I've found that the popper is most effective in the absence of bait, when the bait is scattered or the predators outnumber the bait and are competing with each other. When casting into a bait ball, you need a fairly close imitation in both surface and subsurface flies. Also, you need to resist the temptation to strip fast like fleeing bait. Rather, you should act like a wounded cripple and wobble, wiggle, stop, feint, skip, and sputter. I try to cast at the edges of baitballs and play like I'm on my last few breaths.
We're gonna have some beautiful outgoing morning tides on friday, saturday and sunday. I'm gonna be doing some beachcombing.