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So I was fishing a texas rigged trick worm today and every few casts, I would feel a little thump, or it would stop moving or something, but when I set the hook, there was nothing there. I assume it was just getting stuck on the bottom, so does anybody know how to differentiate bites from snags/rocks/wood/etc. Thanks! :) 

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If you detect a " tap " as it is falling  , reel down , remove most of the slack and set the hook . If you feel a tap as it is being lifted , theres a good chance its a twig or something .

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I reel in just enough slack to feel for the bait. If it's a fish generally you won't feel the weight of the bait and it will feel 'mushy' on the end. If it isn't you will feel the bait contacting the structure.

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4 minutes ago, scaleface said:

If you detect a " tap " as it is falling  , reel down , remove most of the slack and set the hook . If you feel a tap as it is being lifted , theres a good chance its a twig or something .

I never thought of that. Thanks for the advice! :) One of the "taps" was while it had been sitting on the bottom for a minute, so I'm pretty sure it was a fish, but the rest were while it was being lifted.  

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Using mono?  Try braid and follow instructions above.  If you feel a thump when you are not moving the lure, it's a fish.  If you are feeling them and not getting them then try a smaller lure; maybe they will take it in farther.  Also, in some cases, bluegills or gobies or other fish too small to get hooked are fooling around with the worm.  They usually don't thump, though, more of a rat a tat tat high frequency feel.  Practice; it will get more obvious what is going on.

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A lot of times they are just little bait fish nibbling on the tail.  Also next time just keep the bait moving until you feel some weight.  See if that works.

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Glen did a great video on this.  I am sure a search would bring it up

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5 hours ago, EGbassing said:

does anybody know how to differentiate bites from snags/rocks/wood/etc. Thanks! :) 

 

Try out in shallow water (where you can see the bait), find, and remember, how rocks, wood, brush, grass etc feel.

While fishing, set the hook on anything that feels different.

 

Yes, you'll feel like a fool more than once; but you'll also catch more fish.

 

Quick tip: Count your bait down and watch and feel the line. If it stops sinking before it was supposed to; or keeps sinking after it was supposed to hit the bottom; reel in the slack and set the hook. You probably have a fish on.

 

If and when you find out you're setting the hook *on instinct* and not because you felt a bite, you're starting to get it.

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1 hour ago, deep said:

 

Try out in shallow water (where you can see the bait), find, and remember, how rocks, wood, brush, grass etc feel.

While fishing, set the hook on anything that feels different.

 

Yes, you'll feel like a fool more than once; but you'll also catch more fish.

 

Quick tip: Count your bait down and watch and feel the line. If it stops sinking before it was supposed to; or keeps sinking after it was supposed to hit the bottom; reel in the slack and set the hook. You probably have a fish on.

 

If and when you find out you're setting the hook *on instinct* and not because you felt a bite, you're starting to get it.

Your right about that, it becomes all instinct and you just don't think about it.  Time on the water solves those problems.

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What I have done is, if I feel something, I'll continue to slowly lift the rod. If a fish is on, the fish tends to swim away and you can definitely feel that. Once you do, set the hook. I have no idea if this is a right technique or good technique but it seems to work for me. 

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I fish texas rigged soft plastics as weieghtless as possible, esp. since I fish mostly shallow lakes here in Fl. I cast , let it sink to the bottom, watching and feeling for anything that would indicate a strike.  After a 10-20 second wait, while keeping slight contact with the bait, I lift gently.If a fish has taken it you will usually feel a distinct thump, and usually the fish will be swimming in a direction instead of staying stationary. Then, just reel up most of the slack and set the hook.

A fish will peck or pull. Structure will not. If a fish is swimming toward you, it will be indicated by lack of contact with the bait for longer than usual while you are reeling in to regain contact.

I dont fish jigs much, but with them anything that feels out of the ordinary just set the hook , and this isnt a bad idea for soft plastics fished texas rigged either.

 

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I fish quite a lot of lightweight plastics. One thing that might help is keeping your rod between 10 and 12 o clock.After your cast, raise the rod up, pull the bait toward you and drop down to 10 o clock then take up slack. With more of your line out visible above the water you can see and feel light biting fish. Good luck

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14 hours ago, NHBull said:

Glen did a great video on this.  I am sure a search would bring it up

 

 

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   I’ve noticed that when folks talk about the T-Rig that they mention that much of the time they get a bite on the initial fall of the worm.  My question is that if they are using a spinning rod do they leave the bail open as the worm is initially falling to the floor or do they close it. I guess same question with a bait caster do they leave it in free spoil in the initial fall

 

I only ask because I believe I’ve read where many folks on the Ned rig leave the bail open and I don’t recall that ever been mentioned with a Texas rig

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27 minutes ago, Ruy Lopez said:

   I’ve noticed that when folks talk about the T-Rig that they mention that much of the time they get a bite on the initial fall of the worm.  My question is that if they are using a spinning rod do they leave the bail open as the worm is initially falling to the floor or do they close it. I guess same question with a bait caster do they leave it in free spoil in the initial fall

 

I only ask because I believe I’ve read where many folks on the Ned rig leave the bail open and I don’t recall that ever been mentioned with a Texas rig

You want the lure to fall vertically .  In deeper water you can keep the bail open . On a baitcaster I will strip line off as it is falling . When hopping the rig , dont let it sink on a tight line because it will swing toward you . Leave a little slack in it then follow the the bait with the rod tip . Just enough slack that it falls straight and still be able to feel a tick .

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Strike detection is what separates the men from the boys. The aggressive strikes everyone detects, the suttle engulftef worm or jig strikes are often missed by the majority of bass anglers. We use lots of excuses like swings are free, rocks don’t move, fish don’t have hands, I know what it doesn’t feel like, etc.

Fish more and trust your fingers to develop your own hook set timing and technique and you will get better at strike detection.

Tom

 

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I'm going to rephrase what I posted earlier . When you lift the rig with your rod tip ,imagine  that there is a state in between tension and slack that you want to keep your line at . Follow the lure down with the rod tip and maintain that state , so it will fall vertically and still maintain contact with the bait .

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3 hours ago, Glenn said:

 

 

I'll definitely watch that. Also, thanks for making those Youtube videos for us. I've watched almost all of them now, and learned a lot from them. I never would've even tried flipping and pitching if not for your jig fishing tutorial, and now it's my favorite way to fish. :) 

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I personally hold my reel, it's kinda weird but the way I hold it I have my pointer finger running under the line so if there is a bite I can feel it in the rod and my finger 

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2 minutes ago, iiTzChunky said:

I personally hold my reel, it's kinda weird but the way I hold it I have my pointer finger running under the line so if there is a bite I can feel it in the rod and my finger 

I hold the rod in front of the baitcaster with the line running between  the index finger and thumb .   I do not recommend to use :lol:that technique with braid .

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Experience. But the quickest thing I can say is that fish feel "alive".

 

I'm most apt to be fooled hitting water-logged wood. Can feel a lot like the 'Tap' of a bass. Just have to know its there, which is what probing the area around you does.

 

Some say 'hook-sets are free'. But they aren't when there're snags around.

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8 hours ago, Ruy Lopez said:

   I’ve noticed that when folks talk about the T-Rig that they mention that much of the time they get a bite on the initial fall of the worm.  My question is that if they are using a spinning rod do they leave the bail open as the worm is initially falling to the floor or do they close it. I guess same question with a bait caster do they leave it in free spoil in the initial fall

 

I only ask because I believe I’ve read where many folks on the Ned rig leave the bail open and I don’t recall that ever been mentioned with a Texas rig

No I close the bail right away and just watch the line out at the furthest you can still see it.  If it jumps or changes the rate of line fall, take up slack and if you feel weight or vibration set the hook.  Don't leave the bail open.

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This is all good advice.  I'd like to add one thing.  You will find that, without knowing it, you will have a death grip on the rod.  Loosen your grip and that will help your feel.

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Ronin is one of my favorite movies...great car chases. There is one scene where Robert De Niro is asked how he knew that they were going to be ambushed under the bridge. He replied..."when there is doubt, there is no doubt". That's my bite detect philosophy...lol. If I feel anything while the rod is still I reel down and swing.

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In a recent video, Aaron Martens who has been AOY several times, mentioned that he often casts out his plastic and instead of letting it free fall on an open bail, he flips it and takes some of the slack up. Not quite a pendulum drop like on a baitcaster, but not a free fall like spinning tackle with an open bail.

 

I believe he indicated that since so many fish bite baits on most finesse applications either on the fall or just as it taps the bottom, that he wants to maintain contact with the bait, not too much slack line to overcome when the fish will likely already have it in its mouth and already turned to swim off.

 

This requires work and skill, touch I guess  . . . to manage the drop as close to a taut line as you can get but nudging over in the direction of a loose line fall. Sort of like walking a well-behaved dog on a short leash. No pressure on its neck but a micro-second from being able to control the dog.

 

*** Funny, I used mono for the longest time. I will never forget reading about what you can feel on the bottom with straight braid or tied to a short leader. On my first trip out, suddenly, I could feel gravel, pulling through submerged grass on bottom, over a twig, a rock. So weird, it is almost like an angler's version of Braille. 

 

Brad

Edited by Brad in Texas
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