Line bacon side-by-side on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, until crispy and brown. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Press the tops with another layer of paper towels. When cool, cut into small pieces.
Mix the baking soda and cayenne pepper and set aside.
Prepare a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchenaid bowl) by spraying generously with cooking spray. Also, coat two spatulas with cooking spray. Dump the popcorn in the bowl.
Combine sugar, butter, salt, and water in a medium saucepan. Cook without stirring on high heat, until it becomes light golden-yellow caramel. This takes about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and add the soda/cayenne mixture. Careful, as the mixture will bubble up! Add the bacon bits.
Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and toss until coated evenly. Pour the popcorn onto a large baking pan and flatten and break into small pieces. Cool to room temp and serve, or store in an airtight container. The popcorn will keep up to four days in the fridge.