Sharp hooks will improve performance of topwater baits

Guide Rennie Clark uses a topwater walk-the-dog lure as a search-bait. Floating above cover like oyster beds, an angler with one tied on can cover a lot of water in short order.

Red drum and speckled trout can be very difficult to hook when they strike these lightweight, floating lures. Clark ups his percentages by removing the factory treble hooks for sharper, after-market hooks, in his case, black VMC trebles.

Topwater baits can be deadly on redfish or speckled trout, according to Rennie Clark, especially if you equip your bait with especially sharp hooks.

When a fish strikes a topwater lure, it may move toward the angler rather than away, creating slack in the line. The standard advice is for the angler to wait until he feels the weight of the fish before setting the hook. However, if the fish is moving toward the angler and the angler does not feel it because of the slack line, the result is that the fish spits out the lure and the angler only thinks that the fish missed the strike. If the hook point digs into the fish at the slightest pressure, a fish moving toward the angler is more likely to hook itself and become a landed fish rather than a missed strike.

About Mike Marsh 356 Articles
Mike Marsh is a freelance outdoor writer in Wilmington, N.C. His latest book, Fishing North Carolina, and other titles, are available at

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