Information Central (c) Larry Larsen
I'm often asked, "What is the ideal position or attitude of a topwater tail-spinner
plug while sitting still in the water." The questioners go on to mention that they have "customized" their Woodchoppers, High Rollers or Pavon Props with extra
strong and sharp hooks, but they think that the lure may now be a little heavier than with the factory hooks. If so, the lure may rest in a more vertical position with
head pointing upward fairly significantly. That makes achieving the proper action a little more difficult. Considering the standard topwater lures, I sometimes use a
short-shank, extra-strong treble in the middle position if I am trying to adjust for the lure to be a little lighter (when it is sitting too deep in the water).
I test all my lures before I taking them to the lake to see if they sit right and work
right. I'll also do adjustments when fishing, of course, as the tail-spinner can get
bent when crammed in a tackle box or slammed by a "teener". Those anglers that have fished with me know
that I tinker with my topwater plugs constantly, adjusting their performance on the water all day long. As I
said, before each trip, I take each plug in my tackle boxes and make several casts off my dock in Florida. I
balance them, adjust the spinners, replace hooks, etc. to make them ready for the trip south. Each surface
plug has to sit right in the water and make the right sound when retrieved. They have to be set up for the cadence that I try to achieve when after peacocks.
Some avid anglers study my books and video to pick up other things I might do to modify my baits for better success. One such angler with "Good Eyes" wrote me and said, "Larry, I have just finished your book and found it to be just as enjoyable as the
others. Thanks for the good read. But I have a question for you. I noticed that in some of the pictures of you holding peacocks, you
had a split ring on the front eye of your Woodchopper. You had then tied your line to that. Is that the case and why?" My answer
is as follows. There are two reasons why there could be a heavy-duty split ring on a few of my topwater plugs, and the second
one is the only reason why it would remain on my lure during my fishing. Number One: Some heavy split rings actually came
installed on some lures direct from the factory a few years back. Reason Number Two: A few plugs will float in
a better position and thus make the sound on the "pop" that I want with the extra nose hardware.
As stated, before I travel with any lure, I always examine how the plug floats and if I need to add a little
weight up front, I may add a heavy-duty split ring. I don't do this automatically, nor do I like to add additional
"links" in my offering, since it is another potential failure point that the giant peacock can take advantage of.
Also, I will add a couple of split rings to a tail hook to add weight (when I don't want to add an even heavier
tail hook). They remain out of the way of the hook point and hook bend (gap) and surprisingly will help drop
the tail considerably. You'll need split ring pliers on the boat with you to do this adjustment, but sometimes, it is the best way to go.
I like for the heavier surface plug at rest to have a tail "droop" of about 15 to 25 degrees from the water's
surface (horizontal). I adjust hooks and other hardware so that the weight fore and aft is optimal. If the
plug's tail rides to high at the surface, for example, I'll add a heavier hook on the tail or even a heavier and
longer eye screw with another bead or two to move additional weight back, which would drop the tail some.
And I've mentioned that I sometimes replace hooks with shorter shank trebles to lighten a specific part of a
plug to adjust its position in the water column. I frequently replace the front two hooks (of standard topwaters) with stronger ones of 4X or 6X.
Editot's Note: Tips reprinted with permission from PBA's "The World of Peacock Bass" monthly eZine.