Chris Hansen is a multi-species guide in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and he’ll target everything from bluegills to muskies depending on a client’s wishes. If given the choice, however, Chris likes to hit the local rivers for big smallies—with a soft-plastic lure most anglers use for largemouths only.
The Gambler Flapp’n Shad —or as Chris calls it, the “Flapper”—comes in 4-inch or 6-inch lengths, but he prefers the 6-inch model for giant smallies. He rigs it on a 4/0 wide-gap hook with the hook point exposed and laying flush on the back of the bait (see photo above). This enables him to twitch the Flapper around woody cover without snagging, yet hook a high percentage of biters.
Click here to read Chris’ latest blog about fishing the Flapp’n Shad for smallmouth. He has strong—and entertaining—opinions regarding rod, reel and line choices, as well as tips for the best retrieve.