Pop The Top On Fall Surface Action

Go toe-to-toe with beefy bluefish for a life-changing battle.

It’s like main lining a double espresso. The unbridled aggression of 20-pound bluefish blasting topwater plugs is pure wakeup straight to the wheelhouse.

“These are some of the biggest bluefish we get in our area,” Capt. Blaine Anderson said of the double-digit choppers he’s seen patrolling the Long Island Sound area of late.

Beefy blues like the one’s Anderson’s clients have recently battled have big appetites, so the Connecticut captain knows the value of offering tantalizing topside targets. His favorites: the Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper and the Creek Chub Pin Popper.

Both have their place in the plan, with the slender Pencils performing well in calm conditions, while the wider-body Pin Poppers deliver the more noisy display of maximum water displacement that excels in rougher conditions. For one thing, anglers can punch the heavier Pin Popper through a blustery wind. Moreover, the fish seem to locate that bigger bait better when turbulent waters reduce visibility.

Anderson said that once he locates active blues—or stripers—they require little coaxing. Most times, he spots the fish boiling or swiping at the plug before they strike. A fish that shows, he said, is usually soon for the hooks.

“If we see a fish, he’s usually going to bite,” Anderson said. “You’re doing something right to attract the fish; you just have to speed up the retrieve and force the fish to bite.”

Good thing is, he notes, that blues and stripers will hit these plugs with such reckless abandon that hook sets are automatic. See the splash and just settle in for a couple minutes of rod-bending fun.

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