When A Bass Bait Gets Hot

Bass Fishing

when bass baits get hot

When A Bass Bait Gets Hot The Bass Stop Biting

A famous bass pro once said, “The difference between a professional angler and a weekend fisherman is that the pro is quicker to change when not catching fish. We all have our favorite lures, which we often use to a fault. A bass bait can get hot, like the Whopper Plopper topwater lure. However, when bass are exposed to it regularly, they quit falling for the fake.

Another example is, in the late 1960s, Laurie Rapala was hand-carving his 11S Rapalas. He would ship 700 a year to the U. S. Marinas on Dale Hollow, and some other TVA impoundments rented them for $7 a day. If you lost one, it cost you $30, a lot of money for a lure back then. I can’t remember when I’ve read or heard about someone catching a mess of bass on this minnow imitating artificial. In fact, it might be just as good today.

There are three small lakes where I fish locally. In years past, some big bass have fallen for the Whopper Plopper. My largest bass came from a development pond three years ago. It was the last fish to hit this lure on that lake. One day, as I approached the lake from Miss Peggy’s, I observed a local resident using a whopper plopper. Surely, the bass in these waters had grown shy of this noisy topwater bait. The second lake had underwater buckbrush where the bass would hide. The whopper plopper helped me put a lot of three to five pound bass in the boat for several years. My last two visits tallied no bass on the whopper plopper.

bass baits get hot

Monday, I drove to Fishers to give a pint of blood. Afterward, I stopped at Cabelas. They had quite a rack of plastic worms of several styles and colors. Usually, the hot worm has one or two packages left on the hook. I took the last package off one of the pegs. The third pit, which my son Greg and I call the frog pond, is no more than six feet deep. It has a lot of slop on top with some open water. Early this spring, I caught some three-pounders on the whopper plopper and a lot of smaller bass. The pond owner was impressed by my catch on the bait. He bought three whopper ploppers for his tackle box. The word spread to his friend, who caught some nice bass on this lure.

Change It Up

Greg and I switched to plastic frogs and caught several bass, but the resident populating of largemouth soon quit hitting both topwater lures. On my home, I stopped at the frog pond. It was 1:30 pm with a 70 percent chance of rain in a half-hour. It only sprinkled, but what a good time to be on the water.

The Whopper did not produce the time before. This time, I went with a new Father’s Day frog and the plastic worms I had just purchased. The conditions were perfect for the frog, but the bass was having none of it, save for a couple of small ones. Tossing this worm was like flipping a light switch. I must have caught over 20 bass in an hour. The big one got away, but I did land one weighing 4.5 lbs. A bass appearing to weigh over five pounds sucked in my worm. The fish was too heavy to tail-walk. Half of her body broke the water with a violent head shake, sending the worm back my way.

Keep Your Favorite Bass Bait A Secret

What worm and how I rigged it must remain a secret. Others, who read this column, fish the same lake. Before the summer is gone, I will introduce the old Rapala to a new population of bass who have never seen one.

About The Whopper Plopper

Check out the whopper plopper at Amazon

The Whopper Plopper’s design and concept is a straightforward topwater lure. It is made to look like a wounded baitfish. It’s not a new concept to mimic a dying or injured baitfish in order to attract strikes. We all know how well the Rapala Original Floater catches bass. It was made to look like an injured baitfish.

Adding a prop to such a bait is also not a new idea. Since the 1950s, Smithwick’s Devil’s Horse has been fooling bass with its slim, slender minnow (also known as a hard stickbait) body design. It is similar to Rapala’s Original Floater, but instead of a lip, the lure has two small metal propellers attached to the front and back of it. There have also been deeper-bellied versions of this design, such as the Lucky Craft Kelly J.

When Hall of Fame angler Larry Dahlberg and River2Sea’s Simon Chan met in 2008, they came up with the idea for the Whopper Plopper. Topwater fishing is a favorite with both anglers. At the time, Larry was especially interested in making lures for pike and muskie. He wanted to make a topwater lure with a different sound than other topwater baits like buzzbaits or prop baits like the Devil’s Horse.

They wanted something that sounded like “a small water bird running across the surface” or “plop-like.” They eventually produced a model with a 190 millimeter diameter, which they aptly dubbed the Whopper Plopper 190. This was not an easy task. The prototypes were made by carving the bait from a broom handle. The rubber tail could rotate because it was connected to a wire. They discovered that in addition to muskie and pike, largemouth bass would also take the large bait. For bass anglers, Larry and Simon produced a 130 millimeter whopper plopper. The Whopper Plopper 130 is it.

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About Rick Bramwell 38 Articles
Grew up in rural Indiana fishing farm ponds and hunting woodlands. Bramwell has been writing outdoors for 48 years. He harvested the record typical whitetail for his county and hunts rabbits with his beagle Tramp. He fished bass tournaments, including Red Man, until 1989. Bramwell has put together an ultra-ultra light system for catching panfish that mostly involves tight-lining a small jig. He attended college at Indiana State and Anderson University. Bramwell has two sons in their 50s, Brian and Gregory. A daughter Jourdan age 27. His greatest memory: fishing trout, salmon and halibut in Alaska. Bramwell's passion, apart from the outdoors, has been coaching high school age fastpitch softball.

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