Lose fewer bass with a snell knot for Texas rigged plastics

By on March 5, 2015
Here’s how the bait naturally hangs with a snell knot, used here with a Nemesis Baits Bullet Craw, 1-ounce tungsten weight and Mustad 4/0 Denny Brauer flipping hook (Credit: Jeff Elliott)

Several years ago I was fishing Texas rigged plastics in some really thick vegetation mats. I kept noticing I would swing and miss on a few fish every trip. While that doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary, some of these bites I could feel on a slack line. I knew they had it choked, and there is no way they could feel me on the other end of the line. It seemed there was no way I could miss the fish, but I would come up empty handed. It turned out simply switching the knot I was tying would fix all my problems.

I had my weight pegged to the bait, and each time I’d set the hook the large 1-ounce weight I was using would “pop” the fish’s mouth open. This is one of the reasons I like to avoid pegging the weight if possible, but in really thick vegetation it can be necessary. I was using a palomar knot, and while it was strong the bait would stay straight and sometimes follow the weight right out of a fish’s mouth.

A switch to the snell knot eliminated those problems. Not only is the snell super strong but shoots the hook upwards into a basses mouth, allowing the hook to catch even the mouth gets popped open. You’ll notice almost every time the hook is buried in the roof of the fishes mouth.

The hook shoots upward on a hookset. (Credit: Jeff Elliott)

The hook shoots upward on a hookset. (Credit: Jeff Elliott)

The snell knot performs best on a straight shank hook, which is what I do all my Texas rigging with. I always look for a hook with a completely sealed eye. This eliminates any possibility the line can slide out of the hook eye. I also am sure to leave a longer tag line, just in case there is any slippage on a hard hookset. The plastic bait will cover the tag line up so there are no worries about getting fewer bites.

Tie it up and see for yourself how the hook shoots upward when you pull on the line. You won’t be disappointed when you start sticking them in the roof of the mouth this spring.

Top image: Here’s how the bait naturally hangs with a snell knot, used here with a Nemesis Baits Bullet Craw, 1-ounce tungsten weight and Mustad 4/0 Denny Brauer flipping hook (Credit: Jeff Elliott)

About Jeff Elliott

Jeff Elliott is a 2014 Bassmaster Team championship qualifier. He has 75 tournament wins, including the 2012 Detroit Lions/Kevin VanDam Charity tournament. He is a seven-time points champion and a Bust’in Sticks TV show champion.

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