Trick Out Your Bass Tackle

Trick Out Your Bass Tackle

By modifying your bass fishing gear to suit the situation, you can catch a lot more fish.

If you're like me, you love learning easy ways to trick out your tackle and make your bass fishing more productive and enjoyable. For example, a friend showed me how he dips the head of a plastic worm in fish attractant and slides it into the open end of a 3-inch tube bait to create a new lure with different action and bulk. He mixes worm and tube colors to create a variety bass-catching enticements.

Slightly bending the front blade of a prop bait gives it new action. Photo by Keith Sutton.

Another fishing buddy showed me how he uses a bit of Super Glue to stiffen the weedguard on a jig when fishing heavy cover. This reduces hang-ups even more, and increases his catch rate.


Helpful tips like these can work wonders to improve angling success and reduce tackle problems. Here are more you should try:


BUZZBAITS
Buzzing With A Minnow
Give a buzzbait a different look by removing the skirt and putting a soft-plastic minnow on the hook. The lure will look more like natural forage, and you may get more strikes.

Add A Trailer Hook
If the bass after your buzzbaits are striking short, add a trailer hook to the buzzbait hook. This destroys the lure's weedlessness, but if you're fishing relatively open water or where cover is below the surface, a trailer hook won't pose problems and you'll hook more bass.


CRANKBAITS
Dress It In A Skirt
When you're fishing small crankbaits and the bite is slow, try this. Remove the back treble hook on your lure, place a crappie-tube skirt on the hook's shank, then replace the hook. The skirt works just like the feathers on some topwater plugs, giving the lure more action.


Hook Replacement
You may catch more bass if you remove factory hooks from lipless crankbaits like Bill Lewis Lure's Rat-L-Trap and replace them with XCalibur Rotating Treble Hooks in sizes number 2 or 4. When a bass strikes, rotating hooks turn and penetrate more easily than standard hooks.

JIGS
Brush Buster
A great combo for bass in thick brush is a jighead with a built-in weedguard tricked out with a 6- to 8-inch plastic worm trailer. Few bass ever see this unique configuration, making it just the ticket for persnickety fish.

Bass Activator
Want to activate inactive bass when jig fishing? Sometimes all you need to do is add a chunk of minnow to the hook. The smell and taste of the bleeding bait prompt strikes when there were none before.

RODS & REELS
Line Keeper
Squeeze a split shot on your line's end after removing a baitcasting reel from a rod for storage or travel. This keeps the line from slipping through the guide and prevents tangles.

Cork Protectant
Coat cork rod handles with Armor All Original Protectant to keep them soft and clean. Apply two coats, buffing lightly with fine sandpaper after each.

SOFT PLASTICS
Split-Ring Rig
Here's a good rig for top-schooling bass. Add three small barrel swivels to a large split ring. Tie an 18-inch dropline to one swivel and a 12- inch dropline to another. Tie a small, soft-plastic jerkbait, rigged weedless, to each. Use the third swivel to tie the main line. Cast to surfacing fish, and you'll often catch two bass at a time.

Scent Holder For Tubes
When using bass attractant with tube lures, insert a piece of cotton or packing foam through the bottom and push it to the top of the tube before rigging. When the hook is inserted, this material stays in place. Attractant then can be applied inside, and the scent holds much longer.

SPINNERBAITS
Just Like New
White paint chipping off yourspinnerbaits? Don't toss the lures. Freshen the finish with white appliance touch-up paint that comes with a brush applicator.

Modified Spinnerbaits For Down-Under
Modify a small spinnerbait for deep-water, slow rolling by adding a Water Gremlin Rubbercor sinker. Remove the sinker's rubber insert and slide the lead onto the lower wire near the spinnerbait's head. Then pull the rubber insert from each end to elongate and narrow it, and slide it back into its slot. The lure now sinks faster for fishing deep structure.

SPOONS
Silver Minnow Sweetener
Many anglers add a pork frog or eel when fishing a Johnson Silver Minnow weedless spoon. Another sweetener is a 4-inch, curly-tailed grub threaded onto the hook and secured to the spoon's butt with a dab of Super Glue.

Spoon Fix
Concave casting spoons often twist line. To combat this, use a high-quality ball-bearing swivel above a leader to which the spoon is tied, and if necessary, use a snap swivel to attach the spoon.

Spoon And Jig
You sometimes can increase the effectiveness of jigging spoons by tying a 12- to 18-inch monofilament leader to the treble hook and then adding a small jig. Bass that strike short and miss the spoon often will hit the follow-up jig.

TACKLE-BOXES
Hold-Tight Dividers
Movable dividers in tackleboxes sometimes slide up, allowing small tackle items to get combined. To prevent this, put some silicone sealer on the bottom of each divider to hold it in place. You still can easily remove the divider to redesign or clean the tacklebox.

Lure Compartments
Use clear videotape boxes to organize your soft-plastic lures by color, size or style. The boxes are wormproof and transparent so you can quickly find the lures you need.

TOPWATER PLUGS
Bend Your Blades
On prop baits such as the Smithwick Devil's Horse, bend the front and rear blades forward to reduce the distance the bait moves forward with each twitch. This allows the bait to stay in the strike zone longer.

Trailer For A Chugger Plug
When casting to surface-schooling bass feeding on small shad, try tying a white or silver jig to a short mono leader tied to the rear hook of a topwater chugger plug. This provides casting weight and creates a tantalizing surface

disturbance, increasing the effectiveness of the jig.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

After making the switch to Berkley products heading into the inaugural BPT season, Edwin Evers tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead why Berkley baits played such a key role in his recent angling success.

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Pure Fishing's Andrew Wheeler tells Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead all about the brand new Abu Garcia Virtual rod that integrates Bluetooth technology through a free ANGLR smartphone app.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some strategies. Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Trending Articles

More Bass

They're easy to rig and they flat-out catch bass, says host Todd A. Kuhn in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight. Beyond the Bait

Stay in the Bass Strike Zone with Texas & Carolina Rigs

Game & Fish Digital Staff - February 25, 2020

They're easy to rig and they flat-out catch bass, says host Todd A. Kuhn in this episode of...

Todd A. Kuhn says hook geometry makes a huge difference in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight. Beyond the Bait

Hook Selection for Soft-Plastic Bass Lures

Game & Fish Digital Staff - March 17, 2020

Todd A. Kuhn says hook geometry makes a huge difference in this episode of Beyond the Bait...

Learn how wind, water clarity impact topwater bass fishing in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight. Beyond the Bait

Topwater Techniques, Lure Selections for Bass

Game & Fish Digital Staff

Learn how wind, water clarity impact topwater bass fishing in this episode of Beyond the Bait...

Around the spawn is the best time of year to boat big bass. Follow these tactics for finding monsters. Bass

Target Trophy Spring Bass: Here's How

Larry Larsen - March 25, 2020

Around the spawn is the best time of year to boat big bass. Follow these tactics for finding...

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now