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james 14

What Could I Have Done Differently?

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Hooked into possibly the biggest bass I've ever had on the other end of my line today. Never saw the fish but he put to shame any of the 7-8 lbers I've caught before. I was flipping a kissimmee grass (maidencaine) line. He hit it on the outside edge as it was falling, I reeled down and laid into him and was nearly pulled into the lake. I had a brief image of a gator on the other end but knew that was quite unlikely. He felt like some of the 15-20lb longnose gar I used to catch on the local river.

Anyways, as I pulled back up on him to keep him out of the grass my dragged slipped a bit and he got just enough to get in the grass. I reeled down a bit, thumbed the spool and pulled up with all I had only the get back a hook covered in grass. Heartbroken to say the least.

Besides the obvious suggestion of checking my drag to ensure it's as tight as possible when flipping with braid what else could I have done? I'm using a 6/0 Trokar flipping hook with a snell knot and have solidly hooked every fish up until this point. My partner had a similar situation on smaller fish losing him in the grass. I told him to pull him out as hard as he could and he responded with "I don't want to tear the fish's mouth out."

So do you try to rip them out with all your might or hold pressure and hope he's still there when you get down to him? I've never in my life had a bass turn on me like that. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that he was out of the grass when I set the hook so he had room to run...just wish he would've run under the boat instead.

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You coulda caught em :P

It's okay it happens to all of us, even KVD, other than that I don't see anything wrong with what you did, seems like he got off by chance.

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I told him to pull him out as hard as he could and he responded with "I don't want to tear the fish's mouth out."

Bingo

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Aint nothing I love more than setting hook & have the bass set hook back ;)

Ya gotta turn their head & get em coming up or its advantage bass!

Tell your buddy to change the attitude or he'll be lucky to ever land a DD

Every time I set hook I'm trying to break something cause every body of water I fish has heavy cover & double digit bass.

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Tell your buddy to change the attitude or he'll be lucky to ever land a DD

So is he wrong to think he might rip the hook out of the fish's mouth?

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Dude, as per your post "I was flipping Kissimmee grass (maidencane), I'm using 6/0 Trokar flipping hook with a snelled knot."

Y'all better be using at least 65# braid and at least a 7' 6" heavy rod!

Now with that set up what are y'all trying to accomplish?

Whimpy hook sets!

Hopefully not, ya wanna cross their eyes!

If ya stuck em good then no ya aint gonna rip the hook out!

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Dude, as per your post "I was flipping Kissimmee grass (maidencane), I'm using 6/0 Trokar flipping hook with a snelled knot."

Y'all better be using at least 65# braid and at least a 7' 6" heavy rod!

Now with that set up what are y'all trying to accomplish?

Whimpy hook sets!

Hopefully not, ya wanna cross their eyes!

If ya stuck em good then no ya aint gonna rip the hook out!

I'm using the 8ft Skeet Reese (which IMO is NOT a heavy action rod and I would take it back and exchange it if I could) with 50lb braid. No it's not 65lb but I've never broken any braid on a fish and the 50 is what I used on the big gars in the river that would pull my boat upstream.

This fish got a solid hookset but you can bet that, from now on after feeling this one, every fish I set the hook on will come out of the water if it's under 5lbs....AND the drag will be checked before every outing. It was already pretty tight...just not enough for this fish. Live and learn.

And I will convey the message to my friend that he should rethink his technique.

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Flipping/Pitching/Punching heavy vegetation, timber, or buck brush is Redneck Bubba Bass Fishing to the max!

I've had bass on Toledo Bend & Rayburn break 65# braid after hooking em in buck brush ;)

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Like Catt said, step up to at least 65lb braid, it just fishes better on casting equipment also IMO. I may have misunderstood your post but are you asking what to do once they bury in the grass, or what to do before they get in the grass? If they're not in the grass it's all out warfare. Dig your heels in and lean on that sucker because if you don't get it out of the grass you probably never will. However if they do get you there and bury up and stop fighting if you can get to them it's often better to just keep pressure on them and go dig them out of the grass. If they're through the grass and still pulling keep pulling back and hope that your line saws the grass before the grass saws your line.

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Like Catt said, step up to at least 65lb braid, it just fishes better on casting equipment also IMO. I may have misunderstood your post but are you asking what to do once they bury in the grass, or what to do before they get in the grass? If they're not in the grass it's all out warfare. Dig your heels in and lean on that sucker because if you don't get it out of the grass you probably never will. However if they do get you there and bury up and stop fighting if you can get to them it's often better to just keep pressure on them and go dig them out of the grass. If they're through the grass and still pulling keep pulling back and hope that your line saws the grass before the grass saws your line.

I guess this is what I'm asking. If I'm flipping hyacinth mats or hydrilla I know they'll stop fighting once the grass covers their eyes but in stuff like maidencaine or lily pads where they can wrap up it's a different story I believe. I know it's better not to pull against 20lbs of water-logged hydrilla but my instinct is to horse them out otherwise. I really just wanted reassurance that I'm not going to "rip the fish's mouth" in an effort to keep them moving through the grass rather than wrapping up and getting leverage against the hook.

The real culprit here, I believe, is the drag and the fact that I had to reel back down after losing line to the fish. Perhaps I shouldn't have reeled down but it was instinct after about getting pulled out of the boat.

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The reallity is this... If your hooking fish solid over all your probablly not doing anything wrong. Sometimes they just come off, It's the nature of the game. Can you tear their mouth? Yes. It really depends on where they are hooked. If the hook is in the hard part of the mouth it should be game over. One thing that can happen with bigger fish is they get the bait in their crushers and an under powered hook set does not generate enough force to move the bait, resulting in poor hook penetration.

When you talk to different people you will get different answers. Here is what works for me when it comes to fliping heavy grass. I use a 7'11'' heavy rod with a moderat fast taper. I feel with more parabolic bend in the rod I get more fish to the boat. I use 65-80lb braid. If I need a leader I will add one using a Alberto knot.

On the hookset I reel and sweep the rod at the same time. This type of hookset with a long rod generates alot of energy and moves alot of line. I do not use a snap hook set. With heavy jigs and punch rigs I missed way to many fish. I feel the heavy weight knocks the mouth open. I was also breaking 65lb braid like it was 6lb test.

As far as getting the fish out of the grass, its just something that is learned through trial and error. To much pressure on a fish hooked in the soft part of the mouth can tear their lip or a make a fair size hole. When I hook a fish in heavy grass in many cases I will keep pressure on them pinning them against the mat and go in after them.

Hope this helps.

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There is two different scenarios being mentioned here both requiring two distinctively different techniques.

Submergent plants like Hydrilla, Milfoil, Coontail Moss, and Eelgrass are soft enough that braided line will in fact cut through it. Like mentioned once the bass is sufficiently buried it will stop fighting and one can easily pull up enough grass with the bass.

Emergent plants like Kissimmee grass (maiden cane), Cattails, Roseau cane, and Buck brush are hard and braided line will not cut through it.

When flipping-n-pitching emergent plants you had better move the bass as quick as possible on hook set or its game over advantage bass.

I remember the 2008 Lone Star Shootout on Falcon when Paul Elias smashed BASS Record anglers were getting broke off using 80# braid.

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