Spinnerbaits are one of the most productive baits you can throw during the fall feeding frenzy, as the big profile and flashing blades do a good job of attracting attention and fooling hungry bass into thinking they’ve cornered a mouthful of shad. But don’t assume that attraction automatically equals success.

As Menendez points out, bass — particularly spots — will often just bump a bait, while those that do intend to eat it might miss. Could be an awkward attack angle, maybe the interference of another feeding fish; whatever the cause, you don’t want to miss any opportunities.

“You have to have a trailer hook because that will give you the second opportunity you may not (otherwise) get,” Menendez said. “

Trailer hooks are made with wider eyes so they easily slip over the spinnerbait hook, but this flexibility can become a liability unless you restrain your second hook with a keeper. You want to allow plenty of side-to-side movement, but you don’t want it slipping upward; either out of hooking position, or off the main hook.

Plastic keepers slip over the hook point and onto the bend to limit the trailer’s upward range. To simplify the addition, Menendez uses a device called the Hook Pal, which snugly holds a keeper in its handle. He simply loads a keeper into the hole where a narrower underside prevents it from falling out, and runs the point of his spinnerbait hook through the keeper until it snugs into place.