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Whether you prefer to work from the surf or the deck of a center console, casting surface plugs for stripers and blues is often marked by explosive strikes. One of the more effective topwater plugs for both species, especially when the fish are feasting on bunker, is the metal lip swimmer. Following is a quick and easy makeover for a Danny-style metal lip, the end result closely resemblesan adult bunker. The finished plug is designed to improve your chances of getting a well-educated or well-fed fish to commit, and its big fish holding ability will be much improved to help you land that big cow when you do hook up. With good numbers of adult bunker in our waters the past couple of seasons, there is a good chance that come late spring and early summer, the stage will be set for you to put this classic plug to work.
It is easiest to start with a white plug. Remove all hooks and sand top two thirds of plug with 150-grit sand paper to remove clear coat.
Apply one fine coat of Rustoleum gold metallic spray paint to top two thirds of plug and allow to dry.
Purchase two pairs of doll eyes at your local craft store. KrazyGlue one pair to head area. Open the second pair with scissors and remove the black pupils. KrazyGlue those to the side and forward part of the plug to simulate the distinctive black spot located on the side of menhaden.
Once glue is dry and eyes are set, apply light coat of clear spray enamel. Allow to dry before applying a second light coat.
Take a 6/0 open eye siwash hook and cut the shank one-half inch short of the bend. Take a generous pinch of gold Krystal Flash fiber and a similar pinch of white bucktail and tie themon the hook to define top and bottom of the plug’s tail. Coat with either KrazyGlue or two part epoxy, the epoxy being the better choice.
Attach a3/0 or 4/0 4x treble to the belly, and the siwash shank to the tail. I’ve found the 3/0 to be adequate for fish to 30 pounds, but if you hope to land a 40 or better, you’d do best to stick with the 4/0. VMCs are favored by most quality plug builders these days and they offer exceptional strength.