Using Poppers & Plugs In The Surf & Estuaries Of South Africa Effectively

How To Catch Fish On Topwater Lures In The South African Sea

Snapper Caught On Surface Lure - PopperCatching saltwater fish species on top water poppers and plugs in South Africa is one of the most exciting forms of angling a fisherman can do. It is a big challenge to present the right lures at the right times when targeting game fish in estuaries and in the surf. Hopefully this article on how to catch fish with top water lures such as stick baits, open faced poppers and chisel nosed plugs will help you catch that fish of a lifetime. Knowing how to fish lures is very important and this article will give you guidelines on what you can catch, what to use and how to catch the fish species...

What Fish Species Can You Target On Top Water Lures In South Africa?

Kingfish caught on Roosta PopperIn South Africa you will essentially be targeting game fish species from the shore, in the surf and in estuaries. Many saltwater fish will take poppers but the fish you are most likely to encounter are Kingfish, Garrick, Shad, Kob, Queenfish, Couta, Snapper, Perch, River Bream, Springer and occasionally Yellowtail, Catface Rockcod and Spotted Grunter. Seeing one of these fish chase a floating lure is one of the most exciting things a saltwater fisherman can experience. The adrenaline will rush through your body and even if the game fish does not attack your lure. you will keep casting and casting at the feeding fish until you get a hook up on the top water lure you are using.

What Are The Best Poppers, Plugs & Stickbaits To Use?

Assortment of the best poppers and plugsAs with many other lures there are a lot of poppers, Stickbaits and plugs on the market in South Africa and it can be hard to choose, but listed below are my favourite top water lures for spinning in the surf and estuaries:

Colours do not make too much of a difference when fishing on the surface. Lures with rattles, glows or poppers that make a commotion are perfect. There are good colours to use such as Red and White. The best colours are the ones that have contrast of two different colours.

Popper action

Tackle & Tips On How To Catch Fish With Top Water Lures

When using poppers and plugs, you will need different tackle setups for fishing in the surf or for fishing in an estuary, so these will be split into two categories listed below after the techniques are described...

Techniques For Fishing Poppers and Other Surface Lures

Assorted Halco PoppersWhen fishing poppers it is important to fish them differently than you would a normal lure. The key to the technique is in the name Popper. You cast out the popper and then you use the rod to "pop" it through the water... Ie. bring the rods towards you, wind up the slack and repeat. The Popper should make a big splash in the water when you do this. Another tip is after you have "popped" leave the lure for a few seconds and then start the process again. A lot of fish seem to attack a static popper as well as one that is moving quickly. When fishing a plug all you need to do is retrieve it as fast as you can... The plug will skip across the water and attract the game fish.

Using Poppers & Plugs In Estuaries

Halco Roosta PopperWhen fishing in estuaries it is better to use smaller poppers, plugs and Stickbaits than you would in the surf. Poppers between 4 centimeters and 10 centimeters are perfect and very small plugs and Stickbaits. Light tackle is best and they way to go is a 6-9 foot rod, coffee grinder reel size 2000 to size 4000 and 10lb braid or 12lb monofilament. A fluorocarbon leader should be used when fishing with braid, 15lb is perfect. When I fish estuaries and rivers with poppers I do not worry too much about leader when I use monofilament line. I use 10-15lb Double X mainline and just tie it straight onto the popper. When fishing plugs in estuaries or poppers for that matter it is important to look for fish feeding close to the surface, drop offs or areas that hold a lot of bait fish... Fishing above rocky areas also will produce good results.

Using Surface Top Water Lures In The Surf

Chizel Nose Plug (White 1 ounce)When fishing in the surf or the sea, heavier tackle is required as you need to cast further and you can hook bigger more aggressive fighting fish... Rods between 9 foot and 12 foot are good for this and larger coffee grinder reels between size 4000 and 7000 are perfect. The Daiwa Saltiga Surf is a superb reel and if you do not have the budget to pay for this reel the Daiwa Opus 6000 is also a great choice. In terms of line 20lb braid fished with a 50lb fluorocarbon leader is the perfect set up and will allow you to cast long distances and reach the areas you need to. Lures such as the Halco Roosta Popper 135 and even the 195 Haymaker are great and the heavier Chizel Nose Plugs are a favourite amongst many anglers for fishing in the surf and are probably the best surface lure to target Garrick in the surf zones. On the occasion you can also expect to get some chases from Kingfish species, Kob, Shad and 'specials' such as Couta (King Mackerel) and occasionally the Cape Yellowtail.