The MONSTERBASS Mad Max is Officially Back (with a few tricks up its sleeve).
By: Shaye Baker
The original Mad Max from MONSTERBASS was my absolute favorite finesse popper of all time. And from what I experienced, the all-new Mad Max popper is on track to eclipse its predecessor!
Available now at the MONSTERBASS store.
When the original Mad Max came out, it quickly became my favorite finesse popper. It had a nice little chug to it as it was popped along, but not nearly as aggressive as bigger poppers. That softer popping action is what classifies it as a finesse popper in my book. It was also a smaller bait coming in at 2½ inches long. This combo of a smaller bait with a softer action made it a fantastic lure for finicky fish that still wanted to target a struggling baitfish on the surface.
I had the most success with this bait fishing around shad spawns, walking the bait instead of popping it straight back to the boat like I would typically fish a popper. I first figured this out by using a slow and steady twitching of my rod tip to walk the bait back and forth, creating just a little spitting action as the bait walked side to side. This proved irresistible to fish that wouldn’t even roll on the larger Spook that my buddy was throwing. The success we had with it that day made the Mad Max a staple in my boat.
I also had good luck with the original Mad Max around bream beds and fishing around finicky bass in the post spawn and in the fall as well. The action of the Mad Max isn’t intimidating. It creates just enough disturbance on the surface to draw the attention of lurking, sometimes lethargic bass. A great bait for sure! But now, let’s take a look at the man of the hour. The new and improved Mad Max.
The All New Mad Max
The body of the original and the new Mad Max are very similar. The overall shape is almost identical, with a few subtle differences around the eyes and gill plates. The new Mad Max once again sports a feathered rear treble hook like its predecessor, though the hooks aren’t the same.
The new Mad Max popper has a really nice, sharp rattle. You can tell more about the rattle system in the new Mad Max by looking at the Money Gill and Feeder Gill colors. Both these colors have translucent bottoms which expose the rattle chamber which houses 5 small, metal beads near the tail of the bait.
MONSTERBASS has introduced several new colors, completely revamping the options with the new Mad Max. Three shad patterns, two bluegill imitators and a hot pink/black combo give you a little something for any bite you might be on. Personally, I believe the Bone color is going to be hard to beat around shad in the spring and fall.
The new Money Gill and Feeder Gill colors are my favorites right now. I like to fish in pretty stained water quite, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a better paint job for mimicking the paled-out look that small bream and bluegill have when they’ve spent considerable time in muddy water. In super clear water, I like the more vibrant Feeder Gill. But that Money Gill is the juice.
The new BKK Treble Hooks are a noticeable improvement from the first edition. These new hooks are a little thicker and have an inward bend to them near the point. The front treble is also red on the new Mad Max, which I like. Many anglers believe a red hook draws the attention of a fish. I’m not a huge proponent of the red hook craze myself, but a red hook does look more like a fish’s gill or blood in the water than a black, bronze or silver hook does.
The feathered treble at the tail is an upgrade from the original as well. The rear hook is also a BKK Treble with a dark metallic color as opposed to the red front hook, but there are some strands of red and green tinsel with white feathering tied to it, finished off with red thread. A nice looking, functional addition to the back of the bait.
The new Mad Max is certainly a chip off of the old block. Any fans of the original (like me) will be pleased with this new release. The new color schemes are fantastic, with the Money Gill being one of the prettiest baits I’ve seen in a long time. A new and improved hook combo also has the Mad Max ready to tango with and tame most anything that bites.
With the same classic body style, rattle and action, this is a finesse popper that you’ll definitely want to try. At a price point of $10.00, it’s a midrange bait when it comes to your wallet, but considering I still have some of the originals in the rotation 2 years down the road, it’s a bait worth investing in. I’m personally very excited to see this bait make a return to the MONSTERBASS lineup and look forward to many more fish catches to come with it.
If there's one thing you know about top water fishing, it's that you always want to have something different. The Mad Max Popper is that something different.
Top water's awesome because it's so visual. It's a very visual technique. And this Mad Max, a little bit smaller popper, is a great bait to pick apart the shallow cover.
What I love about this bait is all of the detail that went into it. You pick this bait up and you can immediately tell every single thing has been customized on this bait. The mouth opening. It's not just a circle, right? It's all squared off. It's got a really aggressive angle. The rear treble has the dressing on it. It makes the action. When you're walking the dog or you're popping it, or when it's just sitting there, it's always doing something when you have that material at the back. And then the front treble, it's got the red in it. And it's just one more thing for that fish to key in on and maybe take the whole bait instead of slashing at the back.
Top water is the most visual form of fishing. I think that's what so many people love it. It's so addicting. I think you can learn so much from that. A lot of people are like, "Aw, man, we had a bunch of followers," but for me, I'm like, "Man, we had a bunch of followers." I got to interact with the fish, see it's body language and it's movement. And I think that's huge. And I think things like top water and anything that brings that fish up where you can see it really teaches you a lot about bass fishing and how to catch fish better.
Top water to me is the pinnacle of fun. When people think about fishing, a lot of time they think about the brine, they think about catching a giant. Nothing will kick on the fun like a top water blowup. There is nothing.
When you fish sub-surface, you get a hit, you kind of feel a tug on the line, you set the hook. And that's exciting. I'm not going to discredit that at all. It's a ton of fun. Top water, on the other hand, you see everything. That subsurface action, you don't see it.
What makes the top water popper a unique bait is that it works year-round. It works great in the spring and fall. It works great on hot summer days, you can work it well in open water, you can run it right up next to cover, and it's always going to be effective. There's a way to make it effective.
And a popper is probably my favorite bait to throw up here in the north, during the June timeframe, but really in the post-spawn, especially around hardcover. So I'm looking for docks, I'm looking for lay downs, I'm looking for shallow cover in the water that bass can spawn around, bluegill can spawn around. And it's just a hard piece of cover for those fish to sit on before they start to pull back out into the grass or off into that offshore stuff. It's going to work all year long, but really that's when I really key in on the popper.
Not only are you fishing typically visual cover, but the technique itself is visual. It's on the top of the water. The strikes are typically pretty vicious for the most part. And you can actually watch fish eat the bait. You can also watch fish react to the bait, which gives you an idea of what the fish are doing. A bluegill color is going to be a really prominent color for me. I'm really trying to match the forage, match the hatch. And a lot of times I'm imitating bluegill, I'm imitating small bait fish, and these bluegill colors do a really good job of that.
Every single thing, front to back, top to bottom is custom on this bait. And that's what just makes it so special. When you've got this in your tackle box, you've got a Swiss army knife. It is a do-it-all popper.