Using Poppers in SaltWater

by Fly Fisherman

Poppers are potent lures for almost every salt water species, in one circumstance or another, and because of the thrill the angler gets when he sees some big, hard-hitting ocean fish sock a surface lure, they are widely used. Some poppers are built so they will skip across the water making plenty of commotion, looking like a small fish jumping and tailwalking in an effort to escape some predatory monster that is on his trail. Others have cork bodies and bullet noses and are called sliders because they go along the top without noise. “These are good in canals and in tight spots such as openings in the mangroves where a hard-popped bug might scare the fish. In addition to these special designs for salt water, practically all the fresh water designs for bugs have been brought to the sea, the only alteration being that they are tied on heavier hooks to combat the crushing power of salt water gangsters’ hard-mouthed jaws. As with fresh water flies, color is always a point of argument.

It seems that the color which is good one day may be totally ignored the next. And salt water fish being the obstreperous hitters they are, will sock almost anything that is offered them, at one time or another, further confusing the issue.
But in general, the same color combinations which have proven fish getters in fresh water are emerging as the stand-bys for salt. Barred rock wings are good in streamers, as are red and yellow, red and white, yellow and white, and brown and white. Plain yellow and plain white in the bucktails arc universally good. And so are small white bucktails in any of a number of variations of trim, from a few hairs of blue on top to a few of brown.

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