Choose the right swimbait to attract big bass bites
To make their swimbaits more effective at latching what bites, savvy anglers boost the standard hardware with additional hooks. Texas pro Byron Velvick has learned that multiple points reduce the risk of fish shaking off, while they up his chances of nabbing indecisive short strikers.
Velvick’s namesake Rago BV 3D features a line-through design that runs diagonally from the snout to just behind the molded, downward-slanting pectoral fins. Velvick ties his line to a forward-facing treble hook and then pins one of the points in the bait’s belly. This aligns the remaining two points parallel with the underside so the bait’s pectoral fins serve as weed guards to minimize snagging.
Velvick expands his hooking potential with an Owner stinger harness. The harness comprises a length of 80-pound braided line with a large loop at one end and an Owner EZ-Snap (dual interlocking design) to hold an Owner treble hook at the other. Partially running the loop through the eye of a lead hook, passing the treble through this loop and then cinching down the braid positions a hook at both ends of the bait — similar to a king mackerel stinger rig in salt water. (Pinning the trailer behind the ventral fins provides another set of weed guards.)
The stinger harness also works with swimbait heads or swimbait hooks. Similar to a stinger harness, use the tag end of a main knot tied to the swimbait hook to hold a treble. Experiment with tag-end lengths to determine the best stinger placement.
Other options for bolstering your soft swimbait include:
Slip the eye of a treble hook onto the bend of a swimbait hook or that of a swimbait lead head. Add a plastic bead to the main hook’s bend to keep the stinger in place. In open water, dangle the stinger from the bend of a swimbait hook to increase its effective range, but pin it to the body in weedy habitat.
Rig a treble hook with a split ring and work the ring onto the neck of a weighted swimbait hook, between the eye and the lead. Use a split ring that’s smaller than the main hook’s eye to lock the dangling stinger in place.
Replace the blade on an underspin swimbait head like a Basstrix Spintrix with a treble hook. Similarly, Swarming Hornet’s Fish Head Slider features a wire loop on its underside for hanging a split ring and a treble hook.
With a through-line bait, tie your line to the top ring of a three-way swivel positioned under the bait and add a treble hook to the other two rings (connect with split rings). For additional lip-grabbing power, run a stinger harness from the swivel’s center joint and pin this trailing hook under the tail.
Editor’s note: This article is part of the Work that wiggle feature in the July issue of Louisiana Sportsman. Digital editions can be downloaded right to your computer or smartphone.
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