Purchasing fishing lures is expensive. Especially if you don't know how to properly use and work that specific lure. This instructable walks you through different aspects of a hula popper. It shows you how to work a hula popper, and how to navigate lily pads and debris with your hula popper.
Step 1: The Hula Popper: How It Works.
The hula popper has to be worked correctly for the best results. It is an extremely versatile lure in that it is designed to work around cover in the water. For this to be done correctly you need to get the right size of hula popper. When you are looking at hula poppers in a store you will see a couple different sizes and colors. In my personal opinion you should choose the hula popper with a 2 pronged hook that gets buried in the skirt. This is extremely important because it helps your lure become weedless. You have to install the hook yourself which I will show you here. If the embedded video does not work please click the link
Step 2: Where to Cast Your Hula Popper.
Hula poppers are best used around weedy or lily pad infested waters. You should cast either next to the lily pads or in a clearing of lily Pads. If you cast it directly into a large body of Lilly Pads you are more likely to snag vegetation which will immediately deter fish from striking. Note in the video how the cover is not too dense. This is perfect for using a hula popper.
Step 3: Working the Hula Popper
After you cast your hula popper I would recommend letting it set for 5 seconds to a full minute. A minute may sound extreme but I have had many hits on a hula popper after I lost track of time and was just sitting in the boat talking. After you have let it sit for a little while tighten the string on your fishing pole, snap your wrists and jerk the tip of the pole horizontally. If you jerk the pole up you are liable to pull the lure out of the water and send it flying toward the boat. If done correctly the line should tighten and your lure should make noise as well as spitting water out in front of it. This action causes sound to move through the water which can attract fish. It also moves the water and can be mistaken for injured prey struggling to move. Again wait for 5-30 seconds before popping the lure again. I have attached a couple videos to show how the hula popper should be popped. You can also pop the hula popper fast and in short succession of the last pop. This has worked for me some times but not as much as the slow technique.
Step 4: Setting the Hook
Now that you have learned where to cast your hula popper, and know how to work it I will explain what to do when a fish hits the lure. I use my hula popper mostly to fish for large mouth bass. I have caught northen pike, and have heard it is good to catch carp with as well.
You will know when one hits your lure because the fish will by all means make a loud splashing noise as it hits the lure. I have even had fish shoot out of the water and hit the hula popper.
Setting the Hook
When this happens your first reaction is to jerk immediately. This is a bad choice because sometimes you can end up pulling the lure out of the fishes mouth. The correct action is to wait for 1 second and then jerk the lure. Do not jerk it so hard that it will send it flying at you but give it a good tug. Waiting this second lets the bass bite the lure a couple times and hopefully hook itself. Then when you tug it sinks the hook in further. My next step will explain how to go about reeling in the fish you have just hooked.
Step 5: Landing the Fish.
Now that you have succesfully hooked your fish you get to reel it in. This is easily the most fun part about fishing. Most fish will not come easily, and some will try to wrap themselves around weeds. The best thing you can do is keep the tip of your rod pointed up, and reel the fish in steadily.
Drag is the tension on your line. Your reel should have a little knob labeled drag that you can either tighten or loosen. An easy way to test your line is how hard is it to pull line backwards out of the reel. You should have your drag tight enough to where it takes a little effort for you to actually pull the line out, but not so hard you cut your hand on the line trying.
Drag allows the fish to pull line out when it really fights, but when it gets tired you can keep reeling.
The best advice is to take your time, especially if you have a large fish that is fighting you. If your drag starts to immediately go out when you hook the fish you should probably tighten it a little. When the drag stops going out that is when you should reel in your line. When you get the fish close to the boat it will sometimes try to go under the boat if this happens you are in trouble. Immediately let line out of your fishing rod. Tell whoever is in the boat to stop the motor(if they can) because the last thing you want is to get your fishing line wrapped around the motor. Odds are the fish will be too tired to fight when you bring it to the boat.
At this point you should have whoever else is in the boat net the fish. If you are by yourself put your pole in one hand and the net in the other and try to maneuver the fish to the net as best as possible. This is difficult to do but can be done.
If you followed these tips you should be well on your way to slaying multiple fish with this top water lure.