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October 25, 2001

Wired and Weedless

Here's a quick way to make your soft casting plugs weedless.

Tough conditions greeted my fishing partners and me last November at the Saltwater Flats Fishing Association finals tournament in Flamingo, Florida: Snook, redfish and trout were feeding in water just 2 feet deep, but thick grass and floating weeds made a clean presentation of our lures impossible.

Necessity forced us to come up with a simple yet effective means to work our DOA shrimp through the grass without fouling the hooks. We snipped light, stainless-steel leader wire into 1 1/4-inch pieces, then pushed the wire into the plastic shrimp's head. The wire slanted back to protect the hook point from weeds while still permitting solid hookups. This trick proved effective on the shrimp pictured and a Bait Buster lure, which, like the shrimp, has its line entry at the front, so there's no place for weeds to grab - and when you place a wire strand over the hook, you can work a lure snag-free through an underwater jungle. By the way, we won the two-day tournament with a grand slam each day.

Capt. Mark Nichols
DOA Lures