Working the POP-R Lure
“I fall into the category of sticking with a bait way too long, usually it’s my “confidence” bait.”
I wake up before sunrise. I stumble around in the dark half asleep. Getting dressed I think of one thing, the first cast.
There is only one first cast in a day. So I prepare for that special moment. I load everything into my truck and I’m off. While driving I daydream as to how big that bass will be on my first cast. Slipping the boat into the water I’m as giddy as a child on Christmas morning.
As I pull away from the launch, I scan the area holding back as not to waste the magical first cast on a reflex. Ok, that’s it right there I say, today I have a Pop-R on, its overcast, water is 75 degrees.
This is it. Here it goes, Zzzzzzz plop twitch, twitch, twitch all the way to the boat.
How could this be? Ok, ok, over there, that bunch of flooded bushes. Zzzzzzz, plop. bloop, bloop, bloop back to the boat. Two casts into the day and I’m panicked. I surely should have caught two bass by now. After all I have my go to bait on, my ‘confidence lure’.
That’s right. This is the ticket. I’m gonna stick with this bait till my arm falls off. Well that’s my first mistake. I’m no tournament angler, I owe nothing to sponsors, and I’m certainly not counting on catching to survive.
When I go out, I want to catch fish just as bad as the big names do. So I must adapt.
After and hour or so I face the grim reality. I must part with my Pop-R. It feels like saying goodbye to a good friend at the airport, or waving bon voyage at the dock as the cruise ship pulls away. One swoosh with my blade and the umbilical cord is severed. For now I am not one with my Pop-R… my go to bait… my confidence lure.
I feel lost at first, but that quickly turns to comical anger. I am mad at Pop-R. HOW COULD IT LET ME DOWN…
Well I let me down. I put all my mental eggs in one basket.
Ok I regroup. I must have lunch first. Genoa salami with imported provolone on a semolina roll always helps me make rational decisions.
I will adopt a new go to lure, a new ‘confidence bait’. I look out of the corner of my eye at Pop-R sitting in that special place. The place is only reserved for baits I want to tie on next, it’s close by. I reach OVER Pop-R being very careful as not to make eye contact. Yes, it’s like that. I am snubbing an old friend. A swim bait it will be.
A new feeling of confidence and hope fills the air. My Keitech is tied on and I’m ready. I look at Pop-R in disgust. Off it goes… Zzzzzzzzzz, plop…. as I lift my rod I feel heaviness, it’s a fish, it’s a fish! I have a bass on. It’s big too. It won’t come up. As I play the bass I sneak a look at Pop-R with a smirk on my face. As I lip the bass, I see he is about 5- 5-1/2 lbs.
I continue to catch fish on that swimbait till the sun sinks to the tree line. The sky starts to glow orange. It’s almost dusk, and I know what that means. Time to get reaquainted with Pop-R. There is a time and a place for everything, and I feel it in my bones, this is the time, and this is the place.
I fumble with anticipation as I tie on Pop-R. As I rear back to cast I think of early this morning, the hope I had in my first cast. I let em rip. Zzzzzzzz, plop. Just as it hits the water, WHAM,… Ahhh Pop-R I think, old friend, buddy. It seems to mimic real life at times, all about what have ya done for me lately.
Life is Good Again
I continue to connect with bass almost every other cast, 2-3-4 pounders, life is good again. On the way back to the launch, I daydream as I struggle to see through the deepening darkness.
The air is chilling and the smell of soil is strong. As I load up get the yak up top, gear in truck I go for my rods. I put them all in except one, and think about tomorrow’s lake, and as I go to put the last rod in, the one with Pop-R, I feel it again, the excitement of the first cast.
It seems as though I can have that excitement more often if I adapt to the conditions at hand. I cannot stick to one bait when conditions dictate otherwise. But its hard. I say to myself so many times. ‘Man I killed them here last week.’
Well guess what, it’s not last week, conditions have changed, weather patterns, water temp, bass movement, water clarity and baitfish movement to name just a few. I will slow down first and foremost and say to myself, ‘ok what’s going on here today?’
About Bill Peraino
Bill co-hosts “The Reel Deal” with Richie Moschella. The show can be found in northeast New Jersey where it has been running for four years. He is an avid Kayak fisherman, where he can be found fishing with his Ocean Kayak. Bill has been bass fishing for 20 years. Bill Peraino brings his knowledge, tips and tricks to Bass Fishing Gurus.