Toddy Stopper – Stop Fish from Getting Hooked when Necessary
Eugene L. 10.03.22
For a bait company that’s so set on having people hook up on fish like Gambler Lures – maker of soft plastic staples like the Big EZ, the BB Cricket, and the Power Ned – they have now come out with an interesting new product for 2023. It is a piece of tackle literally designed to keep anglers from hooking up on and catching fish. Gambler Lures owner and 2023 MLF Pro Circuit angler, Val Osinksi, turned his lure design skills towards one of the biggest challenges anglers on the tournament trail face. How do you practice for an event without catching and wearing out all the fish, but still getting bites on your lures? The answer to this dilemma is the Toddy Stopper.
“I was fishing Santee Cooper for the Toyota Series and my co angler hooked a couple big fish on a wacky rig during practice and I kept asking myself what I could make to keep those fish from getting hooked and allow my co angler to shake them off even after they bit,” Val said with a bit of a laugh, “it seems counterintuitive but when it comes to tournament fishing, every bite matters and often times a couple ounces is the difference between a top 10 and a top 25.”
Val ended up designing the Toddy Stopper, named affectionately after his co-angler, a bullet-shaped plastic cap. The cap can thread over any single hook and will lock into place on the hook’s barb. Capable of being used on a wide range of lures, Chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, swim jigs, and swimbaits, if you can fish it you can cap it with a Toddy Stopper. This solves a couple of problems for tournament anglers, it can be used in places with hook restrictions, so no more snipping nice hooks. And the other is the ability to practice water without letting the fish get smart. Once you put an actual hook point in a fish it will be wary of that lure, terrible if you need to catch it again later during a tournament.