Cork Poppers Galore
While we’re talking about fishing I thought I’d throw this story in.
Every time I found an old piece of cork, I’d make a bass popper out of it. Wine bottle stoppers were good. My father taught me how to make those things, but I’ll admit to not having made one in over 60 years.
First, I’d take a big Eagle Claw hook and clamp it in the vise. Then I’d tie the tail on, which took some imagination. Every popper was different, and sometimes I’d tie on grizzly saddle hackles, javelina bristles, squirrel fur, or hair from the rear end of my neighbor’s cat. Once I found a bald-headed lady’s brunette wig at the dump. It made good popper tail material.
Then I’d shape the cork to look like something a big fish wanted to eat, and bind it to the hook shank. Bass are carnivorous animals so the juicier the bait looks, the more likely they are to attack it. They especially like frogs.
The fun part came next, and that was painting the lure. I used some of my sister’s fingernail polish and that added to the excitement for me. Ha, she never found out, and a salvo of discouragements would’ve blistered my ears if she’d known. Oh, please forget I said that last part.
I put lots of eyes on my poppers to make them look threatening. Bass will usually attack when they feel frightened. That twist of knowlege always gave me an edge.
The fact is I never fished with any of my hand-painted poppers, and that’s the truth. There was no way a slippery sided smallmouth black bass was going to scratch the paint on my special, sculptural artforms. That’d be tantamount to messing with my poem. f