Originally designed as a musky bait, the Whopper Plopper by River2Sea has quickly become one of the hottest topwater baits in the bass world – and they’re flying off tackle store shelves from coast to coast. An inline stick bait with a segmented propeller on the back, the Whopper Plopper is part buzzbait, part prop bait, and 100 percent deadly on bass of all three species.
Whopper Plopper 101
Already a staple in both recreational and tournament angler’s arsenals , we thought it would be a good idea to put together a comprehensive guide on all things Whopper Plopper, including what it is, how and where to fish it, which sizes to throw when, and what to do once you catch one on it.
What Is A Whopper Plopper?
The Whopper Plopper is basically a hard plastic spook-style body, with a rotating propeller section on the rear. It floats horizontally at rest, and the tail spins in the water on the retrieve, creating the unique “plop, plop, plop” sound and bubble trail. It comes in four sizes, from a diminutive 90mm (3/8oz) version all the way up to the musky and giant bass designed 190mm (2 ¾ oz) option.
How To Fish A Whopper Plopper
The key to the Whopper Plopper’s success is its versatility, and the fact that it floats on the pause. As long as the tail is spinning and it’s making noise, it’s working. The simplest and most basic way to fish it is just like a buzzbait with a slow steady retrieve. Make a long cast, and start slow-reeling it back to the boat. The Plopper also works when twitched like a popper or worked with a longer “jerk, jerk, pause” action like with a traditional prop bait. Experiment with different retrieves until you find one that you’re confident with – and stick with it. The biggest key is making sure you’re able to hear the droning “plop” as you retrieve it.
How To Rig A Whopper Plopper
Because it comes in 4 different sizes, there’s no one-size-fits-all rigging for the Whopper Plopper. The 90mm size works really well on a traditional, 6 ½ or 7 foot medium-heavy casting rod, 10-14 pound monofilament, or 20-30 pound braid. The 110mm Plopper performs best on a 7 or 7 ½ foot medium-heavy to heavy rod, and 14-17 pound monofilament (or 30 pound braid). For the 130, a 7 ½ foot heavy rod or medium swimbait setup will work fine, spooled with 50 pound braid or 20 pound mono. If you’re brave enough to throw the 190mm size, come rigged with a heavy swimbait setup, or umbrella rig rod rigged with 50 or 65 pound braid.
Where to Throw A Whopper Plopper?
One of the coolest things about the Whopper Plopper is it catches them pretty much anywhere bass swim. Major tournaments have been won on the Whopper Plopper from the tule choked tidal California Delta to the highland reservoirs of the Ozarks. If bass are feeding up, they will eat a Plopper. That being said, hone in on typical topwater locations like rip-rap, points, docks, in front of laydowns, over submerged vegetation, and along current seams.
Whopper Plopper Tips & Tricks
Because of its popularity, the Whopper Plopper has already developed a host of hacks and tricks that can make it more effective or even help you hook and land more bass. Here are several.
- Use rubber bands on the trebles. Because it’s got several large trebles, the Whopper Plopper isn’t the most grass-friendly topwater. Try using light rubber bands (like the ones used for orthodontia) to secure the hooks along the body of the bait. This dramatically reduces the “snagginess” of the Plopper, and they break when a fish bites.
- Use your rod tip to “steer” it and keep it spinning. On long casts, the Plopper sometimes likes to dig in and not spin correctly right off the bat. Point your rod tip at the bait, and keep it high through the beginning of the retrieve. This will keep the nose up, and get you the most sound.
- Put a highlight on the tail. In murky water, get some nail polish, or airplane model enamel and paint the tip of the prop blade a bright or contrasting color. Bass tend to follow Whopper Ploppers at times, and the tiny spot of color gives them a good aiming point.
- Stop around cover. It may seem obvious, but the most successful Whopper Plopper anglers will typically pause the bait during the retrieve, whenever the bait goes by something likely to hold bass. This may be the tip of a dock, a clump of grass, or a protrusion in the tules.
- Don’t “play them out.” When fighting fish on the Whopper Plopper, particularly in the bigger sizes like the 130mm and 190mm, do not play the fish out. The Plopper is a big bait with a lot of inertia, so bass can throw the hooks if they get a really good head shake on the jump. Put the screws to them once they bite, and grind as hard as you can to get them in the boat.
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