Popper head hook
Gordon Macdonald

No matter whether you’re chasing bass, queenfish, saratoga, trevally, murray cod, tailor, bream or barramundi, fishing with topwater offerings is addictive. The visual aspect of the surface strike will have you trembling at the knees and the power some species emit as they head for cover will have you buckling at the knees. While there’s now a myriad of surface lures, all imitating a wounded or struggling food source, poppers would have to be one of the more commonly used topwater presentations.

During the last decade or so, hardcore anglers have renewed interest in targeting giant trevally, kingfish, yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel and numerous other bluewater beasts on large poppers and heavy duty tackle. Obviously, tough adversaries require even tougher tackle to withstand the pressures of subduing these critters. Targeting XOS GTs requires the strongest outfits and tough lures rigged with hardcore terminals.

Eliminating weak links will give you a great chance of success when that lure finally gets crunched. As poppers promote a savage smash and grab strike, increased chances of a hook-up are highly desirable and a hotly debated topic. Different lures requiring altered hook setups to maximise swimming action and promote better hook-up potential.

Poppers are one of the more commonly used lures for targeting large GTs and other bluewater predators. There are three popular ways of rigging these large cup-faced lures, which can exceed 30cm in length and weigh more than 200gm.

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