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Chance_Taker4

What does the hookset mean about fish activity

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I am a firm believer that you can learn more from how the hook was set than any other thing. However I went fishing with the wife over the weekend and her hooksets with a crankbait left me a little confused with what the fish or the angler was doing. We were fishing 4' of water with a Luck E Strike RC Squarebill bill she told me that she was dragging the bottom and would feel deflections (scattered rock) and as soon and it would deflect she would get bit. Every fish was caught on the front treble hook. She caught a couple dinks that had to treble in the top of the mouth and the third in the bottom looking their mouth shut. The bigger one 2-3 lbs were all hooked by two trebles in the roof. Usually when I catch fish like this they are coming from underneath the bait but that cant happen when dragging the bottom. Anyone have an opinion on where the fish were striking from or how the bait was moving?

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Interesting take.

 Seems when bass slash at a bait they are often hooked outside the mouth.  

On the flipside, when they really eat it, the bait may be side ways, ( I call that one T-Bone), poking straight out of their face like a cigar (jerkbaits do this) or in the case of either smaller baits or Big bass - the bait could be totally engulfed. 

 

So I'd say I may change (or not change) something based on the above.

 

As for 'how the hook was set'  that seems a little confusing to me. 

Each individual bass can & will attack a moving bait from different angles and at different speeds.  This can & often does result is a variety if different hook positions.  I could and usually do perform the same type of hookset with the same bait on say 10 bass.  Each resulting in 10 different hook positions.

 

So I'd be hard pressed to say I can know anything more about what just happened other than perhaps, if the bass was slashing at the bait or making more of a commitment by getting the bait in it's mouth. 

YMMV

A-Jay

 

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I don't in your particular case, but I do know something about spinnerbaits. Often, I hear of missed fish on spinnerbaits, from those that don't use trailer hooks. The excuse is always that they are short striking the bait.  Maybe, but I ALWAYS use a trailer hook.  I rarely miss strikes.  Sometimes, and it happens with several fish in a row doing this, they will be hooked in the chin with only the trailer.  Why?  My feeling, somewhat confirmed a few times visually, is that they are crashing the blades, not the skirt, and not the whole bait. 

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Going off of both replies I normally see a light hookup with just the rear hook if I'm fishing too fast, gut hooked if I fish too fast and just a front hook if they bait is running under them.

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I guess it would all depend on whether they were chasing, ambushing, or intercepting the bait?

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3 hours ago, Chance_Taker4 said:

I am a firm believer that you can learn more from how the hook was set than any other thing. However I went fishing with the wife over the weekend and her hooksets with a crankbait left me a little confused with what the fish or the angler was doing. We were fishing 4' of water with a Luck E Strike RC Squarebill bill she told me that she was dragging the bottom and would feel deflections (scattered rock) and as soon and it would deflect she would get bit. Every fish was caught on the front treble hook. She caught a couple dinks that had to treble in the top of the mouth and the third in the bottom looking their mouth shut. The bigger one 2-3 lbs were all hooked by two trebles in the roof. Usually when I catch fish like this they are coming from underneath the bait but that cant happen when dragging the bottom. Anyone have an opinion on where the fish were striking from or how the bait was moving?

It can and does if it occurs immediately at the deflection.  The bill point down at 90 degrees and exposes the front trebles.  It happens more in shallow water as geometry takes over.

It happens a lot with me as I have started to use deeper divers in this application,and the bills really expose the hooks

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If you see the bill at 90°, then I'd say you're working too hard with those deep divers.  Unless you're talking about when you're digging into bottom.  My best results with any diving crank is when I'm moving slow, and making contact.  Often I'll pause after contact.  That slow rise often triggers a bite, if the deflection doesn't.  Of course, there are times when you absolutely have to burn them to get bit.  I find those days pretty rare.  I'm not sure what this has to do with the OP, but it's just my observations after being a crankbait fiend for many years.

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One of the most interesting underwater film sequence is Big Mouth Forever where big bass are engulfing crankbaits without the angler detecting strikes. The entire crankbait is engulfed inside the basses mouth including 2 sets of treble hooks and the bass rejects the lure without any of the hook points sticking tissue. Now if a bass can engulf a treble hook moving crankbait without getting hooked, what does that tell you?

Answer; you can't always tell how aggressive the strike is by how the fish was hooked.

Tom

 

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In many of those sequences, the hooks are bent in.  I'd argue that many fish are caught on the initial engulfment or rejection.

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I have caught a lot of big bass on crankbaits, very few actually hooked itself. What usually occurs is you feel nothing like the lure came untied, no resistance or vibration. When you feel nothing instantly crank fast and sweep the rod back.

Tom

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I know it's technically "wrong," but I still pop them with a hookset.  Nothing like if I was fishing a jig.  You're also right about that nothing feel.  That's what I like about moving baits - the pulse.  It's a good way to teach beginners, too.

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The good way to teach crank bait strikes is trolling them at a depth where they make bottom contact occasionally to feel bumps or snag a weed or two to learn what bass feel like vs other stuff. This way the lure is always in the strike zone.

Off topic, but bass can be barely hooked by the rear treble and still had the entire lure in it's mouth, the hook hitting lip tissue on the way out doesn't tell you it was following the lure, it tells you they are eating crank baits!

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1 hour ago, J Francho said:

I don't in your particular case, but I do know something about spinnerbaits. Often, I hear of missed fish on spinnerbaits, from those that don't use trailer hooks. The excuse is always that they are short striking the bait.  Maybe, but I ALWAYS use a trailer hook.  I rarely miss strikes.  Sometimes, and it happens with several fish in a row doing this, they will be hooked in the chin with only the trailer.  Why?  My feeling, somewhat confirmed a few times visually, is that they are crashing the blades, not the skirt, and not the whole bait. 

I don't even get bites on a spinnerbait unless it's a 3/16 oz, and then they go crazy; anything from dinks to hogs. I can't really recall missing a fish on them, and I don't use trailer hooks. Maybe it's the small size so they get the whole bait?

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52 minutes ago, J Francho said:

If you see the bill at 90°, then I'd say you're working too hard with those deep divers.  Unless you're talking about when you're digging into bottom.  My best results with any diving crank is when I'm moving slow, and making contact.  Often I'll pause after contact.  That slow rise often triggers a bite, if the deflection doesn't.  Of course, there are times when you absolutely have to burn them to get bit.  I find those days pretty rare.  I'm not sure what this has to do with the OP, but it's just my observations after being a crankbait fiend for many years.

Absolutely, talking about bottom contact creating deflection 

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2 hours ago, J Francho said:

I don't in your particular case, but I do know something about spinnerbaits. Often, I hear of missed fish on spinnerbaits, from those that don't use trailer hooks. The excuse is always that they are short striking the bait.  Maybe, but I ALWAYS use a trailer hook.  I rarely miss strikes.  Sometimes, and it happens with several fish in a row doing this, they will be hooked in the chin with only the trailer.  Why?  My feeling, somewhat confirmed a few times visually, is that they are crashing the blades, not the skirt, and not the whole bait. 

 

I never use trailer hooks in my spinnerbaits and rarely miss strikes, not saying you are wrong, just saying that our approach is different and the results are similar. What I do use on ocassions are trailers in my spinnerbaits to increase the size/volume/length, add extra vibration, add flash.

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Only thing I'll say is when I get them on the front hook of a squarebill I assume I'm doing the right thing. It was tricked enough to try to engulf the bait head first to swallow it instead of just nipping at the back in curiosity. 

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Just a dumb coonass's observation but when I've seen cranks deflect off of cover they tend to roll to one side or the other.

 

Another observation with square bills & traps is larger bass (8 lbs +) will hit like a freight train, ya set hook, fight her for a time only to have her simply open her mouth & she gone.

 

After carefully examining my lure I've notice perfect half moon shaped teeth marks which tells me she had it in her mouth but was clamped so hard my hookset failed to move the lure!

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17 hours ago, Sword of the Lord said:

I don't even get bites on a spinnerbait unless it's a 3/16 oz, and then they go crazy; anything from dinks to hogs. I can't really recall missing a fish on them, and I don't use trailer hooks. Maybe it's the small size so they get the whole bait?

 

16 hours ago, Raul said:

 

I never use trailer hooks in my spinnerbaits and rarely miss strikes, not saying you are wrong, just saying that our approach is different and the results are similar. What I do use on ocassions are trailers in my spinnerbaits to increase the size/volume/length, add extra vibration, add flash.

 

I think there's something here, too.  Raul's fish are probably typically bigger than my average fish, and Sword is using a smaller spinnerbait.  I use big honking baits.  I start at 1/2 oz., my favorite being 5/8 oz.  I also fish them very low in the water column, almost and sometimes, contacting the bottom.  Perhaps position of the bait, relative size of the bait to the fishes mouth, and dumb luck play a part?

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@J Francho definitely something to it!

 

On Toledo Bend my average spinnerbait fish is 3# while my average marsh spinnerbait fish is 1&1 1/2#.

 

On Toledo I throw a 1/2 oz Stanley Wedge double willow leaf which is a rather large spinnerbait & I seldom use a trailer hook.

 

In the marsh I throw 1/4 oz spinnerbaits always with a trailer hook.

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21 hours ago, J Francho said:

I don't in your particular case, but I do know something about spinnerbaits. Often, I hear of missed fish on spinnerbaits, from those that don't use trailer hooks. The excuse is always that they are short striking the bait.  Maybe, but I ALWAYS use a trailer hook.  I rarely miss strikes.  Sometimes, and it happens with several fish in a row doing this, they will be hooked in the chin with only the trailer.  Why?  My feeling, somewhat confirmed a few times visually, is that they are crashing the blades, not the skirt, and not the whole bait. 

 

I believe that to be very accurate. I see almost exactly the same thing, most fish are hooked under the chin

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This thread started out being about crankbaits with multiple treble hooks with some anglers believing how the bass is hooked indicates the direction, speed and aggressiveness the bass struck the lure. 

Crankbaits with diving bills wobble back and forth, they also roll to the sides changing direction when diving and moving forward, the hooks swinging wildly side to side and up and down with the lures action. Catt mentioned the rolling to one side is exaggerated when the lure hits something creating more hook movements. When a bass decides it wants to eat this frantic moving lure it commits to to killing it, that is how the fish survives by killing and eating critters. Do bass ever change thier mind about catching and killing a lure? yes.

Does the bass bump the lure with it's closed mouth? I don't think so.  Those wildly swinging treble hooks can snag a fish that got too close before changing it's mind. Catt also mentioned bass bite down hard to kill the critter and sometime hold on so it doesn't escape, then open their mouth letting it go, if a treble hook finds the lip ridge, the fish is lightly hooked by the rear hook. Sometime a bass will engulf a crankbait down into the crunchers and get hooked, doesn't indicate it wanted so bad that it choked it, that is how bass kill critters.

Spinnerbaits, bass don't always strike the head or trailer, they often strike the blades and the hook gets in the way. Like a crankbait the spinnerbait is a critter to be killed and bass engulf it like everything they tend to eat. If a lure is too big to engulf the bass grabs the lure by the front end to kill or injure the larger critter, then tries to swallow it head first. A hook under the chin to me indicated the bass struck the blades and the hook stuck into the chin.

Spinnerbait hook is stationary, doesn't swing wildly and rarely snags bass.

Tom

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57 minutes ago, WRB said:

Spinnerbait hook is stationary, doesn't swing wildly and rarely snags bass.

 

I'm talking about the trailer hook, which does swing free.  The rest of what you said sounds right.  Good stuff.

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54 minutes ago, J Francho said:

 

I'm talking about the trailer hook, which does swing free.  The rest of what you said sounds right.  Good stuff.

Trailer hooks may be able to swing side to side but a spinnerbait isn't moving side to side, it's a straight running lure with the trailer hook following behind point upwards so it doesn't snag weeds. Spinnerbait action is in the blades and to a lesser degree the trailer and skirt.

I rarely use trailer hooks with spinnerbaits anymore.

Tom

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25 minutes ago, WRB said:

I rarely use trailer hooks with spinnerbaits anymore.

 

Clearly, because there's plenty of freedom for up and down movement of the trailer hook.  How do you think they get hooked in the chin when they crash the blades?  You only have to hold on in your hand to see this, but I digress.  This is about crankbaits, and I must not really know what I've seen with my own eyes.  I'm done debating every fine detail of the angle a trailer hook can possibly move. 

 

21032322_10212582947661816_4584523082288

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11 minutes ago, J Francho said:

 

Clearly, because there's plenty of freedom for up and down movement of the trailer hook.  How do you think they get hooked in the chin when they crash the blades?  You only have to hold on in your hand to see this, but I digress.  This is about crankbaits, and I must not really know what I've seen with my own eyes.  I'm done debating every fine detail of the angle a trailer hook can possibly move. 

 

21032322_10212582947661816_4584523082288

That is perfect example of a trailer hook snagging a bass that struck the blades, illegal catch were I fish. 

Tom

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