A wide array of poppers, chuggers, walkers, and prop baits (hard bodied baits with propellers attached at one or both ends) are available today that are capable of creating surface explosions from bass, but some work better than others depending on water clarity, weather and the type of cover you are targeting. By selecting the right surface lures for the prevailing conditions, you can trigger more consistent topwater blasts on your favorite bass fishery.
Types Of Prop Baits
A prop bait triggers surface explosions in a variety of situations. Certain prop baits can spit and cut through grass well for a ripping weeds presentation. You can also be a lot more subtle with a prop topwater than with a walking plug. By working the lure slow and methodical you can actually walk some prop baits next to cover or along the sides of docks and create a little bubble trail.
In windy conditions, you can also rip the bait to trigger topwater strikes in open water. When you encounter calm weather and a slick water surface, you can barely twitch the lure for a more subtle topwater presentation. This approach works well when fishing the prop bait over spawning bluegill beds where bass are looking for an easy prey.
A large prop bait like the Bagley Sunny B Twin Spin is also great for waking over standing timber. Throw the topwater bait past the timber and wind it steadily so the propellers create a V on the surface and wait for the strike when the lure passes by the cover.
Tackle For Prop Baits
The best bass fishing tackle for working a prop bait effectively is a 6 1/2- to 7-foot medium-heavy action casting rod and a high-speed baitcast reel with a gear ratio of at least 6.3:1. Tie the prop bait on 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon line for the best results.
Making a few modifications to some prop baits can give you an advantage over other guys throwing the same lure. Removing the rear propeller of some prop baits and placing it backwards on the lure changes the action of the surface plugs. The modification causes the prop to turn in the opposite direction, which creates more water resistance and a bigger splash without having to move the lure very far forward. The alteration allows you to make more surface commotion while keeping the lure close to a piece of cover.
You can improve the hookup percentages of some prop baits by exchanging the factory-installed hooks with fine wire trebles one size larger than the originals.
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