How to Catch Bass on Poppers

August 24, 2017

I have been teaching my 10 year old son how to fly fish for bass recently, so I took him out to Hilltop Lake a couple of mornings ago and I felt like some of the lessons I gave him were worthy of sharing on the blog.  We have some great fishing still this year and you can fish DIY or guided on Hilltop Lake.  Its a private lake, good fishing, and a great place to begin building your skill set.  

Bass fishing is among America's greatest sports. Its true! In other parts of the world angler's are fascinated by the "Black Bass", or Largemouth Bass as we call them in the states.  I love Bass fishing.  They are well populated, well distributed, and there are TONS of public waters with great fishing.  Their populations remain stable from year to year and they are very responsive to flies.  

Jensen Rotter and Largemouth Bass on Popper

They aren't always easy to catch which is what I love most about them.  What you do as the angler to generate action has a direct correlation on your success. That's why they are the ultimate tournament fish. When an angler discovers the magic recipe based on water depth, speed of presentation, and they type of lure that is triggering strikes he is in the money.  There is almost no luck involved here, that's why the same dudes win on a regular basis. They are the best fisherman.

While we aren't competitive with fly rods, its nice to know that this fish will play by the rules. You make good presentations in the right spots, the bass will respond accordingly.  Plus they smash poppers which is what we are talking about today.

There are few moments in fly fishing more exciting than a bucketmouth, even a small one, crushing your popper fly.  It makes my heart stop every time!  Combine that with the marksmanship game of placing that fly right along the bank structure and its like hopper fishing for trout on steroids.  Big action.

I have filmed some tips for you that I shot while spending the morning with my sons a couple of days ago. You too can catch bass on poppers.  We were fishing on our private lake, Hilltop Lake, which is great fishing but there are lots of public lakes with substantial populations of bass. Not to mention ponds!  There are little bass ponds sprinkled all over this great country. 

Popper Flies and Key Gear for Bass Fishing

RIO Big Nasty Tapered Leaders

These big burly leaders are perfect for casting poppers to bass

Other Bass Poppers

Bass Fly Assortments

Whitlocks Signature Bass Assortment

This is a mix of both topwater and subsurface patterns.  These poppers are spun hair and land very naturally.  They also climb over lily pads, weeds, etc for areas with lots of grass and other structure. 

This assortment is for Panfish and Small Bass.  Its all poppers and other surface flies.  These are great fun and work for all small warmwater species like Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Smallmouth Bass, and other Panfish.