Sharp hooks make a difference, especially in winter fishing when fish mouths are much tougher.
After most of the country has been in a deep freeze, iced out ramps and fishing spots have been giving anglers a bad case of cabin fever!
One thing’s for sure, though, when you finally get back on the water—fish will be biting and one of the best cold water lures is the Silver Buddy.
It’s probably a good time to get ready for the first thaw. Chances are the water will still be cold, around the low 40s, and the Silver Buddy bite will be strong.
But first, check the sharpness of your hooks.
Since these lures are snagged a lot, the hooks can become dulled or just bent.
Feel for a rolled-over point by running your fingernail from the barb or the outside of the hook point, towards the tip.
It might feel like just a small “catch,” but it will make hook penetration more difficult.
To sharpen, I like to use a split stone to run the point down the split, straight down the center, then again to the left and then the right.
There are a few ways to sharpen hooks, but eventually, there’s not enough metal left on the point to be effective and replacement is required.
Don’t use split rings! Hooks will get tangled and this can be frustrating.
Mustad makes a split shank treble that can be threaded into the hook holes on the Silver Buddy body.
Take the point of the single shaft of the split shank treble and penetrate the hole. Rotate the hook upward and push it down into the hook hole.
Grab the bend of the hook with some needle nose pliers and pull until the eye of the hook is hanging on the lure.
Using the pliers, squeeze the split shaft together with the two fixed shafts to close the gap. Be very careful to avoid hooking yourself!
If you can’t find split shank trebles, take a Mustad round bend ultra point treble and cut the eye of the hook close to the shaft with some cutting pliers.
Use the pliers to twist the eye open enough to hook it onto the bait.
Once in place, use the body of the Silver Buddy to twist the gap closed. You will hear a slight snap when it is in place.
Just Like The Original
This was the original way Silver Buddy lures were hooked and it is the way Silver Buddy owner Buddy Banks is doing them today—and I have never had one open up on a fish!
Sharp hooks make a difference, especially in winter fishing, so either sharpen or replace them now so you’re ready for the next time you get out.
One last thing, the biggest bass of the season are caught during the next couple of cold-water months.
Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is Potomac bass fishing guide & contributing writer for BoatUS.com. Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: [email protected]