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Thread: Some questions on FL bass

  1. #1
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    Default Some questions on FL bass

    I just started fly fishing and am new to this forum, though I've been reading it for a few weeks now. I punched up a bit of an introduction in the saltwater thread as that's what I'm mostly fishing for the next week or so before I leave the country for a while. However, I went fishing in a pond I have access to and found it to be a whole lot of fun, though I only landed one fish (no complaints though, as it was one of my first times ever fly fishing, and my first time in a pond). I started with a clouser but was getting little interest. I switched over to a smallish black popper (the popper head was slightly bigger than a pencil eraser, but it was the largest I had available) and was getting a lot more interest. I landed a medium-sized bluegill and had a lot more bites but either missed the hook-set or had the fish short-strike. I did hook the smallest bluegill I've ever seen and watch it come toward me in my back-cast. I know I missed at least one bass, but it was really entertaining.

    On to the questions: with the poppers, what colors have been the most productive? Also, what size? I looked at a local shop but they are more directed toward saltwater so they did not have any bass poppers besides some very small white ones (which I already have). I certainly want to start tying my own, but right now I have to stick to the pre-mades. I was fishing black poppers and the bite was there, but I feel like a larger popper would have been more attractive. I did pick up a red-white clouser after seeing some responses on the forum and will be trying that the next chance I get, as it seemed the bite was slow on the lake the evening we fished it. I am fishing my father's 6wt currently, but will be picking up an 8wt soon/when the money comes in, in anticipation of fall steelhead but also bass (and maybe some saltwater reds and snook).

    Thanks!

    - A.J.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    As for the poppers--- I don't know that color matters so much. I've never noticed that one color worked while another didn't. IMHO, it is the noise and movement that gets them.

    Also, there seems to be a correlation between size and takes. I've read somewhere that things appear bigger on the surface than they really are. I don't know if this is true or not, but have noticed that a bigger popper has been ignored while a smaller one got takes almost immediately.

    I tie all of my deer hair poppers and sliders to the small side-- Partly because I don't like casting the huge things, and partly because I would rather entice a whole night's worth of bites than hold out for that one monster. The monster will come with time and experience on the water anyhow. I'll just see several smaller in between the big ones.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    Well that sounds perfect, since I lost my bigger popper with a snag in the weeds at the end of the night, but I have plenty of little ones! Hopefully I'll be getting a few photos up as soon as I land a bass. I know I had a strike from one but didn't get a hook set. My dad says he's scouting a lake today which we'll hopefully fish later in the week. I'm busy working at home until we go fishing in the salt later tonight.

    Thanks raindogt! And as far as lures in water looking bigger, I know that with regard to the physics of objects in water, objects certainly appear larger. This is especially an issue for spearfishers targeting fish at around the reg size. With objects at the surface, the shape of the fish's eye and the resulting "fisheye" effect more than likely causes a noticeable magnification effect at the surface. Either way, I like the suggestion of smaller poppers because I have plenty!

    ---------- Post added at 12:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:28 AM ----------

    Sorry for the double post, but here's the size of the smaller popper, along with a slightly larger clouser than I've been running, and a bigger fly that I'm interested in trying along the reeds. What sort of retrieve would I use on the bigger fly? I was thinking an erratic retrieve might mimic a struggling frog or the like?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    I've always liked chartreuse popping bugs, particularly the Sneaky Pete, for bass and panfish. And there are folks on both sides of this fence, but I think the rubber legs on that fly are particularly attractive to warmwater species.

    I fish mostly 6's and 4's in that fly, even for bluegills and 2 if just after bass. Bluegills strike so viciously that if you're using small poppers, say 8's or 10's, they'll swallow the fly every time. They can't with the larger poppers. And I hate killing 4 inch bluegills.

    So: chartreuse, Sneaky Pete, rubber legs, size 6, 4 and 2.

    Gary

  5. #5

    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    Addendum:

    What Gary Said. I should qualify 'bigger' and 'smaller' When I am talking 'bigger' and no takes and 'smaller' and takes almost instantly, I am talking size 1 and bigger (getting into the 2/0 and 4/0 sizes.) Smaller in this regard is size 6 and sometimes 8's.

    I consider size 2 to be big, size 4- 'med', and 6 and smaller 'small' when talking about poppers, chuggers, sliders, etc.

    Sorry, should've clarified in my original post.

    The popper that you have in your pic is what they would call a 'panfish' popper-- Bass will hit it, but it is awfully small. Make sure you set the hook quick with takes to try and not harm any fish.

    If you can picture one of those 'jumbo' pencils that you get at elementary school book fairs-- get some poppers that have the head the size of those erasers. Sunnies will still get them on occasion, and Bass will love 'em.

    Not sure about your local wal-mart, but mine has those sized poppers for about 2.00 for 8 (I think) of them. They are packaged in a 'sundial' type container like you might buy split shot asssortments.

    As for the deer hair bug-- that is a nice frog pattern. Looks like the feathers at the back are splayed as legs. can't tell from the angle, but looks that way.
    To fish it, just like you said-- put it just over weeds, or just inside of the weed bed. chug it a few times, let it pause, pop it, let it pause, etc. erratic but be sure to let it rest. If you have shore line that you can put it parallel to, I'd be sure to try that. Undercut bank is even better to run along side.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    Take a look at the pictures in this Bass and Pan Fish fly swap that just finished.

    I have found that for Bass there has to be some pauses on surface flies. You have to find a movement/pause that works for the day. The same presentation that worked one day may not work another day. You have to experiment. One of my favorite presentations is to cast the bug and wait until all ripples are gone. Then just barley move the fly. Move it so little that you can hardly detect it. You will get just a small ripple in the water. Then wait, wait, wait, then another very slight movement. In most cases when I fish for Bass I move the fly too much. On other days I may jerk the fly and spray water all over and that is what they want.

    Frank

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    Well I've found that all the places that sell fishing stuff around where my parents live do not sell bass poppers... there is just too much focus on saltwater stuff (though I did not see any saltwater poppers either). However, since I don't have my own tying kit or even a tying vice, I made due with what I have... sewing thread, some feathers, some pliers, some paint, and some foam floats (and of course some hooks). I also cut some of the skirt off a spinner bait for some legs. They're not pretty, but we'll see if they work tonight!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    here in illinois, ive had luck on a variety of colors and sizes. black and chartreuse poppers in the #2 - #6 size work well for me. as far as the addition of rubber legs, i think that they make the popper much more effective. i like to cast it out, pop it once, then leave it for 20-30 seconds then repeat untill youve stripped it in all the way.

    p.s.- lets see your creation!


    casey


    ARFE

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    Here are two of the ones I use for bass in Florida. The second one I also use for dolphin out in the bluewater.





    Here are a couple of average medium size Fl Glades bass taken on the primitive black and yellow popper. The guy in this picture has been a saltwater guide and/or sportfisher Captain for 32 years and gets bored catching sails, dolphin, wahoo, so he takes the sport seat and throws poppers for bass while I relax at the tiller.






    The above picture is the first largemouth my daughter ever caught - also on that same popper - though she had caught a number of smallmouths in Maine.

    I think you would be making a mistake by using little poppers on Florida bass.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the big one that got away, also on that same popper.

    With a 6 wt though, you would really have to work getting those out there where you want them.

    PS: Use cork not foam. Foam is too light and the hookup ratio is much worse than with cork or spun deer hair.

    Cheers,
    Jim
    Last edited by wjc; 06-15-2011 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Edit in Red

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Some questions on FL bass

    Thanks for the help guys, I'm going to try and get a hold of some better poppers, as well as painting these ones I've made just to see if I can get a bite off them. My dad and I went out to the lake last night but got very few bites. My dad hooked around a 3# largemouth but lost it, fishing a spinning outfit. Supposedly the lake was very productive a few weeks back, but it must have been right around spawn (or the golf course put something/had something run off into it). Unfortunately the bite has been real slow. I ended the night with the frog shown above, and got one decent surface strike, but other than that nothing. The poppers got skunked, probably because of how ugly they are

    Without further ado (and thats a 2 3/4" shell for scale, it was nearby...):


    And Jim, I'll try the next set with cork! And maybe put more than a few minutes in to each of them, haha. Now to get a vice...

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