Surface popper and crawler lures
Surface popper and crawler lures: a very interesting category of hard lure for predator fishing as soon as the water rises above 18°C!
The popper has a recognisable shape, sometimes round or more oval in cross-section, with a curved (concave) mouth. This allows the popper to perform its well-known swimming action of ejecting a string of bubbles from its mouth to reproduce prey struggling on the surface.
Most models effortlessly produce this 'pop' at the surface, while others add the stickbait's famous zig-zag swimming action, known as the WTD (walking the dog).
These lures can be used to fish for perch, pike and black bass from May to October, depending on water temperatures. Fishing is possible as long as the water remains above 18°C.
Another type of hard, floating lure, known as a 'topwater' for surface fishing for predators, is the Crawler.
This type of surface lure is defined by a boisterous swimming or beating action on the surface that does not fit into the popper/stickbait family. This type of lure includes finned models originally designed for fishing for black bass, but there are now sizes adapted for fishing for nice pike on the surface or in shallow areas.
Which models and colours to choose for surface fishing?
To start tackling this question, we quickly analyse the colour of the small fish in the fishing area, as well as the turbidity of the water. Does the water in the area tend to be clear or dark/chewy? In this respect, the approach of light colours for clear water and flashy colours for dirty water should be respected.
At certain times during the fishing, you can also use the opposite approach to unblock a fishing situation that seems lost due to the lack of reaction from the fish.
Flashy colours are effective and regular for the contrast provided by their gaudy hue, just as tiger patterns provide a clear contrast to the lure as it moves.
These are all criteria that should be taken into account to make it easier for the predator to adjust its attack.
Finally, it's important to fish hard and believe in what you're doing if you want to get regular results quickly, remember that!
Lure animations for surface fishing for predators!
First of all, just like the WTD (walking the dog) of stickbaits, crawlers and poppers have very specific swimming mechanisms.
The popper is at its best with a series of "pull-pause" movements that cause the popper to spurt out of its mouth like a spray. The pause phase is decisive, as the predator will often approach the lure to fix its attack on the popper's restart.
You need to adapt the frequency/speed of this stop & go, which varies throughout the day, making predators sensitive, or not, to your lure animation.
The popper is a lure that allows almost static animation when necessary or to emphasise very small fishing areas.
Conversely, you can reduce the number of pauses by speeding up the popping action to fish larger areas of water.
A hard lure such as a crawler is unrivalled for waking up predators that may not have decided to attack directly on the surface.
Yet this finned lure has no direct competitor for the very special swimming action it generates. It oscillates on itself as it moves along the surface of the water in a ballet of bubbles and vibrations.
It can also be used as a super slow retrieve where it continues its progress in a less boisterous manner more reminiscent of a large insect in distress.
It's a really fun lure to use because few French carnivores know about it, so it's full of surprises for those who try!
There's nothing more beautiful than a big pike attack on a surface lure, and that's what we hope you'll discover on your fishing grounds.