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Zeeter

Really Idiotic Question

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Just now, Fishin' Fool said:

 Even the most experienced of us will set the hook on weeds now and then.

 

I am not ashamed to set the hook on a piece of grass...a stick...a wave...or even thin air!!!  

 

I say it all the time!  Hook sets are free!

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OK maybe slack isn't the right word.  I am saying you have to be able to see the line move.  You won't be able to see it on a tight line.

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1 hour ago, Zeeter said:

I went out on Saturday with a member of the bass club I am applying for. He caught three or four, including a 4#er. I was skunked.

 

Here's the thing. I'm used to feeling a tug on the line, giving it a second, and then setting the hook. Well, I had one on that was probably a really good fish. Trouble was that I thought I was snagged as I didn't feel him take the bait. So I reached up to pull the snag out which is when I realized it was a fish. I tried to reel up so I could set the hook, but he was coming my way and I never got a chance to do a proper hook set so he got off. Had a similar, but less dramatic incident about a half hour later. It basically felt like I pulled the bait out of the fish's mouth.

 

Which brings me to my issue. Maybe it is just a learned experience, but outside of the normal tug or actually feeling the fish run off with it, what is a good indicator of when the fish takes the bait? Is it just something I'm going to have to feel over time? I've caught plenty of fish on jigs in the past, and I know that with them it is more that they inhale the jig rather than tugging on it. I honestly can't say I remember feeling them inhale it; rather that I could feel the fish on the line.

 

Not sure if it matters, but I was using a 5" senko with a 1/8 oz bullet weight.

 

53 minutes ago, Zeeter said:

 

I normally like to go weightless, but it was too windy when we were out. Maybe someday I'll be able to deal with it better.

 

 

50 minutes ago, Zeeter said:

It could also have to do with the fact that I was on a large body of water where there was more wave and weather action. Typically I would go out on a nice summer day to a relatively small lake. Hard to miss the bite there. Yet with the boat rocking back and forth and the wind maybe I was just having trouble adjusting.

 

21 minutes ago, Zeeter said:

 

This is exactly what happened to me. Unfortunately, when I realized there was a fish on there I was all the way back and not in a position to set the hook. I didn't yank the rod because we'd been snagging all day and I'd already lost several rigs. So when I pulled up to pull the rod out of the snag it was more gentle.

 

14 minutes ago, Zeeter said:

So what I'm getting here is, if I ever feel anything different on my line I should set the hook.

 

That's great advice. Unfortunately I need more experience to sense what that something different actually is. Also knowing the water helps, too. Is it grass? Is it rocky? What type of rocks? Pebbles? I know my regular fishing lakes and can tell when something is unusual. Fishing a new body of water takes some getting used to. I imagine that over time I'll get to learn these things more quickly.

 

 

9 minutes ago, Zeeter said:

 

Leave slack, huh? If I do that I won't feel the jig or worm on the bottom so much. Not saying you're wrong, and that makes sense.

 

I was using fluorocarbon 12#.

 

 

Detecting bites & strikes while using different techniques & presentations is part if the process of learning how to effectively fish.   So simply choosing a bait, tying it on and casting it out there is only part of the process.  Fishing it properly to illicit a strike & then actually detecting it, are both something that takes some time for each angler.  Some longer than others.   

 I would not call this process of learning “unfortunate” by any means – more like at least half the fun.  Don’t rush it – just go fishing and pay attention.   The BR members who are kind enough to offer you advice here, many of which have decades of experience & knowledge, have all gone through the same thing at one time or another and manage to somehow put it all together and catch bass.  You will too. There's no secret or special 'way', just what works for each basshead.

  Like KVD always says “It’s all about attitude”.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

 

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There is that obvious tap, thump, tick, or your line running off in another direction, but I find it easier to focus on what it's supposed to feel when you aren't getting bit.  Something feels off, set the hook.  Those are the bites people miss.

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To be a good worm or jig bass angler you need to visualize what your lure is doing underwater from the time it hits the surface, falls down through the water column and hits bottom.

Keeping in contact mentally and physical contact by feeling and watching your line tied to the lure.

Every strike a bass makes is the same, they engulf your lure and close  their mouth, it's inside for a limited time unless the bass decides to swallow it or spit it back out instantly. You must be able to detect the strike or you will miss it or gut hook the bass.

Maintaining controlled slack so you feel and see the line movements or change in pressure takes learned skill and practice, no short cuts.

Tom

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I throw a weightless senko almost every time I fish.  Like many others have said you have to watch the line, you will lose fish if you don't.  If you don't actually feel the tap-tap, watch for your line to jump (or tic) or for it to swim off.

 

If you feel the tap or see the line move set the hook immediately, every time.  

 

There are those off days where I'm fishing and you may have to wait a second or two longer to make sure they have it but you'll just have to feel it out.

 

I know I'm not adding much to the discussion, I'm just reinforcing what others have said.

 

 

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Every last one of us has missed lots of strikes .   I've  set the hook multiple times with the fish swimming toward me and still come up empty . LOL.   

 

Often the fish has the lure and there is no indication. Its hard to explain but I weigh the line without putting pressure on the fish  . If it feels weird I set the hook .

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When your lure is sinking thru dense cover, I would hesitate to say that 'hook-sets are free',

especially in a stump-field. I don't swing at everything I 'think' is a strike,

but only when I really believe it's a strike. That's a lot easier than it sounds,

because the difference between thinking it's a hit and knowing it's a hit is extremely minute.

In fact, it's not enough reason for me to revamp my hook-set mode.

 

When working in weedbeds (as we always are) my lure may stop sinking a half-dozen times

on the way to the bottom. I have to keep nudging the lure along so it continues on its way to

the bottom. If I swung every time my lure stalled on its way down, I'd look like a wind-up doll.

 

On the other hand, when you feel any tick, tap or jab, you don't 'think' it's a strike, you 'know' it's a strike.

When your line jumps in any direction, you don't 'think' it's a strike, you 'know' it's a strike.

Just as soon as you detect a strike, it's time to set the hook.

 

Roger

 

 

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I wouldn like everyone who has posted some variation of "hook sets are free" to please send me five dollars to help replace one of the half dozen or so jigs I lost over this winter trying to teach myself how to fish them.

 

But, at the same time, I caught a few nice bass, much bigger than the ones I usually get, setting my hook into what I was pretty sure it was just another log.   So I guess I can't complain too much about some of those five dollar hooksets. ;)

 

Learning to just set the dang hook was one of the hardest parts of fishing for me to learn. I wasted so much time first year or two being overly cautious and being obsessed with only fishing weedless presentations that I struggled to catch much of anything.   Then I got into wade fishing in shallow streams, so I could just walk over and unsnag myself. So I started setting the hook every time I even suspected a fish might be there and my catch-rate and conference went up dramatically.  

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5 hours ago, 2tall79 said:

You have to become a line watcher.  

 

Yup, I have become a line watcher...

 

My Wacky Senko set up

 

15 lbs white braid line with 6 feet FC leader. The reason I got white is that I need to watch the line to see if its being pulled, if so. Its time to bend your knees,chess up, do a little twist and extend your forearms to get a solid hook-set :)

 

 

Choices of Three hooks depending on my mood

 

2/0 Trokar Hooks Weedless

2/0 Owner Weedless Wacky Hook 

3/0 or 4/0  Gamakatsu Wide Gap Finesse Hook Weedless

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1 hour ago, bigturtle said:

If it bites, I sets.
Fish, frog, dog, seagull, human, all fair game.

Frogs are mean suckers, they will destroy a plastic frog! 

 

Sometimes hooksets aren't free, we've all set the hook on a trophy stump or tree limb, I did several times the other day, but sometimes you will just feel something, and your brain will say "that's a fish" it's really awesome when it happens, it's almost like a mental thing. 

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6 hours ago, WRB said:

Bass don't have hands, set the hook anytime you feel anything different and wait, swings are free. Best strike indicator is any slight line movement or added weight when using Senko's.

 

Tom 

 

Sage advice. I will add one thing; it's perfectly fine to swing and miss, and it can actually trigger the fish to strike again or get another fish in the area to bite.

 

Having said that know that you missed and stop right away. The fish or an object contacted that bait. In live creatures when they get knocked they make a quick move then get stunned. Go look at a boxing match that ended in a knock out, you will see what I mean.

 

Your hook set gave the crazy escaping motion, let it go after that. I can't tell you how many hundreds of fish I have picked up dead sticking after a bite. Depending on water temperature I will leave it there for over a minute sometimes without moving it.

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6 hours ago, riverbasser said:

I agree, probably a lot of gut hooked fish, especially with a senko. they swallow those things pretty quick

 

I was just about to add this when I read the part about "waiting 10-20 seconds."  This aint lindy rigging with for walleyes with live bait.  Set the hook before they swallow it otherwise you'll kill em with hooking mortality even if your planning to release it.

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5 hours ago, 2tall79 said:

OK maybe slack isn't the right word.  I am saying you have to be able to see the line move.  You won't be able to see it on a tight line.

 

The word you're looking for is semi-slack. Too tight and you'll inhibit the action, too slack and you'll miss strikes. You need to allow the bait to fall at its natural rate while still maintaining contact with it. Probably easier to actually do than it is to articulate.

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light weights and wind can be an exercise in futility. it is impossible to stay in contact with your bait at all times, not to mention the bottom. fish has it and you dont know it. my suggestion is to go a little heavier in the wind. good luck

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To achieve the semi tight line , when the lure is sinking   drop the rod tip at the same speed .

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6 hours ago, roadwarrior said:

 

Hmm...

Your method seems quite unique to me...and VERY dangerous for the fish. 

 

:fart:

Unique ,but I rarely kill a bass unless Im culling some out.Ive caught hundreds of fish this way and cant remember 1 fish over 3 pounds that I didnt release healthy. If the fish is gut hooked I cut the line and back the hook out backwards so the barb isnt involved.

Im not talking about a long time here,just longer than most.I just lose a lot of fish setting too early.

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51 minutes ago, N Florida Mike said:

Unique ,but I rarely kill a bass unless Im culling some out.Ive caught hundreds of fish this way and cant remember 1 fish over 3 pounds that I didnt release healthy. If the fish is gut hooked I cut the line and back the hook out backwards so the barb isnt involved.

Im not talking about a long time here,just longer than most.I just lose a lot of fish setting too early.

 

Not to hijack the thread, but I just read a very interesting article posted in the general fishing section that you might be interested in. 

 

 

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Three Tap Theory as explained to me by Shaw Grigsby ;)

 

The first tap the bass has inhaled your lure

 

The second tap the bass has expelled your lure

 

The third tap is me tapping you on the shoulder asking way you didn't set hook!

 

When asked what a jig bite feels like Denny Brauer answered, " I don't know but I know what it doesn't feel like!". He when on to say he sets hook on everything, stumps, logs, branches, twigs, grass, everything!

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Don't fish a weightless senko in conditions that you can't feel a bite maybe it's just me but bites on senkos and worm are pretty obvious. A jig is a bit tougher and there are many lessons learned. I think Denny has the right idea, know what a bite doesn't feel like I don't think anyone can say what a jig bite feels like. Every jig bite feels different, one day they bite on the drop and you only feel the lack of the weight of the jig. The next day they take it off the bottom and it feels like a tap. Next day they want it on the hop or swim and it feels like weight or the bass is swimming towards you, that's why you just need to pay attention and fish fish fish.

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I wish I had a dime for every time I set the hook thinking "No way" and finding out "Yes way", that whatever it was I thought I might have maybe sort of kind of felt was actually a fish.    But if I had a dime every time I set the hook thinking "No way" and was right, I'd probably even be richer.

 

If in doubt, set the hook.  Once you start catching fish like that it will haunt you thinking about all of those fish that were clamped down on your lure that you decided weren't worth a hook set.   

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You won't always feel a bump or a tick but sometimes just s different pressure, and it's really tough when you feel nothing because maybe the bass picked it up and moved toward you. That's the most difficult bite to detect in my opinion. I have a friend who is extremely good at slowly dragging his bait or dead sticking it and suddenly there is no feeling whatsoever - he sets on it and catches a good number of fish with that negative feeling as if somoeone just cut your line without you knowing it and there is no sensation of anything.  I have caught my fair share doing that as well over my 70 years.  No matter how much time you spend on the water you'll never be perfect but it's a little more fun when you have more positives than negatives.

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