Topwater Lure As A Popping Cork? You’ve Got To See This!!!


What an amazing setup!

Have you ever tried using a topwater lure in place of a popping cork?

I used to use this setup to catch bass as a kid, and the trout have been so aggressive around here I wondered if it would work on them, too.

Before I went out, I sent it to the rest of the Salt Strong team to get their thoughts.

Some loved it, some had their doubts, but all they wanted to see proof if it would work or not.

A few days later I tried it out on the water and Pa-POW! Trout on!

Want to see how I rigged this wild set up, and how to work it to catch trout?

Check out the video below.

P.S. If you’ve ever been fishing with a popping cork and the fish are hitting that instead of the lure below it, this is a great fix!

Using A Topwater Lure As A Popping Cork [VIDEO]

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Lures used:

Here’s how to rig this setup to maximize your chances of catching fish and minimize your chances of getting tangled.

Step 1. Tie on 5-6 inches of fluoro or mono leader to the nose of the topwater lure with a snug knot

Braid easily doubles back on itself, so if you use a little bit heavier test of fluoro or mono leader to attach your main line to the topwater lure you’ll reduce chances of fouling up the topwater hook.

Click here to learn how to tie the best snug knot.

Step 2. Replace the front treble hook with a single inline hook

This will also reduce your chance of fouling the topwater hook.

Click here to learn more about replacing treble hooks with topwater hooks.

Click here to get single inline replacement hooks from our shop (Insiders only).

Step 3. Remove the rear hook & split ring

Get the split ring scissors from the shop here to easily remove the rear hook and split ring (Insiders only).

Step 4. Attach 1.5-2 feet of leader to the back of the topwater lure with a snug knot.

We suggest a snug knot to limit movement and therefore decrease the chance of fouling the hook.

Click here to learn how to tie the best snug knot.

And we suggest 1.5-2 feet of leader because if you use too long of a leader here, it’ll inhibit your ability to cast far.

Step 5. Attach the leader to your lure with a loop knot

We suggest a loop knot here because it will give the lure more action

Click here to learn how to tie the best loop knot.

On this trip, I had success with both the Chasebaits Flick Prawn and the Slam Shady after the topwater lure.

Retrieving This Setup To Catch More Fish

trout on topwater

You retrieve this rig just like a popping cork… a few quick pops and then letting the lure settle back down.

The amount of time between popping depends on how active the fish are, or the water depth.

If the fish are very active, you can pop the topwater lure more often.

But if they’re more lethargic, or the water is very deep, you want to take a bit more time between pops to let the lure in the back settle.


topwater lure as popping cork

What a fun rig!

I haven’t caught two at a time yet, but with how aggressive the trout have been recently, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

Have you used this setup?

Let us know in the comments!

And if you know someone who would love this rig, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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james Hunt
1 year ago

Idea… Make a short leader with loop at each end (Surgeons Loop or Perfection loop).

  1. thread one loop through the surface lure tail eye and bring leader through the loop.
  2. using the other loop as a girth hitch, fasten a micro tactical angler clip (25 lb) to the other end.
  3. attach your bait i.e. gulp shrimp, slam shady, or???

I am usually not a big fan of clips, but the TA’s are not bad.. I suppose you could use the mini clip to re-fasten your tail hook.
Caveat. I have NOT tried this yet.

Last edited 1 year ago by james Hunt
Darren Corlett
3 years ago

I’ve used a buck tail jig with an 1/8 oz. jig head and gulp shrimp tied to the back of it. Don’t know why but the flounder can’t resist it. If they’re there you’ll catch em.

Darren Corlett
3 years ago

What size weight on the shrimp? Is it just trial and error depending on the type of shrimp or size of top water bait? You can believe I’ll have this tied on next time out. I mostly use the vudu shrimp. It swims better in my opinion.

Mike Lynch
3 years ago

Years ago used a jitter bug with a crappie jig trailer. killer don’t know why I quit

3 years ago

This is a super-effective way and my goto method for decades in the North-East, to deliver very small lures to fish focused only on eating tiny baits.

Kent W
3 years ago

The guys of Fishon Reds YouTube channel use this type of rig quite often. Typically, they use a Catch 2000 up front and an AM fishing curl tail out back. I don’t know the guys personally, and I’m not affiliated with the lure companies. Just happens to be what they typically use.

Glenn Acomb
3 years ago

Very interesting. I’ll give it a try. Good way to use a tired beat-up top water hard bait.

Nathan Fulks
3 years ago

Tony I use this same set up except you can leave the back hook on if you use a stiff wire leader on the back metal loop of the top water. Then tie the shrimp leader to it. Keeps the shrimp leader from getting fouled as often. Works great when trout or hitting top water or if you see them hit your popping cork.

Don Miller
3 years ago

Thanks Tony! A new tool for the tool box. This should work great for the darker waters that I fish here in Charleston,S.C.
Great video!

Clint Elliott
3 years ago

Nice! I tried that a while back but we were using mostly shad rigs ( double hooks) for trout and I left the treble hook on the bait. As you can imagine, the rig caught itself as often as fish. It was fun catching trout and redfish on it but frustrating. I’ll have to try this updated version. Thanks for the idea!


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