Popper Hookups

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Stuart_Stringer, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. Stuart_Stringer

    Stuart_Stringer Active Member

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    To all you popper/top water experts,

    I have been having pretty good success finding lots of aggressive SRC using poppers and gurglers during my recent beach outings, but it seems I am getting a hookup for every ~20 hits/slashes. This ratio seems awfully low to me... or is this to be expected when fishing top water? Don't get me wrong, I am having a total blast, it's hard to beat how cool it is to watch a cutty go jaws over a popper!!

    Any advice on getting more hookups? When I get a hit I have been continuing to strip the fly in. On the occasions where I can see that the fish has the popper in its mouth I have been trying to strip strike (those are the ones that usually convert to a hookup). Any tactics to boost the hookup ratio?
     
  2. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Tie your poppers on a shank and use a stinger hook- 10x the hookups
     
  3. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

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    What stilly stalker said. Other than that, the lesser amount of hook-ups over sub surface fishing is pretty much normal. Keep yourself from raising the rod tip on the hook set and like you do, strip strike. Also, sometimes changing the action or having small pause when you see the boil and then continuing to strip will get a solid hook set, but that's hard to do in the heat of the moment.
     
  4. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    On WFF Home page in the articles section, there is a write-up which I wrote. It is called "Sea-run Cutthroat with Top Water Sand Lance Patterns". It should be able to give you many thoughts on how to have success fishing top water patterns especially sand lance patterns in summer/fall. Late spring through fall I commonly have 30% hook-up ratios during most fishing outings with ocassional 60% hook-up ratios in Sept. /Oct.

    Roger
     
  5. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    Much of the time, you're getting what looks like a hit, but they're just coming up to spit on the fly.

    It's fun to watch them slash at your popper, but if you want more hook ups,
    "Go deep Handsome Harry" to quote an old friend.
     
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  6. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    Roger's THE MAN
     
  7. bconrad

    bconrad Member

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    When you see them hit it don't do anything but keep stripping...wait until you feel the weight of the fish to pick up on the rod.

    Easier said than done but even if you don't hook up it's a hell of a lot of fun when a fish chases your fly all the way into the beach.
     
  8. Stuart_Stringer

    Stuart_Stringer Active Member

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    Thanks for all the tips! Now to just remember what to do when a fish is in hot pursuit of my fly!

    Roger - that's a great article, thanks for taking the time to write that up!
     
  9. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    there is no place for "trout hook setting" in saltwater. Strip strike only
     
  10. Eyejuggler

    Eyejuggler Beech Nut

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  11. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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  12. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

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    I think I want a shirt with that!!!!!

     
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  13. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

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    On 2nd thought, I think I NEED a shirt like that! I'd rock that everywhere I go.
     
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  14. golfman44

    golfman44 Active Member

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    Pinching barbs really well allows for an easier hook set
     
  15. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    When you are fishing poppers and you are missing hook sets it is usually due to the same problems as many dry fly fishermen experience- seeing the fish take the fly gets too exciting and we tend to hit the rod too hard and fast. Fishing with the rod tip closer to the water will help with some of this. Using a diagonal, smooth sideways sweep of the rod into the hook set position will also help. If you are fishing with the rod tip pointing up into the sky most of the time there is a tendency to set the hook in such a way that you can pluck it right away from the fish, or out of it's mouth. Having a low rod tip while fishing allows more line to stay in the surface tension of the water, reduces wind and slack on the line, and allows for a better sense of how the fly is working. You will feel any fish sooner, and the hook set will be done with the stronger part of the rod, rather than the weaker and more flexible tip top of the rod. Once you reach the hook set position, having the rod half way or three quarters of the way back, as though you were back casting, the weaker tip top can keep enough tension on the fish without breaking the tippet. I almost never use a strip strike on sea run cutthroat, even with poppers and surface flies, and I have a near 100% hookup rate. Just some thoughts from my own experience. http://olympicpeninsulaflyfishing.blogspot.com
     
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  16. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    using a two handed retrieve with the rod tucked into your armpit takes away the ability to trout set. this way you will have a 100% hookup rate on the fish you hook.

    poppers always result in boils and follows where the fish come nowhere near getting hooked. enjoy the show and savor the fewer number of hookups.
     
  17. Bagman

    Bagman Active Member

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    poppers always result in boils and follows where the fish come nowhere near getting hooked. enjoy the show and savor the fewer number of hookups.[/quote]
    I always enjoy the boils, but my biggest thrill is watching a Coho fin coming through the water after my popper. Never had a coho take it but the thrill is still there.
     
  18. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    It's hard to imagine a 100% hook-up rate with any form of fly fishing unless you stop after the first fish is hooked and landed.

    Most of the time a salmon or cutt isn't even trying to immediately ingest a slider pattern on the surface, rather it's attempting to injure or stun it like it was natural bait fish prey. The real "eating" happens when the injured bait fish drifts helplessly down into the water column,... then comes the full on slash and turn hit. Unfortunately your buddy fishing the subsurface pattern next to you is the one getting the solid hook-up after you lured them in.
     
  19. Bagman

    Bagman Active Member

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    That makes a lot of since DB. Thanks for that.
     
  20. Stuart_Stringer

    Stuart_Stringer Active Member

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    The coho surface chase down really is the best! Interestingly enough I have a way better popper hookup ratio on coho than with SRC using the same techniques.

    I can at least eliminate the trout set as the issue, I always use the double hand retrieve. I feel I can get much more variety in my retrieve, and it is nice having the extra control with a solid grip on the line at all times.

    This last Saturday I hit up a local beach and only had one boil on the popper. I switched to subsurface the dark side and tied on a 2" long chum baby. Due to the low angle of the sun and some patches of calm water I could watch my fly from about 30 ft away... man there was a lot of interest!! Lots of follows and late refusals when the fish would turn away within a few inches of the fly. There were also a bunch of little nips at the tail of the fly. Most of the hits were quite soft, if I couldn't see the action I probably wouldn't have even noticed. When I saw the chase I just kept stripping waiting to feel the hit or see the flash of the mouth opening before trying to set the hook, but nothing!! I think I need to work on my Jedi strike skills! Haha!
     
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