Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

A proper popper

With the bass season nearly upon us, I wanted to talk about what I believe is one of the best poppers in the business. For those of you who don't know, a popper is a lure that is purposefully designed to be fished on the surface - as you retrieve it, the lure will literally "spit" water (or "pop") in a way that really turns predatory fish on.

There are various good poppers that can work well for our bass fishing here in the UK, including the Storm Chug Bug, the Yo-Zuri Mag Popper, the Daiwa Saltiga Popper and the Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper. You can get these lures here. No doubt there are a stack more that catch bass as well.....

But there is one popper that you will rarely hear about over here in the UK, but in my mind it is the best of the lot - check out the Halco poppers here. These awesome lures come from Australia, and it was a friend of mine who first put me onto them. James kindly brought me one back from Oz when he was over there fishing, and from that point on, Halco Roosta Poppers have always had a place in my tackle box, both for bass fishing and for fishing overseas.

Some poppers you fish with will very occasonally turn over in flight and the treble hooks will tangle up, meaning the lure does not fish properly until you untangle it. Sometimes they tangle up when they hit the water it's just the nature of this kind of lure. But I can safely say that I have never had a Halco lure tangle up on me, meaning that every single cast you make sees your popper working properly.

The amount of water that these poppers chuck out is incredible. There are a load of tips for fishing them properly, click here to see them. With the great surface fishing they seem to have all over Australia, I take their advice on how to fish these lures very seriously.

Above is a photo my brother Julian holding a nice barracuda I caught out in the Bahamas on a Halco Roosta popper, the original one in fact that James first brought back for me. Note the somewhat chewed popper in the fish's jaws. I swam out to a reef to nail that fish, and then when I had played it out I swam back to shore, with the rod in my teeth and trailing the fish behind me, to ask my brother to hold the fish for a photograph. But when a big shark swam underneath me as I made my way back to shore, I did have second thoughts. Check out a load more photos here.

These Halco poppers cast like bullets, in fact I have never come across a popper that casts so well. Lures like the Storm Chug Bug might catch bass, but nobody could ever say it goes out there that well. Use the 105 size Halco Roosta Popper and you will be able to cover a load more ground very efficiently.

But the problem is that I don't know of anywhere in the UK that imports these lures, so you will need to check out various Australian tackle shops online, or contact Halco direct and ask them. It is really worth tracking these poppers down.

The larger 135 size is a killer for fishing overseas, for species such as jacks, GTs and big golden dorado. The White Redhead 135 worked really well for me out in Argentina the other day, until that is a couple of really big fish decided to smash me up and steal my beloved lures from me. Look carefully through these photos here and you might spot the lure in action.

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