The Ultimate Whopper Plopper Guide for Smallmouth Bass Fishing

If you’ve ever dreamed of unlocking the secrets of the Whopper Plopper, the topwater bait that’s taken the smallmouth bass world by storm, you’re in for a treat. This article offers a deep dive into the lure’s design, origins, and why it’s a favorite among anglers.

Understanding the Whopper Plopper’s Design

At a glance, the Whopper Plopper might look like your average topwater lure. However, it’s the intricate design nuances that make it exceptional. It’s characterized by:

  1. Segmented Body: Resembling the profile of baitfish, its body design makes it an irresistible target for predatory fish, especially smallmouth bass.
  2. Rotating Tail: This is the lure’s pièce de résistance. The soft, pliable tail spins during a retrieve, generating a unique plopping and gurgling sound that’s hard for fish to resist.

When and Where to Use the Whopper Plopper

Best Conditions:

  • Time of Day: Maximizing your catch means using the Whopper Plopper during early mornings and late evenings when bass are most active.
  • Water Clarity: Aim for clear to slightly stained waters. The lure’s action is most visible in these conditions.
  • Weather: Overcast days can enhance the effectiveness of topwater lures like the Whopper Plopper.

Water Depth:

  • Fish in shallow waters to about 10 feet deep. The topwater action of the Whopper Plopper is best suited for these depths, especially if the water is clear.

The Art of the Retrieve:

  1. Steady Pacing: Cast and reel back at a consistent speed. The lure does the rest, creating a tempting plopping sound.
  2. Varying Speeds: Switching between slow and fast retrieves can help gauge the mood of the bass.
  3. Pause and Play: Intermittently halting during the retrieve can mimic wounded prey, triggering more strikes.

Whopper Plopper Techniques and Retrieves:

  1. Steady Retrieve:
    • This is the most straightforward technique. Cast the lure out and reel it in at a constant speed.
    • The spinning tail will create the unique “plopping” sound that drives fish wild. It’s a consistent and rhythmic disturbance that bass find irresistible.
    • Adjust the speed of the retrieve based on the bass’s activity level – faster in warmer waters and slower in colder conditions.
  2. Start and Stop:
    • Cast out and start with a steady retrieve, then pause momentarily.
    • This pause can mimic a wounded or disoriented prey, sparking curiosity or triggering an attack from bass.
    • Upon resuming the retrieve after the pause, the sudden burst of motion can induce strikes from following fish.
  3. Varying Speed Retrieve:
    • As you reel in, vary the speed – slow, then fast, then slow again.
    • This erratic motion can make the Whopper Plopper seem like an easy target or more alive, inducing more strikes.
  4. Twitch and Plop:
    • As you reel in, add gentle twitches with your rod tip.
    • This creates a side-to-side motion, resembling an injured fish, making it even more irresistible.
  5. Rip and Pause:
    • This technique involves pulling (or “ripping”) the lure quickly with your rod, followed by a pause and slow reel-in.
    • This can simulate a fish trying to escape, then slowing down, indicating injury or vulnerability.

Additional Tips:

  1. Cast Placement: Aim to cast near structures where bass might be hiding – rocks, fallen trees, docks, and weed edges. This increases your chances of attracting a lurking fish.
  2. Listening to the Plop: The sound of the Whopper Plopper is crucial. Sometimes, a louder, faster plop will get attention, while other times, a more subdued sound works better. Experiment with different retrieve speeds to get the sound that the bass seem to prefer on any given day.
  3. Setting the Hook: When a bass strikes, resist the urge to set the hook immediately. Often, they’ll swipe at the lure first. Wait until you feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook.
  4. Equipment: Ensure your rod has a bit of flex in the tip. This gives the bass a split second longer to take the lure before you feel them, reducing the chances of pulling the lure away prematurely.
  5. Practice: As with all lures, practice is key. The more you use the Whopper Plopper, the better you’ll understand its movement and the best retrieve techniques for different conditions.

By mastering various retrieval techniques, you can simulate different prey behaviors, making your Whopper Plopper more effective and increasing your chances of a successful fishing outing.

Origins of the Whopper Plopper

The Whopper Plopper is the brainchild of River2Sea, a brand that’s collaborated with fishing greats from around the world. Specifically, the design of this lure is credited to Larry Dahlberg, the revered angler and face of the “Hunt for Big Fish” show. Dahlberg’s insights and experience played a crucial role in bringing the Whopper Plopper to life.

Whopper Plopper’s Effectiveness Unraveled

  • Unique Sound & Vibration: Its plopping sound coupled with the vibrations draws fish out of their hiding spots.
  • Versatility: Whether in warm or cold waters, the Whopper Plopper’s action can be adjusted to match the fish’s activity level.
  • Visual Appeal: Its surface disturbance is a clear beacon for bass, signaling an easy meal.
  • Durability: Crafted with precision, it’s built to endure the most aggressive of strikes.

Gear Up Right:

Optimal gear ensures you make the most of the Whopper Plopper. Consider:

  1. Rod: A medium to medium-heavy rod, roughly 7 feet, offers a good blend of casting range and strength.
  2. Reel: A baitcasting reel with a 6.4:1 to 7.1:1 ratio strikes the balance between retrieval speed and torque.
  3. Line: 30-50 lb braided line is perfect. It floats, aiding the topwater action, and its minimal stretch ensures solid hooksets.

Avoid These Mistakes:

  • Stay away from dense aquatic vegetation to prevent snagging.
  • Don’t overwork the lure; its inherent action is tempting enough.
  • Ensure your line isn’t too light, or you risk break-offs during aggressive strikes.
  • Delay your hookset slightly after a strike to ensure a successful catch.

Get Out There And Enjoy This Bait

The Whopper Plopper isn’t just a lure; it’s an angler’s secret weapon for smallmouth bass. Marrying sound design principles with expert insights, it promises thrilling fishing adventures. So, gear up and let the Whopper Plopper work its magic!

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.