Show ’em the props instead of the pops

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Throughout the late summer, you’d be hard pressed to find a bass angler without a topwater popper rigged and at the ready. The bluegill are still in the shallows and to big bass, they represent an easy-to-find buffet. Coincidentally, topwater poppers can do an excellent job at imitating these bluegill. So it makes total sense that a bunch of folks throw ’em. 

But again, I believe there can be too much of a good thing. The bass have heard poppers overhead all summer long. It’s time to change it up. 

A few friends of mine have shown me the effectiveness of an old-school prop bait over the last decade or so. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been beaten by a buddy with a prop bait in the late summer and early fall. Of course, I always tried to force the issue with more traditional topwaters such as poppers and walking topwater lures. But there comes a time when a man has to give in and join the crowd. For me, that time was about three years ago and my catches, both quality and quantity, have absolutely skyrocketed. 

Lately, I’ve been using the Bagley Pro Sunny B Twin Spin. Weighing 1/2 ounce, I can make long casts to shallow cover without an issue and it also comes stock with VMC trebles. I like lures I can fish right out of the package, so that’s definitely a big plus for me. 

Where to fish it: Isolated cover seems to work best for me when I’m fishing a prop bait. Oddly enough, I get a bunch more bites on a prop bait when it’s sunny with very little cloud cover. These conditions not only position fish on very predictable pieces of isolated cover (stumps, small grass patches, etc.) but the sunlight also reflects off of the chrome props which, in my opinion, gives bass that last “nudge” they might need to attack the lure. Fish these baits just like a popper. Let the bait pause between twitches until the props are finished spinning. The bass won’t always destroy it this time of year, so be vigilant and stay alert.