Eliminate Malfunctions, Part 2: Getting Your Baits Ready

By Kurt Dove

Spending a little time caring for your lures before your fishing trip will help you have a great day on the water.

Last month I wrote about managing your fishing line on a spinning reel and how I like to set that up for success and most importantly to eliminate malfunctions. After all most of us have limited time to get on the water so we need to be sure we make the most of every minute we have available.

As I prepare and get ready for my next trip, and I have my line spooled up and the correct rod and reel combinations prepared for the techniques and tactics I believe will produce, I must be sure my lures are prepared.

Here are a couple of tips to get those lures ready for that first cast!


Be sure you have treble hooks that are prepared to do battle. No rust and good sharp hooks will ensure that you have the best opportunity to turn that fish strike into the first boated fish. This past year I became a pretty big fan of the Mustad KVD treble hooks. Be sure to check them out — I have started replacing all my crankbait treble hooks with them.

Texas Rig

Check the forecast so you know how windy it might be for the day you are preparing to fish. Make sure you match your rigged weight for the appropriate conditions. When I rig up my El Grand Lures plastics I typically like to use the lightest weight I can get away with based on the wind and cover I am targeting. This will ensure your Texas rig will have a very natural and enticing fall on that first cast.


Preparation for a spinnerbait is simple but you really need to pay attention to the details. Check the skirt to make sure it is not gummed up and has god separation from each strand of material. This will help it look natural as it pulsates in the water when retrieved. If it needs to be loosened up I like to spray some Reel Magic or WD-40 on it and that will keep it in good working order. I also like to replace the typical rubber band skirt collar or holder many companies use and apply a plastic tie to make sure the skirt does not fall down on the hook shank. The plastic tie will last much longer as well.


I tend to be fairly particular when loading up my Optimum Swimbaits. I want to have my hook buried in the boat so that it comes out easily once I get the fish on so my bait will ride up my line and the fish will not be able to use the lures' weight as leverage to throw the hook. I prepare my bait by bending out the treble hook nearly straight so that it will be impaled into the bait. Then the Optimum baits Line Through can do its job with ease ... catch monster bass!

Obviously we cannot cover them all here in this column but you get a good picture of how I like to go through my bait selection and eliminate malfunctions before I hit the water. Paying attention to the details before you hit the water will make for great fishing memories while on the water.