Fish Poppers in the Spring Grass Shrimp Run

It only follows to reason that when the grass shrimp are around in numbers one would use 1/2 to 3/4-inch grass shrimp patterns. However, this is not so. Most of the time, bass in Jamaica Bay won’t bother with a few grass shrimp because they are very small. They come around only on the high tides when the big hatches occur. There are so many of them at times you can dip a net into the water and come up with a dozen. Therefore, the odds of your small grass shrimp imitation getting noticed are slim. I’ve found that large popping bugs work best under these conditions. They work because of what I call the ''annoyance factor.'' Stripers this time of the year don’t smash poppers because they believe it’s an easy meal. They hit the bug out of pure anger and aggression. My theory is that those bass are very annoyed that this noisy animal is in their territory causing all kinds of commotion while they’re lit up and feeding. I say this because a bass during a grass shrimp hatch will slap a popper with its tail 5 times to every one time it will go after it with its mouth. Regardless of the reason, there’s nothing that gets your heart beating like seeing a fish punish a popper in a few feet of water before sucking it down. It’s pretty amazing when that happens anywhere in the world.