A Schooling Fishes Worst Enemy
Surface baits can generate some voracious strikes that you will never forget. With a few tools you can create a top water lure that will bring 'em up from the depths.
The Rebel Windcheater Minnow is a super bait that is built for tough fish. The bait dives to 3-4 foot and is a beefy jerk bait that really takes abuse well. I often need a large jumping minnow type bait that gives the appearance of a wounded bait fish trying to get away from a bigger fish. Rebel makes a 4" Jumpin' Minnow that works good but for big saltwater fish I like larger baits, they are easier to see and they draw bigger bites. For me the solution was easy. I took a 6" Windcheater (the silver with blue back bait) and I made a 6" Jumpin' Minnow (the white body with a red head bait.
One of the first things you should do is remove ALL hooks and ALL split rings! Do not try this with hooks and hardware on it, trust me I know. Once all the hardware is off the lure you can cut the lip off. This can be done with a hand saw, band saw, rasp and file, or with a grinding wheel. Use caution and follow all safety rules when using power tools. Cut or grind the lip until it is flush with the body of the lure. Once the lip has been removed, smooth it off with a file or sandpaper to a smooth finish. I add a coat or two of clear acrylic finish or Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails fingernail polish. This will coat the lure and fill in any imperfections in your modification.
The last thing I do is replace the back treble hook with a single heavy hook. This gives me the ability to grab the lure and control the fish with little risk of getting a hook in the hand. I use the Alaskan hook by Eagle Claw in 10/0 because it has a super slick finish and it holds up to tough fish. This is a super bait that you can modify to make a great skipping bait that works great on striper, blues, tuna and other mean aggressive fish. With a little preparation you can add these to your fishing arsenal