Land More Fish with a Stinger Hook

Sometimes all you need to turn bites into landed fish is another hook

Posted Aug. 14, 2017

Photo courtesy Louisiana Sportsman

By David Hunter Jones
Louisiana Sportsman Editor

Fishing a swimbait is one of the more productive methods of landing trout, redfish and bass because of their realistic appearance and swimming action. However, because form sometimes comes before function, a few tweaks are needed to increase your hookup ratio.

I was recently throwing a LiveTarget Sardine and Mullet swimbait for trout and the baits were getting hammered. On each cast I’d get multiple hits, but I was only getting a hook in about half of the fish. The lures were obviously attracting the trout, but I needed to stick more of them. Examining the bait told me that I needed to make the hook more exposed so that the chances of sticking one would be better, so I cut off the dorsal fin. It’s a great weedguard around grass and submerged vegetation, but because this was open water it could safely be removed, thereby exposing the hook point more.

After that, I added a treble hook on the bottom of the baits that snagged short-striking fish, and I was landing more fish that struck. Not all baits have a nice provision like the Live Target Swimbait series, but don’t fret. If you’re throwing a cocahoe on a jighead, you can add a treble with a short length of braid tied to the bend in the hook that will trail nicely behind the lure and not impede its action. Or, you can buy a spinnerbait trailer and add it to the jighead’s hook.

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