Modify Your Bass Lure

Legendary pro bass angler Penny Berryman's favorite lure is the Super Spook. Here's how to make it even better.

Travis Rathbone

The Heddon Zara Spook, a stogie-shaped, dog-walking stickbait, has been duping bass for more than 70 years. Heddon (www.heddonlures.com) offers several versions, but the 5-inch, 7/8-ounce Super Spook is the favorite of legendary pro bass angler penny Berryman. Berryman performs several modifications that turn her Super Spook into a "Superb" Spook, and it would take a Brink's truck to haul all the money Berryman has won with this lure. Her tweaked lure is 4 3/8 inches long and weighs about 3/4 ounce--almost the size of the original Zara Spook. However, her Superb Spook is stouter, and it presents a better profile and splashes more when walked across the surface.

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Chris Philpot

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Instructions: Customize Your Super Spook

STEP 1 Remove the hooks. Mark off a 5/8-inch-wide section of the lure around the middle hook hanger. The mark on the nose side should be 1/4 inch from the split-ring hanger. Saw off the marked section. Save the split ring and put it on the line eye to give the bait freedom to sashay.

STEP 2 Place two small ball bearings, six BBs, or two 8mm glass beads inside the lure. They'll rattle and make the lure's tail sit deeper for better hook-ups. Apply a coat of 5-minute epoxy with a toothpick to the sawn openings on each half of the lure. Let the epoxy set.

STEP 3 Shave off the excess epoxy with a razor. Smooth the joint with 220-grit sandpaper and finish with a buffing compound. Replace the hooks with longer-shaft Gamakatsu hooks. A red front treble reduces short strikes by encouraging bass to attack the head of the bait.