Add a Stinger Hook to Your Swimbait

What Are Stinger Hooks? When Should You Add One?

During a Fish’n Canada shoot in Saskatchewan, host Pete Bowman found that the Northern Pike were short-striking his bait, resulting in a frustrating number of missed fish. “These Pike are loving our swimbaits,” says Pete in the episode, “so a complete bait change isn’t necessary. It’s just a simple modification: adding a stinger hook.”

For a 5″ swimbait like Pete and his guest Rob Schulz were using on this particular shoot, Pete normally uses a #4 or #2 treble hook.

“There are two ways of rigging it,” he explains. “If you are using a jig head with your swimbait, simply put the eye of the treble over the main hook and then attach a plastic keeper like a piece of surgical tubing to secure it in place.

“If you are using a weedless rigged swimbait with a wide gap hook, then before you put the main hook through the swimbait, put the treble eye over the main hook, add your keeper, and then push the wide gap hook through the bait as you normally would.

“The addition of this extra hook, when the fish are short-striking, should make the world of difference.”

A Simple Equation

It’s important to note, however, that when the Pike are aggressive and inhaling your swimbait, you should never add the treble hook. Reason one, there’s really no need. And reason two, big fish could easily choke down that bait—deep.

It’s a simple fishing equation. Let the fish tell you whether to add a stinger or not.

For more information, check out the full Fish’n Canada episode, “Short Strike Monsters.”

This isn’t the first time Pete has demonstrated the importance of a stinger hook. In this outtake from the popular Fish’n Canada episode, “All Access Smallmouth,” Pete describes the importance of adding a stinger to your spinnerbait when fishing for smallies.

“Never throw a spinnerbait for Smallmouth without a stinger hook,” Pete says. “Just don’t do it.”

21 Replies to “Add a Stinger Hook to Your Swimbait”

  1. Bee stingers, Wasp stingers, Sting Rays and Swim Bait stingers. These original additions were created to take down prey at a moments notice.

    Pete has mentioned, dressing up your lure is as simple as putting the eye of the treble over the main hook and then attaching a plastic keeper of surgical tubing to secure it in place on the swimbait. Same with Spinnerbaits. I have found over the years, there are a few other modifications that can add to the experience of enticing these “Short Shifting Scallywags” to join you for some fast paced action.

    An important rule to remember, always ensure you match the size of the stinger hook to the the size of the hook on your lure. Over compensating with a much larger one will undoubtedly unbalance and interfere with the lures action.

    Take a 4 to 6 inch piece of monofilament line (depending on the size of your lure) and tie it to the treble hook with an improved clinch knot. Note : The monofilament should match the pound test of your main line. Tie the other end to the hook on your lure with the same clinch knot. The stinger will flutter like a fish tail as you lure travels through the water. Using a feathered treble will make it much more delectable.

    When a single hook is preferred, take the same length of 4 to 6 inch monofilament and tie one end to the hook using a snell knot, then fasten the other end to your lure with the above mentioned clinch knot. You can modify this further by tying on the appropriate size barrel swivel instead of directly tying it to your lure. (This would accomodate for a quick change process) Hey, don’t forget the feather to tickle their funny bone.

    These simple procedures can further be modified by sliding a small piece of an ear plug (any color) onto the stinger line before assembly and flavoring it with a few drops of your favorite liquid scent. Yummy! Stacking the deck never felt so good!

  2. Great advice that many newbie or in a hurry fishermen forget to do ! If you are old school as Pete say’s – YOU JUST DONT DO IT – always great to pass on this type of info and a reminder to fishermen who are coming back to this method ! THANKS PETE–

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