Money Hound lives up to its name
Terry Butcher, a Bassmaster Elite pro angler, holds a bass he caught in weeds on a Money Hound.
The Money Hound looks like a Zara Spook begging for treble hooks, but is a soft-plastic torpedo that calls for Texas-rigging, just like a plastic worm, plastic frog or soft-plastic jerkbait, that allows it to be worked in and over slop, grass, duckweed, lily pads, buckbrush and, even, dock cables, according to Lawrence Taylor, public-relations manager for PRADCO Outdoor Brands.
Taylor and so many other bass fishermen are enjoying the increasing popularity of the soft plastic that can walk-the-dog in open water and create a ruckus on top in the slop. It’s an ambush bait waiting to happen.
Taylor said YUM management worked many hours and did much testing to “get (it) absolutely perfect.”
“It’s been in the making for years. It had to float a certain level in the water, be durable enough for tough duty in weeds and wood and produce a classic walk-the-dog action in open water,” Taylor said. “We wanted a weed-frog alternative with advantages, and we got it right.”
He doesn’t get an argument from Jimmy Mason of Rogersville, Ala., a BASS and FLW pro who also guides for a living in northern and central Alabama. Mason got his hands on some, and started catching with them right away in October.
Naturally, he put them away in the frigid months of winter, but dusted them off again for pre-spring, spring and summer bass fishing.
“Actually, that’s a great bait. It’s turned into one of my best baits whenever you have grass getting close to the surface,” Mason said. “There are a lot of different situations you can use it.”
For example, at Smith Lake in his home state in a pro tournament, he caught his biggest-ever bass — a 7 1/2-pounder — on a Money Hound.
“It’s turned into one of my big-fish baits in my arsenal,” said the bass angler who guides 175 days a year.
Smith Lake might be the last place you’d think a soft plastic like the Money Hound might be a go-to bait. But, he said, he likes to skip them under docks and use the walk-the-dog retrieve to trigger strikes, which proves their versatility.
Mason’s bite-to-catch ratio is about 80 percent, he said. He uses a 4/0 or 5/0 XCalibur Tx3 Wide gap hook tied to 30- to 50-pound braided line on a high-speed (16.3:1) reel seated on a 7-foot medium heavy fishing rodeo with a strong backbone and a flexible tip.
“To me, the braid’s what’s going to increase the hook-up ratio,” he said. “It’s a bait you want to hesitate just slightly before setting the hook, just like a Ribbit. What happens is they come up, go down and turn their head. You get a lot better hook-up ratio (when you hesitate before slamming home the metal).”
Taylor said he prefers using an XCalibur heavy duty wide-gap offset in 5/0 hook in the smaller (3 1/2-inch long) version and a 7/0 in the longer one (4 1/2-inch long).
“You can get away with a 5/0 in either,” he said.
There is a convenient slit in the soft plastic’s underbelly that guides anglers when they insert the hook point. The clear, pliable plastic the soft plastic itself is wrapped in (much like a skintight sausage) is easily separated with a fingernail or thumbnail.
“You’ve got to split the belly. I always pull the belly apart. I’ll push (the hook) all the way through to where the hook’s tucked in the back,” Mason said.
After that, it’s armed and dangerous and ready to deliver in close quarters.
Another feature he likes is that the tail is weighted slightly, and the soft plastic doesn’t tumble when you cast it. That trait makes it easy to cast accurately for long distance.
“It’s really a neat bait,” he said.
Money Hounds went on the shelves nationwide at the end of 2009, Taylor said. It’s catching on in more and more bassin’ waters, he said.
“Any place you have fish holding in weeds, the Money Hound is effective. Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and the Northeast, too,” he said. “While it works on top of the weeds like a frog bait, when it hits those open spots in the weeds, you can stop and give it just a little twitch, and it slashes sideways but doesn’t go forward at all. You can work it for a long time in a little open spot in the weeds.”
What makes the soft plastic artificial lure so successful is the material, Taylor said. Don’t ask what it is — it’s a trade secret.
“The key to getting it right was the material, of course, and it’s the lamination that is the key to its durability,” he said.
Money Hounds are made in the U.S. and elsewhere, he said, in a multi-step process of manufacturing soft plastics, hand-painting them, adding the eyes and fitting everything into a protective outer skin.
Mason, who has $62,028.31 in career winnings, said the soft plastics are durable. Most of the time he can catch seven or eight good-sized bass on one model, he said.
His favorite color is foxy shad, he said, followed by black lab. Other available color patterns are bulldog, hot dog, pooch and ol’ yella.
For more information about the Money Hound and other YUM products, go to www.yumbaits.com or call 479-782-8971.
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