Watch a live bug that falls in the water, a frog going after a damsel fly, or a wounded baitfish and mimic their actions.

For example, when a bug hits the water it just sits there for a long time, before it makes short, very quiet movements, then rests for another long period, then subtle movements, then rests and then it sort of panics and ratchets up its movement.

I used to fish with an older gentleman who would cast, light a cigar, then wait a little longer before he would move the popper. With few exceptions the biggest fish of the day I catch are with quiet presentations and slight movements from the popper.

I used to cup the faces on my cork poppers, but I am finding that I do much better with the subtltey of a flat-faced popper.

Now, if you are fishing heavy cover then you will need a little more "pop" to get some interest, but try not to overdo it.