Two years ago, I lost my all-time favorite topwater lure, an old yellow Hawg Hunter Polar Popper. I fished that same plug for over 10 years, and caught hundreds of fish on it. Hawg Hunter lures used to be quite popular on the Cape Cod Canal about 15 to 20 years ago, but they’ve been unavailable since, as their maker, Brad Poehler, unfortunately passed away some 10 years ago. I fished that yellow popper for many years, changing the hooks out dozens of times. It was my go-to topwater lure for rough water, and I never found another plug that could make as much commotion.
This winter while reading an article by Carl Johansen in this magazine, I learned that Guppy Lures is making poppers and pencils based on Brad’s original designs. I was lucky enough to find some on the wall at the local tackle shop, and I bought every yellow one they had in stock.
Much to my delight, the Guppy P2 Popper is very similar to my old Hawg Hunter. It casts like a rocket and is great when you’re throwing into a stiff wind. The plugs rides very well in rough seas, and it throws a lot of white water on the pop. It’s my go-to topwater popper in heavy surf or violent rips, both on shore and from boat.
The Guppy P2 saved the day on a recent striper trip to the rips off Monomoy. We were trolling bucktails on wire line, with not much to show for it. I grabbed my spinning rod, clipped on a P2 popper, and headed to the bow of the center console. I fired a long, straight cast into the edge of the rip, and on the second pop a good-sized striper steamrolled it and cartwheeled out of the water. The fish were on squid, and the big popper was getting them fired up. I brought seven nice fish to the boat that morning, and I found a replacement for my all-time favorite topwater plug.