BoatUS ANGLER: Do-It-Yourself Department
Hooking Up an Old Silver Buddy
By Capt. Steve Chaconas - BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff
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 for sure, when finally getting 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, in the 30s, and the Silver Buddy bite will be strong! Check out 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, toward the tip. It might feel like a small “catch” but it will make hook penetration more difficult.
To sharpen, I like 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. Replacement is required.
I don’t use split rings! The hooks will get tangled and this can be frustrating. Mustad does make 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 to open it just 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.
This was the original way Silver Buddy lures were hooked and it is the way Silver Buddy owner Buddy Banks is doing them today. I have never had one open up on a fish!
Sharp hooks make a difference, especially in winter fishing, as fish mouths are much tougher! So, either sharpen or replace them now to be ready for the next time you get out.
By the way, the biggest bass of the season are caught in the next couple of cold-water months!