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Tonight I was getting consistent bites in some wood throwing a jig and craw but never hooked a fish.  The bites felt like 2-3 pecks on the lure.  At one point I made a cast and right as it hit the water the line started unraveling like something was carrying it away but then nothing.

 

There are also a ton of little turtles around too and I wonder if it was them.  Any suggestions?  One thought I had was going with smaller tackle in these situations.

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Could be panfish pecking at your jig, or a finicky bass that won't commit to eating it. 

 

Smallmouth will do this more than largemouth in my experience, but they'll pick a bait up and spit it out in one quick motion. Setting the hook is nearly impossible when they're doing this. It's hard to say what happened to you today, but it could be just about anything. Using a bait with treble hooks will improve your hook-up ratio if it is bass. You could also use a treble trailer/stinger hook on your jig like they use for walleye fishing, but this will pretty much kill your chances of fishing timber. 

 

You can also try a pork trailer instead of a soft plastic craw. The fish might hold on longer. You might also try tossing a panfish sized jig and see if you start hooking up with panfish in the area.

 

Here's a photo of the stinger hook. It's customary to use a very small treble hook for this. Something like a size 6, 8, or 10.

 

IMG_0935-1_zps20cb5fa0.jpg

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Try a smaller jig with smaller trailer. I've set the hooks on peck bites and have had all 3 scenarios happen:

1) you get to dodge a speeding jig

2) a panfish learns a very hard lesson and becomes air born

3) big girl was being finicky.

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My guess is also panfish, it's also true that bass will not hold a jig/ trailer combo as long as say a trig soft plastic, sometimes the jig bites are violent but more times than not a quicker hookset is needed than say, on a soft plastic bait. As with most things fishing, there are a lot of variables.

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Go to a 4" senko type bait, like a Stick-o, Texas Rigged and throw it in the nasty stuff.  You will have a lot better chance of a hook-up then with a jig.

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Could be panfish pecking at your jig, or a finicky bass that won't commit to eating it. 

 

Smallmouth will do this more than largemouth in my experience, but they'll pick a bait up and spit it out in one quick motion. Setting the hook is nearly impossible when they're doing this. It's hard to say what happened to you today, but it could be just about anything. Using a bait with treble hooks will improve your hook-up ratio if it is bass. You could also use a treble trailer/stinger hook on your jig like they use for walleye fishing, but this will pretty much kill your chances of fishing timber. 

 

You can also try a pork trailer instead of a soft plastic craw. The fish might hold on longer. You might also try tossing a panfish sized jig and see if you start hooking up with panfish in the area.

 

Here's a photo of the stinger hook. It's customary to use a very small treble hook for this. Something like a size 6, 8, or 10.

 

IMG_0935-1_zps20cb5fa0.jpg

Those treblehook stingers are interesting, never seen them before.  Yeah they would most definitely get hung up but good to know about if the right time comes.  I almost got my jig hung up in the wood I was fishing tonight.

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Read my commit in hook set philosophy thread below this thread.

Tom

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You know, I had a similiar experience while practicing for a tournament with a friend just a week ago. We were getting a ton of bites, around 30. But we only hooked up with 3 fish. We fished everything from cranks, traps, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and swimbaits. All had the same results. We could see the fish because we weren't fishing that deep.

 

My thought about it is that some times the fish are just running into our baits with no intention to eat the bait. Maybe they intend to kill the bait. Or maybe that are just having a little fun. Either or, when that is happening I feel like its almost a luck game as to foul hooking a few fish.

 

Oddly enough, we went the week before doing the same thing in different locations and caught the fish. So sometimes they act right and others they don't.

 

I like that stinger hook idea. In open water, it should be clutch.

 

Justin Mott

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