Join B.A.S.S. and enjoy all exclusive content for Members.
Join Now

How to fish plopper topwaters

Lowen knows he can count on the Ploppin’ P to get him in touch with bass. Photos by Mark Hicks

In 2012, River2Sea gave rise to a new breed of topwater bait when it ushered in the Whopper Plopper 130 for bass anglers. The Whopper Plopper’s overwhelming success has prompted other companies to concoct topwater lures that feature a similar plopping technology. Although the 1 3/8-ounce, 5-inch Whopper Plopper 130 is a sizable bait, it is a smaller version of the original Whopper Plopper 190, which was introduced a year earlier. This 2 3/4-ounce, 7 1/2-inch lure was devised for muskie by noted TV fishing host Larry Dahlberg. With both lures, a soft, pliable tail sports a single deeply curved blade. As the tail section spins on a shaft, the blade chops the surface with a weighty plopping sound.

The distinctive, rhythmic plopping tone is unlike anything bass or bass anglers had ever heard before. And, it has been proved many times over that the sound dupes whopper bass. An angler used the 130 Whopper Plopper to claim first place at the 2015 Bass Pro Shops Central Open on Table Rock. What really set Whopper Plopper mania in motion is when it produced a second-place finish at the 2016 Elite Series event on Toledo Bend.

The Whopper Plopper has become a player for veteran Elite Series pro Brian Snowden of Reeds Spring, Mo. However, he says the lure does have a downside: It produces such quality bass that he sometimes continues to sling it when he should put it down.

“The Whopper Plopper always has the potential to catch a tournament-winning stringer,” Snowden said. “But a lot of times, fish tend to be moody with that bait. One day you catch them really good; the next day, nothing; and the day after that they might hit it really good again.” When bass are blowing up on the Whopper Plopper 130 without getting hooked, Snowden switches to the smaller 1/2-ounce, 3 1/2-inch Whopper Plopper 90 or to the 1-ounce, 4 3/8-inch Whopper Plopper 110. Both were introduced after the 130 size. The smaller Ploppers often turn missed strikes into solid hookups. If that ploy doesn’t put Snowden in touch with bass, he slows down with a walking bait or a popper.