How to skin-hook a soft plastic lure

The tip of this swimbait hook lies just beneath the surface of the soft plastic lure, allowing it to run through grass without getting snagged.

Simple tip keeps your rig weedless

A lot of aquatic grass has been growing in the marsh.

Sometimes it will choke out entire ponds — you probably don’t need to look far to read fishing reports from disgruntled anglers complaining about the thick stuff.

Jigheads get mired in the grass, so old inshore tackle and techniques don’t necessarily work as well as they once did.

Because the game has changed, inshore anglers have to adapt — and skin-hooking your soft plastic lures is one way you can do it.

What is skin-hooking?

It’s a simple technique to mask the point of your hook from snags, including grass.

Skin-hooking is advantageous because it allows you to cast alongside and across thick grass, effectively presenting the lure to fish — but without getting hung up.

If you hold your lure up to the light and can see a gap between the hook point and the lure, it’s not weedless and is subject to getting snagged in the grass.

Look at the attached pictures and you’ll see examples of what I’m talking about.

Is it really that necessary?

Only if you want to keep your lure from snagging. Remember, it only takes that one piece of grass to put the kibosh on your cast.

If it appears the hook point is snug against the lure’s body, try holding it against a light to see if any penetrates the space between.

How to skin-hook a lure?

Take the exposed hook point in one hand and gently pierce a thin layer of the soft plastic, or “skin,” of the lure.

But go shallow — not deep.

Will this affect my hooksets?

It’s a safe assumption it could hamper some hooksets, but you won’t have that problem if you skin-hook lightly enough, and whip that rod like the Hulk.

Remember, when fishing around grass, you may want to run a medium-heavy over a medium power rod — that’s just my two cents.

One more benefit

Skin-hooking helps your lure stay straight on a swimbait hook, instead of falling down. This is useful for the softer plastics that yield more action but don’t last as long — ya gotta make the most of your dollars.


Good inshore anglers adapt to changing conditions, so try out this weedless setup. You’ll be catching fish while everyone else is getting snagged and scratching their heads.

Tight lines, y’all.