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Joel Lakes

Stop Swallowing My Bait!

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 i decided to finally join bass resource today.  Im not a novice fisherman by any means.  Although im having a huge problem all the sudden ive never had.  Currently my favorite way to fish has been with a stick work and weighted 4/0 hook.  Ive litterally been killing it catching 10-15 everytime i go out.  Normally im a catch and release guy but as of late the fish have just been hammering my bait to the point they swallow it before i can get them in.  Was wondering if anyone had any advice on avoiding the bass swallowing the hooks?

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First, welcome to bass resource!

 

Second, congrats on what sounds like some awesome days of fishing!

 

Third, for your problem, the only way I have found to keep fish from swallowing stick baits is to be quicker on them. I know its a generic "no duh" answer, but that is about the only way I have found. If you were wacky rigging I would suggest to try a circle hook, but it sounds like you are t-rigging them. 

 

Try to fish with a little bit tighter line and a little bit faster. As soon as you see the line twitch, cross his eyes! 

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Thats the thing i know im keepin the line as tight as possible.  They just attack like crazy.  I feel like an idiot and i hate having to off some of these juvenile bass and it sucks

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I had the same problem recently. Was fishing a weighless super fluke and could not feel a strike or see the strike but the fish would pick it up and practically swallow it before I realized they were on. Phooey! Anyway, I feel your pain (but probably not to the extent the bass do).

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Try a wacky rig maybe? Or just set the hook earlier.

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Bring a pair of cheap wire cutters.  Then learn to cut the hook and use a pair of pliers to grab the point of the hook and pull it out that way.  It slips right out.  If you can see the point of the hook, you're guaranteed to get it out better than any other method/tool I've ever used.  

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flourocarbon can transmit bite over a slack line.

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I had to deal with my first gut hooked fish this morning.  I remembered seeing this a while ago and tried to do this method but unfortunately I couldn't get the hook out and the fish didn't make it.  I guess practice makes perfect but its gonna suck for the fish I'm practicing on.

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Circle hooks are a fine way to go. Or, with any hook, crimp down the barb. Makes removal a heck of a lot easier.

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I had to deal with my first gut hooked fish this morning.  I remembered seeing this a while ago and tried to do this method but unfortunately I couldn't get the hook out and the fish didn't make it.  I guess practice makes perfect but its gonna suck for the fish I'm practicing on.

I have lost some smaller ones, but have been lucky on a few bigger ones it happened to. 

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I have lost some smaller ones, but have been lucky on a few bigger ones it happened to. 

The one I had wasn't huge but it was a decent size.  It wasn't bleeding or anything.  I think I just had it out of the water too long trying to get the hook out.  Should have known better.  I think I'm kind of unclear as to where to go in through the gills.  I was going through the largest opening but I was trying to be as careful as I could so as not to injure the gills.

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flourocarbon can transmit bite over a slack line.

This.

Or my method, which is 20lb braid to a fluoro leader. Set on the first tick.

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Watch your line too, a lot of times you'll see the line jump before you ever feel the fish. 

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