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Woodchopper thoughts 
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:14 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
After 4 trips, I have begun to finalize some thoughts on woodchoppers ...

- Medium-sized choppers might be best. That being 5 1/2" to 6" wood-bodies, with typically 1 belly hook and 1 tail hook. I fully understand that big bait = big fish could be an argument against these sizes, as I have not landed a 20+ lb grande yet. However, they are such a joy to cast and work versus the larger chopper baits. I would also argue that more of the bait could make it in their mouths allowing for a better hook-up rate.

- The tail hooks + blades are problematic. Some manufactures blades have nicely downward sloping angles that don't often get hung up on the hook during the cast. However, other have blades that are more horizontal that when tuned can get tangled up more times than desirable. With the latter styles, you can thumb the spool right before the lure lands in the water to better help the lure to land correctly and minimize hook tangle. You can also add spacers that extend the hook further from the blade to reduce tangles.

- Given the two items above, there may be an idea here to position two belly hooks instead of the single belly and tail hook option on these mid-sized choppers. I need to play around with that idea a bit more to see if the lure can balance accordingly. If it works, there might also be less issues with the blade itself, as it gets a bit messed up when a peacock is brought in with the tail hook set in the mouth.

- KLures.com choppers are beginning to use a swivel connection on the belly hook. That likely will reduce some leverage the fish might use to throw the lure ... nice feature.

- Screw eyes. After a few good fish, I often have to straighten out the screw eyes that the hooks are attached to via the split rings, otherwise you have have some issues with how straight the lure goes through the water. It would be nice to have those secured with epoxy to eliminate that step. On a future trip I will remove mine and put some 2-part epoxy in the screw holes to see if that works.

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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 11:16 am Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
Tried it and it worked ... had a small issue of the lure darting a bit to the side during a rip, but not sure what is causing that ... might just be a blade tuning issue.

One would think that lures with hooks closer together would have a higher chance of both of them to contribute to the hook-up vs. just a single belly hook or tail hook.

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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 12:48 pm Reply with quote
Dan Hanon

After my last trip, I'm addicted to topwater fishing for peacocks! I only fished the medium size 6.5" HighRoller Riprollers, and they worked great. As most anglers know, heavy use causes the propeller to cut through the rear screw that it spins around. My guide would occasionally bend the props to make it sound better. Yea, if that screw eye gets bent the lure won't run straight. That's not fun.

My biggest issue is the line tangling in the hooks, typically during a cast. I was using 80 lb Power Pro, but in the future I'll use a 12-15" 40# hard mono leader, hoping that the mono stiffness will decrease hook/ line tangles.

I bet removing the rear hook altogether won't lower the hookup percentage a great deal. I think Larry once stated that only about 15% of hookups occurred on the rear treble, not sure where he got that number. It makes sense that the front and middle hooks get the most action
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 1:21 pm Reply with quote
Bob Daly
Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 255
Location: Whiting, Indiana
When I fished peacocks I always used 40lbs Big Game Mono when using choppers. Never had an issue with line breaks, etc. If I was going for peacocks I definately would try to get a few TNT choppers made by Marine Sports. I have used them for golden dorado and the action is slightly idfferent than the woochopper lures plus I doubt peacocks have seen this lure. Was able to get a bunch of them while at La Zona and beleive you can probably get them in Manaus. Cool
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 9:05 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 608
Location: Lakeland, FL

I had to look up my exact quote on the % of topwater lure tail-hooked peacocks that I expressed in a previous posting and I still stand by it. Here is the Forum posting in part:

>>The one thing to be careful about when you go to replacing the hooks is lure balance. I usually replace the front two hooks and then check the lure balance and floating position in the water before changing out the tail hook. Somewhere between 50 to 65 percent of the hookiups will be on the front hook ... Somewhere between 30 to 40 percent of the hookups will be on the middle hook...

The tail hook is the prime hook-up point in 5 to 15 percent of strikes, so it is least important. That's why I consider it last. Often, I don't change it out. If I can add the beefier short shank without affect a drop in tail position, I do that. If I have to go to a smaller treble (such as Daiichi 7X 2/0) to decrease the weight of the tail (and keep it closer to the surface), then I'll do that.<<

The above estimates are only an "educated guess" based primarily on my memory (which is probably not as sharp as it once was) of catching those peacocks 10 pounds and above. I keep a detailed log on the number and size of fish above that (posted at http://www.peacockbassassociation.com/html/larry_peacock_bass_log.html) but not on which hook was affixed to the fish's jaw when caught. I do think the % of big fish hooked with the rear hook is probably much closer to 5% than 15%. I know some anglers that simply removed the rear hook from the old 3-treble Woodchoppers and stated that they found that it made little difference in their hook-up ratio.

I definitely believe that the surface plug should carry two hooks though and much of the fare that I throw today are the 6-inch long tail-spinner plugs that have just two hooks.

Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Peacock Bass Association
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Dan Hanon
Larry, thanks for your input! At least the 15% figure stuck in my head! Personally, I have no problem removing the tail hook altogether, although I haven't done that. I do get occasional instances where the rear treble would lodge against the propeller and lock-up. As long as there are two hooks on the body, I'm confident in the lure. Of course, the lure needs to balance well and produce a good swoosh when ripped.
Woodchopper thoughts 
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