If you ever scratch your head when your favorite fishing lure becomes a discontinued fishing lure and then hard to find, you’re not alone!
Making emotional decisions sometimes isn’t smart. Making emotional decisions when you are running a company can be downright dumb. So, call me dumb, but I made the emotional decision a few years ago to not allow my favorite topwater lure, the 2-inch BOOYAH Boss Pop, to become a discontinued fishing lure.
In the fishing lure business, we frequently have what we call a “discontinued list.” This means these lures for whatever reason didn’t sell enough over a certain period of time, so they end up becoming discontinued fishing lures.
At pretty much every BASSMASTER Classic I’ve been to since 1990, I get asked the same question by at least a few anglers: “Why did y’all discontinue the (insert lure name here)?? That was my favorite lure!!” Unfortunately, this person didn’t buy enough to make this lure a good business decision to keep it in the catalog.
The road at lurenet.com is littered with discontinued fishing lures. Good lures. Fish-catching lures. The Rebel Deep Wee-R. The Bomber Fat A series. The Cotton Cordell C.C. Shad. The Arbogast Hawaiian Wiggler. The Bandit Ledge 250. The list goes on and on and on.
One day a few years ago, the 2-inch BOOYAH Boss Pop ended up on the list. Most of the time, I review the list, approve it, and get on down the road making other decisions. I’ve been hurt by favorite lures getting discontinued. When the Softshell Crawfish color of the Rebel F77 Teeny Wee Crawfish was discontinued, I was puzzled, as it was by far my favorite color. But I wasn’t going to let emotions let me make a bad business decision. I approved it and let it go. When the Bomber Fat A 4F model was chopped, it was emotional, because it was the crankbait I used 99% of the time on the Arkansas River. But the numbers said let it go, so I let it go.
Both of those decisions were made many years ago. I guess in my old age I am either getting softer or just a little more resolute in not wanting to lose another favorite lure. This time around, I let my emotions dictate the decision. I wasn’t going to approve this lure being discontinued.
I immediately called Chad Warner, our Director of Product Development and Marketing, and asked him what he thought about the 2-inch Boss Pop being axed. “Dude, that’s a great lure,” he said. “We need to find a way to keep that in the catalog. I use it all the time.”
That was all I needed to hear. We immediately launched a purchase order to get the 2-inch Boss Pop back in stock and have been selling it ever since, mostly on lurenet.com.
4 Ways to Work the Boss Pop
There are many reasons I love the 2-inch Boss Pop. Near the top of that list how easy it is to work this bait several different ways:
My favorite is to Walk the Dog. With short strokes of my rod tip while intermittently reeling, I can make the Boss Pop dart back and forth with ease. If you’ve ever seen a school of shad or baitfish busted up by bass or other predators, you have no doubt seen a stray shad struggling to swim on the top of the water. Sometimes it will do circles. Sometimes it will struggle on the surface. Sometimes it will just dart around. The 2-inch Boss Pop mimics all of this when you walk it.
I also like a Pop, Pop, Stop Sometimes fish will key in on a rhythm. Stopping the lure can trigger a strike, or the re-start of the cadence can trigger a strike. Whatever the reason, starting and stopping seems to work at times. To do this, I lightly and quickly move my rod tip down two times in a row while reeling and then stop. Then I repeat that for the duration of my retrieve.
In windy conditions, sometimes more of a Bloop, Bloop, Stop will get it done. I love a popper instead of a walking bait when it’s windy. You can do so much more to disturb the surface and draw strikes with the Boss Pop in this situation. To do this, I move my rod tip down with a little more meaning so the Boss Pop will actually throw some water and create a “blooping” sound in the water.
On a clear body of water without any wind, I like to Keep the Lure Moving If they don’t seem to want the lure walking, I’ll keep up a steady pop without stopping. Sometimes fish won’t commit when you stop the lure. If you keep it moving, they must commit, or their chance at a meal is gone.
Boss Pop Setup
A good rule of thumb for any type of lure fishing is that using lighter line will deliver more action. That includes topwater baits.
For both the 2-inch and 3-inch Boss Pops, I never use more than 12-pound monofilament. Both Boss Pops feature feather-dressed rear trebles, and these hooks will dance around like a shad tail. But if you use too heavy of line, it will deaden the action. For baitcasters, I like a 6-foot, 6-inch medium or medium heavy rod. While a shorter rod can give you more command of the lure, a longer rod will give you much longer casts, which is very important in clear-water conditions.
For spinning tackle, I like 8-pound test on a 6-foot, 6-inch medium rod. On windy days or times when you need to make really long casts, spinning tackle can outperform baitcasters – especially with the 2-inch Boss Pop.
The 3-inch Boss Pop comes in several translucent colors such as Ghost Shiner or Moonphase Shad. X-Ray is a good translucent option for the 2-inch model. These are perfect for highland reservoirs. The chrome colors, such as Flashy Momma or Chrome/Black are my favorites for more stained water.
When to Use the Boss Pop
For me, Boss Pops come out of the box during the spawn. As water warms and as fish move up to spawn and back off, they will commit to a topwater lure. On many lakes and rivers, white bass will also school and be very active at this time. If you are only fishing with wacky-rigged YUM Dingers, you might miss out on some great action!
Fishing around laydowns and stump this time of year can produce multiple topwater fish. Not all fish spawn at the same time, so working pockets and other spawning areas with a Boss Pop can pick up extra fish that your spawning lures don’t catch.
As fish get into summer patterns, topwaters become more of the staple for me. This is especially true in low-light conditions, which means a little before daybreak and a few hours after and a few hours before sundown and a little after it. Low light means more on highland reservoirs – especially if it’s a sunny day. If you are fishing rivers with current, the sun angles won’t mean quite as much. Current fish have been known to bite topwaters all day long! On highland reservoirs, focus on main-lake points and laydowns or other wood, adjacent to main-lake points. On rivers, natural places are ends of jetties, current breaks or cuts, where water flows into a slough, pond or man-made pool.
Bass will hit topwater lures all the way through the fall. I like keeping the Boss Pop on the rod deck until the water temperature falls into the mid-50s.
Give It a Try!
If you haven’t used a Boss Pop, you should give it a try. It is a mainstay on my deck for nine months a year. While the 2-inch is my favorite, I do like using the 3-inch when I am fishing with other people. This allows me to make longer casts and opens room for them to fish behind me.
Like many folks, I love fishing with family. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time fishing with my three boys: Gray, Cole and Slate. We don’t fish together as much as we used to, but when we do, we typically have Boss Pops tied on.
Earlier this summer, Gray brought his fiancée, Halee, to fish with me at Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma. She had never caught a bass before, and she had just purchased her first fishing license. She was an athlete in high school, so she figured out how to cast very quickly. I thought the 2-inch Boss Pop would be just what she needed to catch her very first bass. And it worked! She even sight-casted a spotted gar with the Boss Pop and unfortunately brought it all the way in the boat!
At the end of the day, we use the lures that catch us the most fish. At lurenet.com, I have around 7,000 lure choices every day. The 2-inch Boss Pop is one of a few that stays on the deck. And that’s a fact. Nothing emotional about that!