Poppers, walkers and Prop baits are all effective hard top water lures. Many companies make different models of each different top water design. Poppers are baits with a cupped nose. This will cause a popping sound and will send out a small splash of water. Cast the popper out and let the lure sit until the rings of water disappear. Snap your rod tip down on slightly slack line to generate the “pop”. Pop two or three times and let the bait pause for five to ten seconds. Repeat until completely retrieved. If you have been letting your bait pause for five to ten seconds and no fish have taken the bait, change up the retrieval speed and the duration of the pause. Short pauses and extra long pauses both take many fish throughout the season.
Walking top water lures have a much different action then a popper. When retrieving these types of lures cast out and pause like the popper until the rings from the initial cast are gone. Then snap your wrist on slack line with your rod down at 6 o’clock. Each snap of your wrist will send the lure in the opposite direction giving the lure a back and forth action called “walking the dog”. The most important aspect of this technique is keeping a small amount of slack line between each snap and reel.
Prop baits are very easy to fish. Cast out the baits to your desired spot. Begin reeling your baits in at a moderate pass. Fast and slow retrieves both work very well under the right conditions. Fast on active fish and slow on more inactive fish. Incorporate speed bursts on slow retrieves to help entice inactive fish that follow below.