It has been out for several years, but the secret is out and the popularity has exploded.
Although it’s not exactly a new bait, River2Sea’s Whopper Plopper has become the topwater sensation. It’s been flying off tackle store shelves, despite having gone largely unreported for generating more than a few big-time tournament paydays. Which begs the question: What caused this unique topwater bait to jump from being practically unknown to a must have lure for any serious fisherman, amateur or pro?? The answer is fairly simple: It catches bass, and lots of them.
In short, The Whopper Plopper, according to River2Sea’s Dahlberg line of lures, is a big fish bait designed to mimic injured forage fish as they splash atop the water’s surface, evoking a instinctive response from bass.
…and the Whopper Plopper was born
TV personality and well-known angler Larry Dahlberg has been using homemade versions of the Whopper Plopper for decades to persuade lure-shy muskies into biting. Eventually, Dahlberg teamed up with River2Sea to create the 7 1/2-inch Whopper Plopper 190 as a resilient musky and pike lure. Shortly after the release of the 190, the downsized 90 (3 1/2-inch) and 130 (5-inch) models entered the market to meet the needs of other anglers, with the 130 becoming the most popular size for bass.
The Whopper Plopper is sort of a hybrid between a traditional prop bait and a buzzbait. It floats like a prop bait, and has a similar profile, but its large flexible tail makes a loud “plop plop” sound when fished on a straight retrieve. The sound is unique to topwaters, though it’s most similar to the churning sound of a buzzbait. The Whopper Plopper casts a mile too, and the 130 size presents bass with a pretty beefy profile when viewed from below.
Because it floats, the Whopper Plopper has some distinct advantages over other lures. If a fish misses it, the angler can stop the bait in place and let it rest on the water. It can be ripped in short bursts. And it can be fished at a variety of speeds, while a buzzbait has a minimum speed in order to stay on the surface.
It is used by many of the top pros, regardless of whom they are sponsored by. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any pros without at least a couple in their tackle.
The Whopper Plopper comes in a 90, 110, 130 and 190 size and is available in both rattling and silent versions.
Length: 3 1/2 in. | Weight: 1/2 oz. | Hooks: 4X Strong Treble #2
The Whopper Plopper 90 is a bass–sized tool that provides long accurate casts, a wider possible range of speeds, and wider range of commotion and sound than anything even close to its size you have ever tied on your line. Once you learn how to use it, it will certainly put extra fish in the boat.
Length: 4 3/8 in. | Weight: 3/4 oz. | Hooks: 4X Strong Treble #2
The Whopper Plopper 110 from River2Sea is the latest addition to the Whopper Plopper family. The 110 falls in between the 90 and 130 in length and weight. This particular lure was created in response to a high customer demand for a Whopper Plopper whose weight and length falls in between that of the 90 and 130. Also, to the satisfaction of many anglers, it also comes in 10 different color styles.
At ¾ oz, this Plopper allows for some really far throws and yet is comfortable at any retrieval speed. This gives the angler a variety of strategic options to match the circumstances of the day.
Length: 5 in. | Weight: 1 3/8 oz. | Hooks: 4X Strong Treble #2
Loved by professional anglers for its good imitation of the gizzard shad, the body of the Whopper Plopper 130 has a really big profile for the fish to target. It is also used as an effective search bait. Whenever you are looking for that sweet honey hole.
Despite its larger size, the 130 is still quite versatile in its presentation during retrieval. You can crawl it across the surface so slowly that you can’t even hear the tail, only the tiny glass beads that sizzle inside as the head shakes back and forth with each rotation of the tail. Or consider speeding it up and watch it throw water like a swamp buggy while maintaining the same deep, hollow sound that calls giant bass up to strike the lure.
Length: 7 1/2 in. | Weight: 2 3/4 oz. | Hooks: Long Shank 4X Strong #5/0
At 7.5 inches long, this big baby is designed to attract and hold onto those extra big bass and musky. Weighing in at over 2 oz you can cast it a mile and it’s got top quality River2sea 5 ⁄ 0 hooks that you can depend on to hold that lunker all the way into the bank or boat side. The Whopper Plopper 190 is als “roll resistant” and works well at a variety of speeds. This is important when combining this lure’s ability to cast out so far while lugging in such a large cast. Interestingly, sound experiments have suggested that even at constant speeds the tail kicks out sounds that vary as much as an octave in pitch as opposed to the more monotone metal tails.
What the best size?
Everyone might have a different opinion on this one, but I like the 90. You can cast it all day without fatigue and also know that any size fish can feel comfortable taking a good bite into it.
The WPL 130 at 5 inches long, weighing an ounce more than the 90, is a good choice as well depending on how you’re wanting to use it. I would definitely throw this on the flats, especially in search of a big bite, but its not too large that it would discourage me from using it as an everyday starter.
Regardless of the size, this line of lures has quality terminal components. The paint job is awesome and the hooks are of the same excellent quality. Out of the box, the baits come with Gamakatsu Number 2 Black Nickle hooks and from dealers like Tackle warehouse, you can even upgrade them, but honestly there is no need. Also, the eyes are custom into the mold and won’t fall off and the heavy gauge wire going through the back of the bait shows no sign of compromise.
It is very satisfying to know that no matter what size lure I choose to fish with that day, it is certain I’ll be able to find the right color combination I’m looking for with River2Sea’s 10-25 color selection. The 2 colors that tend to be most popular among frequent anglers and professionals are the loon, blue blood, and bone.
River2Sea has great color combinations that match both fresh and saltwater forage and even after a morning of swipes, hits and takes, there are very few markings on the bait. That’s big deal. I was concerned about the durability of this bait since it doesn’t tend to be the cheapest bait on the shelf. I’m very satisfied with how well it holds up.
The Golden Retrieval
No, not the dog, silly. I’m talking about some of the best ways to reel in or “retrieve” your bait once you’ve made that perfect cast.
The beauty of this bait is that it can be cast and retrieved with very few adjustments and still be successful at catching fish.
Among the main deciding factors for how fast you retrieve the bait are water temperature and how the fish are acting that day. Varying retrieval speeds is the only adjustment you need to make when fishing this bait. You’ll find you’ll increase your success by varying your retrieval rates just as one would do with other similar lures. Consider using variation of a quick reel, slow reel, and stop and go reel.
Also consider making short pitches up against the grassy edges, then bringing the bait out on a straight retrieve.
Keep in mind the speed at which the Whopper Plopper is retrieved determines the speed that the tail rotates and degree of subtle or erratic action. The speed that the tail rotates also determines the frequency of the plopping noise – a slow retrieve creates a lower frequency sound, and a fast retrieve creates a higher frequency sound.
Where Will it Work?
The Whopper Plopper will work anywhere that a bass will strike a topwater, especially rock.
There are not many things needed for catching a bass on a Whopper Plopper. Take it out of the package, cast it out and then reel it in. One small modification one could consider is switching out the hooks with the stronger one find on the saltwater version of the whopper plopper.
The Whopper Plopper works across the country and has a knack for getting big bites. So if you’re ready to get the edge on that competition and simply bring home a lunker to show your friends, this might the one lure you’ve been looking for.
Got Time for One More?
Looking for a cross between the the plopper and a buzzbait. Well, you’ve found it here with Red2Sea’s new Double Plopper buzzbait.
It features two “plopper blades” on the wire frame and skirt of a buzzbait. What many like about this bait, besides the great action, is the ability to pause the buzzbait and keep it afloat.
I’m not one to usually go over the top about a lure, but it is clear that Red2Sea has really stumbled onto something here with their line of Whopper Ploppers. Amazon reviews and professionals can’t seem to say enough about how effective they’ve found them to be.
Ok. Enough reading now. Time to go and try it for yourself.