Strike King HC KVD Splash Popper

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This is weird to me, to be honest. I’ve grown up always hearing that you should throw walking-style topwater lures around schooling bass and until about 10 years ago, that’s what I always did. I had moderate success, but nothing to really write home about.

But man, one day my college fishing buddy Zach and I were hauling down the lake in his little ol’ bathtub of a tin boat and we started seeing both bass and bait busting everywhere. It was a chilly fall day in mid November and we thought we were about to catch a bunch of fish.

As it turns out, one of us was about to wreck ’em. The other person, the man typing this article, was about to have his mind blown.

I threw every dang thing I had in my Kroger sack full of tackle. I threw walking topwaters, soft jerkbaits and who knows what else. I couldn’t even get a bass to look at anything I tried. Meanwhile, Zach picks up a popper of all things and starts getting bit on every single cast. It was the darndest thing and I had never, until then, thought to throw a popper for schoolers. I always assumed they were best used when targeting specific pieces of cover.

To make a long story short, I carry that lesson with me to this day. I’ll always remember that joker giggling like a school girl catching all those bass on that popper. And guess what? I’ve caught several hundreds of bass since then, doing exactly what he did that day.

I was on the lake the other day and I really started studying the baitballs that were on the surface before sunset. When a baitfish breaks the surface, it makes a very subtle spitting sound. It’s unmistakable and that is exactly why the Strike King HC KVD Splash Popper works so well in this situation. Poppers are certainly not all the same and this particular option has a very subtle “spitting” sound that almost perfectly mimics those schooling baitfish. And man, does it get bites. Wow.

Now, you’re not going to cover a bunch of water with it; that’s not what it’s made to do. But if you can cast it towards the baitballs with active bass underneath, you’re going to get a pile of bites. The shad in my area are pretty small right now, so I’ve been having my best luck with the smaller Splash Popper. Even though it only measures 2 1/4 inches, it still weighs 3/8 ounce so casting is still relatively easy with a baitcaster.