The flatfish lure from Yakima Bait can be highly effective for trout. But there are some are some customizations we can do to make them even more effective.
The first thing I do is modify the hook setup. Since I do a lot of catch and release I often replace treble hooks with single hooks. Not only does this make the fish easier to release – and therefore decreases fish mortality – but it can often result in a better hookup, increasing the number of fish to the boat.
The replacement single hook should be siwash style. It is a simple hook and often comes “open eye” meaning the eye that connects with the lure isn’t fully closed.
The size to use should be based on the size of the treble hook being replaced. Look at the gap (space between the hook point and the shank) of the treble hook. The siwash gap should be at least the same size and at max twice the gap size. 1.5 times the size of the gap is a great default to use. Here an a example comparing the gap size.
Now that we have a replacement hook selected, we can modify the lure.
First we open up the eye in the eye screw that attaches the stock hook to the body. I find that the hook at the end of split ring pliers are great tool to use.
Next we take a small swivel and put it in the eye, and then close the eye. This will allow the hook to rotate, which will maximize hookups in the corner of the mouth and prevent a hooked fish from getting leverage on the lure to pull out the hook.
The last step is we take that open eye siwash hook, and attach it to the other end of the swivel.
Please notice the hook is farther back than the stock hook. This will help get hookups on those short strikers.
The first time you take the modified lure to the water you need to give it a test and see if it needs tuning. Here is some information on how to do that.
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