I have been fishing topwater poppers for searun cutthroat and Pacific salmon exclusively for over 15 years now. When I'm guiding flyfishers on the beach and see that they are "missing" fish that are "shortstriking" it is usually because the flyfisher is shortstriking. The fish needs to turn down with the popper in order to get hooked. I always recommend the two-handed retrieve, either fast or slow because while you're retreiving with two hands it is virtually impossible to strike and set the hook.
Maybe it will work on bass and panfish also,