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juicebass

Setting the hook... Into nothing.

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I find when I go without a bite for a long time, I start to set the hook into nothing. Well, not nothing, but mostly weeds, pads, branches, rocks.. Anything but a fish.

When the bad boys are hitting, this never happens.

I guess I just start to feel "phantom bites". 

This ever happen to you?

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No. For me it's the opposite actually. If I am on a good bite, or have just caught a big fish, once in a while I will get a little too amped up and set the hook on things that aren't fish. Mostly just weeds if fishing soft plastics, and wood if fishing a crankbait. 

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As Hank Parker has always said, "it doesn't cost anything to set the hook."

Get to know how the presentation feels without any action.

Once the "feel" is different then you set the hook.

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I tend to get caught up enjoying being by the water and end up missing a bite that comes from the first cast and fall of a soft plastic. Then it seems like after that I'm ready to set hooks and don't get another bite for hours. 

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When in doubt... Set hook! ;)

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I've set the hook on and fought a stump for about 20 seconds before realizing I did not have a fish.

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I set the hook on a barge rope , I believe , below a dam . I fougtt and fought that rope . Just when I thought I was winning the battle the current would take it back down stream .This went on for a long time .

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Hooksets are free, and distinguishing between bass and vegetation will lower the chances of a phantom hooksets... now thin submerged tree limbs... those get me more than I care to admit... lol!!

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11 minutes ago, BassinLou said:

Hooksets are free, and distinguishing between bass and vegetation will lower the chances of a phantom hooksets... now thin submerged tree limbs... those get me more than I care to admit... lol!!

...or fishing line in a brushpile , left behind by crappie anglers .

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I was fishing a tournament as co-angler throwing a senko in 10 foot of water, and my senko stopped falling after 2 to 3 seconds. Knowing it couldn't of reached bottom yet I set the hook. Rod doubled over and took drag going straight down. Thought I had a big cat and told my boater I was going to need the net... Turns out I just set the hook into a 10 pound branch that must of broke off the tree when I set the hook, allowing it to fall to the bottom...had to tell my boater I don't need the net anymore...

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It probably doesn't happen often enough to me (i.e., I miss a few bites).

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35 minutes ago, bigbassin' said:

I was fishing a tournament as co-angler throwing a senko in 10 foot of water, and my senko stopped falling after 2 to 3 seconds. Knowing it couldn't of reached bottom yet I set the hook. Rod doubled over and took drag going straight down. Thought I had a big cat and told my boater I was going to need the net... Turns out I just set the hook into a 10 pound branch that must of broke off the tree when I set the hook, allowing it to fall to the bottom...had to tell my boater I don't need the net anymore...

Now that's a good one... good ole branch fish!! 

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All good stuff here!  When I am cranking around brush or rocks (which is most of the time) I am painfully aware of what is or is not a bite.  While swings are often free, sometimes they cost the amount of the bait.

And yes, getting hung on a bunch of line that somebody cut off is very annoying!  Just pull straight back and the line will usually break at the knot. If you are worried about stretching your line, switch to braid.

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10 hours ago, scaleface said:

I set the hook on a barge rope , I believe , below a dam . I fougtt and fought that rope . Just when I thought I was winning the battle the current would take it back down stream .This went on for a long time .

^^ Lol . did that with a  trot line one night.

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I can remember catching some really good fish that I'm not even sure what I felt that made me set the hook. Once was because I was dragging a jig and all the sudden it just felt a little lighter, fish was almost 6 pounds. If I'm not sure, I'm setting the hook. I'll take the ribbing over hooking a limb versus the pain of missing/losing a big fish. 

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Sometimes the most subtle of bites come from big bass,set the hook before it's too late.If not you will have another story of the big one that got away,instead of having a story of the big one that didn't get away.

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On 08/05/2016 at 10:59 AM, BassinLou said:

now thin submerged tree limbs... those get me more than I care to admit... lol!!

When my kids are around I call them fish sticks. When they are not with me... Well, you know.

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The worst is when you set the hook on a branch and it starts to move like an 8 pounder?

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Some of the lightest taps I've ever felt were from the biggest bass I've ever caught!

So yea! I'll continue setting hook on nothing!

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6 hours ago, Catt said:

Some of the lightest taps I've ever felt were from the biggest bass I've ever caught!

I agree and believe that is the case due to the size of their mouths.  They can inhale a bait (especially a smaller finesse bait) and have it inside their mouth without it ever touching any part of them.   A big bass eating a Ned rig to is similar to a baleen whale sucking in plankton.

Compare that to a catfish over 10 lbs, who has to crush what he catches - there is no subtlety to one of their bites.

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17 hours ago, HookedUpForDayz said:

The worst is when you set the hook on a branch and it starts to move like an 8 pounder?

LOL , yep . Snag it in the middle and it might wiggle back and forth like a fighting fish . Thats always a nice rug pull .

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9 times out of 10, at least when it comes to pike fishing for me this summer, the fish won't even hit hard enough to distinguish the strike.  I'll just be reeling in my lure and then I have 5-6 pounds of deadweight on the end of my line.  If I'm able to reel the deadweight and it's not firmly stuck, like a snag, I set the hook.  Haven't lost a fish or lure all summer doing this method.

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