Jerkbait and Crankbait Treble Hook Replacement Tutorial

Over time, the treble hooks on old jerkbaits and crankbaits can become worn, broken, or dull. Lures get banged off of docks, pulled over rocks and weeds, snagged, and if used properly, catch alot of fish. If you spend enough time on the water, your tackle will see enough abuse to benefit from a treble hook replacement. Follow these steps to bring new life to your old baits.

You will need:

1) a split ring pliers

2) New treble hooks (same size as the old hooks)

3) An old used lure

 The first step is to remove the old hooks from the lure using the split ring pliers. Work the point of the tool in between the ring and twist to open it. Do this for every hook.

If you are planning to reuse the split rings, use the split ring plierd to remove the split rings from the treble hooks. If your old split rings are damaged or you just prefer to replace them, Skip this step. You will need some new split rings of the same size.

Attach the split rings to the new treble hooks with the split ring pliers. Be careful! These hooks are very sharp.

Now, use the pliers to apply the new hooks to the lure. Make sure the split rings are completely attached to the lure.

That’s it! Your favorite old plug now has fresh new hooks. Be sure to try it out to make sure it still swims properly. Be prepared for more successful hook sets!

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Use this technique for reading depth from shore

Bank fishing presents advantages, as well as challenges. Boat fishermen have the luxury of access to every acre of water. Offshore spots are many times beyond the distance a casting rig can reach, but a boat gives a fisherman the ability to quickly adapt from shore to the depths. With todays electronics, a wealth of information can be obtained regarding a body of water. Depth, fish location, and bottom content are easily identified and displayed on screen. Depth finders are now available that can be used from shore. However, if you don’t have one there is a way to get a rough guess of some of this information. It’s not as good as having electronics, but it will work in a pinch. This method starts with a simple jig head, and a small amount of math and physics.

To figure out depth, first tie on a jighead to your line and use a rod that has a spinning reel. I prefer an 1/8 ounce head but you may prefer heavier jigs for depths beyond 20 feet. Now, find an area close to shore where you can visually estimate the depth. I aim for 5 feet if possible. Now cast your jig to this spot and as soon as the jig hits the water begin to count in seconds. A timer can also be used but isn’t needed. Allow your line to freely spool off of the reel and watch the line. When the line stops, stop counting. For this example, lets say it took 1 second to drop 5 feet. This means the jig falls at a rate of 5 feet per second. Now cast out farther. This time it takes two seconds to reach bottom. This means that the depth is 10 feet. By casting all around you, you can get a basic idea of how the bottom lays out, regarding depth, drop-offs and bars.

Bottom content is a little trickier to detect. For this I use a heavier jig, at least a 1/4 ounce. Cast out and allow the jig to hit bottom, and then slowly reel in the jig. You want as much bottom contact as possible. A rocky bottom will feel differently, and the size of rock will even change the way it feels as you reel it in. Gravel will pull slightly, while bigger rocks will grab harder and snag easier. An isolated snag can be from a rock pile or tree. Weeds will be more of a soft pull that hangs on more. By casting along a shoreline, you can find weed edges by finding out where the weeds end.

Try out this technique next time you fish from shore. You may be suprised about what you find at your favorite fishing holes!

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How to Use Blade Baits Effectively

Bladebaits are extremely versatile. It really is hard to work them improperly. With their wiggling action provided with vibrations sent out through the water and an enticing eratic fall, these lures can really bring in fish. Fish can detect these vibrations from a distance and seek them out. Follow these tips to help you use blade baits effectively.

The most common presentation for these baits is vertical jigging, and it’s also where they really shine. Fine tuning this presentation depends on preference and the fishes’ mood. They can be jigged hard enough to set the hook and moved at a distance of two to four feet in the water column, to more subtle approaches of mere inches at a time. Some allow the bait to free fall, while others keep the line semi tight on the drop to be able to detect strikes better. Both approaches work and are a matter of preference. In most cases, the fish will strike as the bait falls. Sometimes a shake of the wrist can trigger a strike after the bait falls. In extremely cold water and during slow bites, a dead stick approach might even earn a few strikes. Suspend the bait and let the wind and water currents give it action. This doesn’t always work but may be the ticket when nothing else produces. When jigging make sure your drag is set properly. When setting a hook directly overhead, alot of tension is applied to the line and it is easy to lose fish if the drag is set too tight. Sometimes the hooks will pull free or worse, the line will break.

These baits can also be casted and retrieved like a crank bait. For variation, they can also be casted out and retrieved with a jigging motion, allowing it to fall after each lift of the fishing rod. Adjust your retrieve speed accordingly to the fishes’ mood.

Always find the correct depth and work these baits where the fish are in the water column. For saugeyes, this will almost always be near bottom. Some prefer to keep the bait one to two feet off of bottom, while others will allow the bait to pound the bottom on the drop, which stirs up silt and can attract fish. Also, it is recommended that you use snaps instead of tying directly to the bait. Keep the line tag short to prevent the hooks from tangling, and make sure you can feel the bait through the fishing rod. If you can’t feel it the hooks are probably tangled in the line and need untangled.

Try these baits out sometime. They are an excellent addition to any tackle box. At times they can be the best choice for a successful fishing trip. Also, when it comes to a fish inhaling the bait directly from below, they are just plain fun!

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