a better bite

YOUR CONNECTION could produce and hold a big bite.

One of the nice things about hanging around bass anglers is they sometimes give up some helpful info–even little things that could make a difference. You probably have some in your bag, but in case these are new to you, just add add them to your inventory.

These things refer to connections. Whether on the angler end or the fish end, connections matter, especially on topwater. Baits typically perform best (angler end) when the connection enhances the lure’s properties. And on the fish end, anything that might keep a jumper connected has got to be a plus.

Maybe you’ve heard or read Rick Clunn’s advice to tie to a chugger (Rico) with the knot perpendicularly to the bait’s flotation. The reason, this enhances the bait’s ability to “dig” water on each chug.

eye doctored

EYE DOCTORED with a flat spot to seat your knot.

But this concept has been around a long time. Western anglers as far back as the 1970’s were suggesting filing a notch in the bottom (underside) of the lure connecting eye to keep the knot from slipping back up. It had been argued, however, that this created an edge in the metal that could abraid the knot. But it doesn’t really have to be a notch. Just creating a “flat” side will help seat the knot.

Also, we have all kinds of tools (read Dremel or diamond cloth or file) today that can polish the metal if necessary, and we have a much better grade of mono today so it would take some extraordinary forces to damage the knot. And then there is that other precaution you may have heard of: retie regularly?

more hook swing

TWO SPLIT RINGS produce more hook “swing” less torque for jumping fish…

On the other end, one trick I have been slow to adopt is the tanden split ring for your trailer hook. This has been a tour method, that I first heard about when FLW was first organized. The second ring puts the rear hook back only slightly, but what it does is lessen the amount of torque a jumping, head-shaking fish has to throw the bait.

It (double split ring) was primarily employed for fishing smallmouth bass, but anyone who hopes to limit the number of losses on largemouth–even by one fish–might consider the idea.

And that’s all I got.


7 Responses to “Little topwater tips that can help…”

by Guy Williams

A lil better deal than the double split rings is the “soft” split ring by using braided line as a substitute for metal (which adds weight). You can mess with the length of distance very easily from the hangers and they allow the hooks to be free from any leverage by the bass. Tip was given to me by Joe Uribe Sr. Great tip, Joe Sr!!

by George Kramer

Good stuff, Guy!

by Guy Williams

The man himself Big Joe explaining the real deal.


Wow, what a cool idea with the braid split ring. I am surprised somebody has not tried to make it illegal.

I like the two split rings idea. I will give it a shot.

by George Kramer

Actually, it is a good idea. Every trick has its advantages–but just not in every situation. Mass production of lure bodies gives the identical topwaters different balance or buoyancy properties. Double rings and a larger or smaller hook may affect those properties on a small chugging bait, but have almost no effect on a big walker. Then there is the possibility of “extra noise” from the metal to metal–however slight. No guarantees, but good options.

by George Kramer

Jay Yelas sent the following message on the topic:

“George, I use size 4 trebles on small poppers like the Frenzy popper. I like mono for poppers, anywhere from 10-17# depending on habitat and water clarity.”