All of us lose fish on swimbaits for no good reason. Either we fail to hook them or they pull off because they’re not hooked very well. I don’t know why that is – whether it’s the weather conditions or what – but on some days fish will hit a swimbait hard and not get it down in their mouths. Other days, they’ll practically swallow it.
When I’m not getting good hookups, there are a couple of things I try. For one, I might add a small treble to a belly-weighted hook, or even to the hook where it comes out the top. If the fish are just grabbing at the tail, I might make a short leader of monofilament or braid and connect one end to the main hook and the other to a small treble. Then I stick the small treble somewhere in the tail at a place where I think the action isn’t going to be affected so much. Just know that the action is always affected, and usually not for the better.
The second thing I do if the stinger hook deal isn’t working is to downsize the swimbait. However, there’s a price to pay there also. You’d think you’d get more hits on a smaller bait anyway, but I’ve found it to be the opposite. In my experience, fish of all sizes are more likely to grab a bigger bait than a smaller one. Sometimes, though, you just have to trade the number of bites you get for a smaller bait that they’ll take down in their mouths better.
----- Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C.