If you’ve ever tossed a grasshopper in a pond or have seen a misguided hopper land in a stream, you probably can understand the virtue of fishing a Rebel Crickhopper as a surface lure from early summer through mid-fall. A terrestrial insect struggling on the surface offers an easy meal to a bluegill, bass or trout, and a live one rarely makes it back to the edge in any stream or pond that has a decent fish population.

A Crickhopper (or its larger cousin, the Bighopper) offers a profile and color patterns that match nature when a fish looks up, and with the right presentation, you can effectively match the normal behavior of a cricket or grasshopper. The result, if you’re fishing the right places, tends to be steady summer action with some highly explosive hits.

The right places tend to be close to grassy banks, under overhanging trees, around deadfalls and docks and against riprap banks. Such spots hold terrestrial insects that can land in the water and often provide shade and cover for sport fish.

A couple of types of retrieves can work well. One is to reel slowly with the rod held high so the Crickhopper simply wobbles on the surface and pushes out a wake. The other is move the lure with a series of tiny rod snaps to make it dance erratically on top.

With either presentation, pauses are critical. A displaced terrestrial insect pauses frequently, whether to rest or to try to gain orientation. After you cast, let the lure rest several seconds before you do anything else, and your first rod movement might just be a hookset! If nothing hits initially, work the lure several feet across the top and pause it again. After a few seconds, move it several more feet and continue likewise. Many fish will hit when the lure is stopped or as soon as it starts moving again.

Experiment with the way you work the Crickhopper, the cadence of movements and the lengths of pauses. Pay attention, and the fish will reveal their preferences.

The original Crickhopper looks like a very easy meal for panfish and often is the ticket. However, a Bighopper can be cast a little farther and is more apt to call up a bass or a brown trout. Pay attention to what’s hopping along the bank, especially if you are fishing from the shore, and try to match the size and the color of any grasshoppers or crickets you see. Fish either hopper lure on light to ultralight gear with 4- or 6-pound test.