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basslover12345

Drop Shot Hook Set

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How long do you wait to set the hook? How do you keep them from getting off during the fight? How hard/fast do you set the hook? Using 8 pound test on a 7' medium drop shot rod. Fish are hitting it pretty hard- hooking up and pull off during the retrieve, shaking the hook, or just coming off after a few head shakes. Fishing shallow water flats. I was nose hooking a elaztech finesse worm With a small octopus hook.

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Don't wait at all. If you wait the fish may get the bait balled up in it's mouth and you set the hook back into the bait which kind of sounds like what you may be doing. Lots of times if you set the hook back into the bait you'll get the point through and get them for a second and them lose them. You may try a little wider gap or size larger hook. As for the hookset, reel down and lift is all I do. You're using a small, thin hook that doesn't take much force to dig it in. Lift and start cranking to get the hook set is all it should take. 

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I've tried it all. These fish are up shallow cruising. They're really active too. Most of the bigger fish were Just tiny taps. But when I hooked them, they went absolutely nuts running. I tried not waiting, waiting, letting it sit after missing them, reeling down, and doing nothing at all. I don't know how we'll they're eating it. I was using a pretty sensitive rod too

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My answer, use a size 1 g-lock hook. Texas rig it. No more hookup issues and helps hold the bait more perpendicular to the line.

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My answer, use a size 1 g-lock hook. Texas rig it. No more hookup issues and helps hold the bait more perpendicular to the line.

 

I throw mine like this and I just "grip it n rip it" with no problems. 

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When you say small hook, what size was the octopus hook? A nose hooked soft plastic worm drop shot rigged is usually fished vertically. The obvious answer is use a larger size hook: if you used a size 4 or 2 octopus style hook, go up to size 1 and use a premium make like Owner or Gamakatsu.

If the bass are bed fish, they are not eating your worm, just striking it, the larger hook isn't going to bother these bass and you must hook set instantly as soon as you see the worm disappear into the basses mouth.

Normally you can just reel set and rod sweep, however bed bass reject the worm too fast, you must snap set into the slack line.

Tom

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Interesting. You mention they are shallow-cruising. In my experience, they tend to bite when annoyed rather than other reasons. And even then, they can ignore but bump into your baits, which if you're not sight-fishing, may feel like a bite. I did this yesterday, watched two HUGE ladies do nothing but "bump" into my line (over and over) which lifted the weight-end of my line. They never took. Now my son managed to irritate the male enough to get him to strike (and catch)!

 

So that said, are you watching the bass take the bait?

 

Normally, I just reel down and lift. But like WRB said, bedders can reject the worm very fast, instant sets are needed -- but by instant, do the same, except keep tight line and lift. Don't rip the hook out...

 

Bottom line, if they're "nipping" as you say, they're not engulfing your bait (typical bedding behavior). Can be an extremely frustrating waiting game. Sometimes you just have to move on to keep your sanity... :smiley:

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You might want to try a shorter bait also, the longer worm may not be taken in fully so you are not getting the hook deep enough. Shallow fish protecting a bed area are notorious for just picking up a bait to move it away from the bed.

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When you feel any weight on the line just lift the rod tip to 11 or 12 o'clock.

 

Keep all slack out of the line from that point forward.

 

Keep some slack in line when fishing the Drop Shot to allow the bait to move with the current in a natural motion.

 

You do not need a strong "over the head hook set" for the Drop Shot rig.

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One option I didnt see mentioned was using a strait shank hook either. I sometimes fish a strait shank #6 in my drop shot. Never lost a fish on it yet.

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I lift up, they go sideways and run- then pop their off

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I lose a lot of fish on drop shot when I use an open hook because the hook is very short and also very small, and because most ds hooks are beaked instead of straight points which does not nab the fish's lip as well. When I use a regular gammy ds hook, I bend the point out a bit so it has a bigger bite and so the point is NOT in line with the eye. I only use open hook drop shots with small flukes and wacky rigs, and even then, you can definitely get away with a bigger hook, like a #1 g-lock.

 

Likewise, though I LOVE elaztech plastics because of their buoyancy and durability, they present certain hookset challenges because of their consistency and "springiness." To mitigate this, I have gone to using a skin-hooked tex-posed rig with a little wide-gap hook (like a #1 or 1/0) for most of my drop shotting, and I use braid with a fluoro leader. Then, I wait until I can feel the weight of the fish on there and pop them pretty good, which goes against the norm for drop shotting, but MOST of what you will hear about drop shotting applies to small-hook nose hooking with light line and light rods, and I do little of any of those things, and recommend them even less.

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Well I caught 38 today, but missed a lot more. They're either hooked near the eyes, through the bottom lip, or the really thin fleshy cheek part, most of them I can see- I even let them run with it for a few seconds and I'm still pulling the bait away from them.

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Trokar size 1 drop shot hooks, I know these hooks have put more fish in my boat, especially fishing smallies with their tough mouths, I couldn't be happier with these hooks.

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Well I caught 38 today, but missed a lot more. They're either hooked near the eyes, through the bottom lip, or the really thin fleshy cheek part, most of them I can see- I even let them run with it for a few seconds and I'm still pulling the bait away from them.

That's a pretty d**n good day of fishing. I'll take 38 anytime.

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Hooking outside the mouth is very unusual with a drop shot rig, try the size 1 drop shot hook and wacky rig the worms. You are getting bites, otherwise I would suggest trying a nail weighted worm wacky rigged. You cut off about a 1/4" of the worms nose flat, insert a 3/32 oz lead or tungsten nail weight ( Lunker city lead nail weights are inexpensive). Using a size 1 drop shot hook Waky style about 1" back of the worm nose. Good rig for sight fishing, bed fishing or just controlled fall worm fishing.

Tom

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My only recommendation is do not Snap / Slack line set on the fish after it bit. I would compare it to a crankbait hookset.

I can't believe no one mentioned the Owner Down Shot hook. It looks almost ilke an EWG, but extremely thin wire. I really haven't seen any improvements over a mosquito hook, but for some reason I've got all my confidence on that..... so I guess that's all that really counts.

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My only recommendation is do not Snap / Slack line set on the fish after it bit. I would compare it to a crankbait hookset.

I can't believe no one mentioned the Owner Down Shot hook. It looks almost ilke an EWG, but extremely thin wire. I really haven't seen any improvements over a mosquito hook, but for some reason I've got all my confidence on that..... so I guess that's all that really counts.

Described the reel set for drop shot, except bed bass, when a snap set is faster. Also posted the Owner 5133 down shot hook several times for weedless style drop shot rig and agree this strong light wire hook is awesome for the drop and slip shot rig.

Tom

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I use vmc spinshot hooks, but that's not the point.

If I am getting bites but not landing fish or hooking fish in the bottom lip I will change colors. The bites tell me I have the bait and profile. But fish coming off or hooked in bottom lip tells me they don't like it enough to inhale it. You can also add scent it will help as well

Just my opinion and experience

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I might catch hell for this but IMHO Elaztech makes for a harder hook up. It's very "gooey" for lack of a better word and at times i find i have some hook up issues if your hiding the hook point in the bait at all.

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I might catch hell for this but IMHO Elaztech makes for a harder hook up. It's very "gooey" for lack of a better word and at times i find i have some hook up issues if your hiding the hook point in the bait at all.

There is some truth to this, and I am an advocate of elaztech. However, elaztech has SO MANY other positive qualities on drop shot (buoyancy, durability, action), that I've just done what I can to mitigate the problem. Use slightly stiffer rods, a bit more hookset power, lower stretch line, barely skin hook baits. Plus, the OP is nose hooking, which shouldn't cause the problem you're describing.

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