths, grab a handful of poppers and sliders in a few colors for on top, and a few colors of buggers and clousers for below the surface. Tie them on with a good knot and a stout tippet and you’re in business.

Try fishing on top using a few different types of presentations. I do this first because it’s my favorite way of catching them. If they don’t hit, go down for them using a few different presentations and colors. I gave up trying to guess when and why smallmouth hit on the surface. Generally early and late in the day or cloudy days are best for poppers, but I’ve had many days where they slammed a popper or slider all day long in the blazing sun.

Trout are like a high maintenance woman, fussy, hard-to-please and temperamental. Bass are more like guys, blue-collar and take things as they come. If trout and bass were people, the bass would be down in the basement drinking beer and belching, while the trout would be on the lanai sipping vintage wine and nibbling a canapé.

In other words, don’t sweat it. Throw a few poppers, throw a few buggers, and hang on!

Posted on: 2008/8/15 7:10


Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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While I like afishinado's analogy - I'd suggest that on some days, smallies can be more sophisticated than us simple guys. Smallmouths bass are slower growing than trout and, to the extent that fish possess intelligence and the ability to learn from mistakes, I think smallies are smarter than trout. A 15" SM in a local creek is probably at least ten years old and a 20" in the Susky or Delaware is likely older than some of the teenagers fishing for him. They have seen a lot of fishing pressure and likely have thrown a lot of hooks and been released a few times. They can be very wary and sometimes selective (although generally no where near as selective as trout). Sometimes you have to experiment with presentations and careful boating and wading is a must in low clear water if you want to catch the big ones.
Anyway, I like poppers a lot, mostly for searching because I can cast them a long distance and strikes are easy to detect. I tend to prefer narrow, "pencil" style poppers due to ease of casting. Bass will eat poppers pretty much any time but warmer water that is fairly clear tends to work best for me. As others have pointed out, low light conditions seem better for poppers and my experience bears this out. Whether poppers are best for big fish depends on the expert you ask. I get a lot of big fish on poppers but I use them a lot. Lefty and Tim Holschag are firm believers that popers get big fish. Dave Whitlock tends to feel that sub-surface flies get more trophies.

Posted on: 2008/8/15 8:29


Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?

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Good stuff. Thanks. So far the advice I have received has been money. And the posts are entertaining to boot! I did not realize that smallmouth age deal.

Posted on: 2008/8/15 12:19
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Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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I'd agree with Fishidiot's post and stress that smallmouths can be much more skittish than trout. I generally try to use a longer cast and stay back from what I see as good bass lies. With trout I am much more likely to walk up on them and fish short. Presentation is less critical than stealth, so fly that drags in the current is not going to freak out bass like it will trout.

Posted on: 2008/8/15 18:07
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Padraic
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest


Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?

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2006/9/9 21:13
From Apollo
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Padraic is right with that one, "fly that drags in the current is not going to freak out bass like it will trout." I've caught many bass with the popper dragging across the suface. Sometimes that is the only they will hit the thing.

Posted on: 2008/8/15 19:37
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Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?

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2008/3/20 22:15
Posts: 1789
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There is nothing complicated or smart about a fish. It's a fish. Find the trigger and you catch it. Temp does matter as oxygen levels change. No mystery. No oxygen go where there is more. Hot days low water you find trout in the riffles. Warm water, low oxygen no place to go the fish slow down. Especially smallmouth. I catch my smallmouth on the delay not the strip. I didn't catch any smallmouth after fishing trout so I slowed down. Not a slow strip but fast with brief hesitations. Like fishing with ADD. It's like hey it's going , it's not, can't decide it's going..heck bite it. I never give fish a ton of time to look at anything, but I do try to get them that hesitation instant to flip that switch. Don't think too complicated, it's a fish.

Posted on: 2008/8/16 8:38


Re: Smallmouth on poppers when?

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 862
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On one hand, it's been my experience that you CAN catch moving water smallmouth all day on top on sunny days.

On the other hand, it has also been my experience that you CAN fish standing on one leg all day.

But like fishing with poppers in the high sun, it may not be the most effective thing you can do.

But that's just a viewpoint, of which I have an abundance.

Still, on yet another hand (which I had to borrow, having used both of mine...), if you fish poppers or sliders or whatever trips your trigger in topwater offerings to the shady bank and on overcast days, in terms of effectivtiveness, t is a lot like fishing them early or late.

But in the sun, I think all else being equal, you'll do 3 times as well underneath.

Posted on: 2008/8/16 20:16






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