Lure Review: Zoo Pop

Bass like this inhale the new Zoo Pop because they don’t expect to see the weedless soft plastic version of a Pop-R worked enticingly in grass or duckseed. (Photos courtesy americanbaitworks.com)

Frog-like soft plastic topwater is not afraid of the thick cover

Cliff “The Cajun Baby” Crochet is glad he has his hands on a new soft plastic artificial lure that appeals to him as much as the soft plastic frogs he loves to throw in-state and out-of-state.

The Pierre Part pro bass fisherman called the Snag Proof Zoo Pop, a hollow body soft plastic lookalike for the legendary Pop-R, a “good lookin’ bait.”

“The Pop-R is a really good bait,” he said. “The biggest deal with the Zoo Pop is you can put them in places you never put a Pop-R. As always, it’s something everybody needs in their tacklebox.”

Crochet, who has fished Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour the past five years after nine years on the Bassmaster Elite Series, was on hand when the Zoo Series of Zoo Pops, Zoo Pups and Zoo Dogs was introduced at ICAST 2023 in Orlando, Florida. He liked what he saw.

“They’re traditional topwater bodies but they’re weedless. So you get to throw them where you’ve never thrown a Zoo Pop or Zara Spook before,” the family man and pro bass angler said.

“They’re comparable to a (soft plastic) frog, the fact they’re so weedless.”

Bass like it too

Apparently, bass like what they see, too, because they rarely if ever encounter that distinct shape and sound in the kind of cover they often prefer —  the mats, the lily pads, the grass, etc.

What impresses Crochet the most are the Zoo Pop colors, which, like the name, really pop. He keeps his favorites pretty simple as Black Shad, Tennessee Shad and Dark Gill.

The weedless soft plastic version of the Pop-R has given bass anglers another weapon to use in grass, lily pads and duckseed. (Photos courtesy americanbaitworks.com)

“The paint jobs on those things are really awesome, really cool,” he said.

ICAST patrons felt the same way last year about all aspects of the soft plastic from Snag Proof. Crochet saw the approval in their eyes and heard the plaudits. In fact, he said, there was an overwhelming positive response.

The buzz was genuine, in other words.

“The styles and profiles are what really got to people,” he said, noting the Zoo Pop even has the traditional “feather tail” on the back treble hook.

A fully integrated hook design keeps the bait snag proof even in heavy grass, pads and matted vegetation.

“I’ve thrown them around a little bit for a couple months now,” he said. “I’ve caught a few fish on them, a few on both of them (Zoo Pops and Zoo Pup / Zoo Dog).

“That Zoo Pop works really good around duckweed. It gives it a little pop. While it seems similar to a frog, it’s got a different profile and a little different sound,” he said. And, he recommended, “I would throw it on standard froggin’ equipment with braid.”

His Zoo Pop setup includes a KastKing Speed Demon Deadbolt reel, a 7-foot-3 H KastKing rod and 65-pound KastKing braid, noting, “I like black.”

For more information on the Snag Proof Zoo Pop and other American Baitworks Co. products go to americanbaitworks.com or call (844) 466-5738.

About Don Shoopman 560 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.