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EGbassing

Missing spinnerbait bites

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I finally got out for about 2 hours today fishing the Strike King KVD finesse spinnerbait, and while I got about 4 - 5 pretty vicious strikes on it, I missed all of them on the hookset. I'm pretty sure they were all fish, but I just couldn't hook them. Does anybody know why that would be? I'm thinking it might be the way I'm setting the hook, but I'm not sure. My hookset is just a hard pull on the rod, is that wrong? Also, is fishing open water effective, or is shallow water better? Thanks! :) 

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When that happens, the fish are telling you you're almost there, but there's something just not quite right.  I'll first change my retrieve speed to see if that improves the bite, and then I change blade colors if that doesn't work.  That often gets them to commit more, but if it doesn't, then I change skirt colors.  Between those three, you'll get better hookups.

 

Ya, ya... a bevvy of folks will tell you to add a trailer hook.  I personally hate them because they interfere with trailers, plus that tends to get the spinnerbait hung up more.  Plus it doesn't answer why they won't commit - it just snags them...sometimes.  I prefer to solve the core issue.  I want them to crush it!

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+1 to Glenn and it may also help to add a small trailer. 

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1 hour ago, Glenn said:

When that happens, the fish are telling you you're almost there, but there's something just not quite right.  I'll first change my retrieve speed to see if that improves the bite, and then I change blade colors if that doesn't work.  That often gets them to commit more, but if it doesn't, then I change skirt colors.  Between those three, you'll get better hookups.

 

Ya, ya... a bevvy of folks will tell you to add a trailer hook.  I personally hate them because they interfere with trailers, plus that tends to get the spinnerbait hung up more.  Plus it doesn't answer why they won't commit - it just snags them...sometimes.  I prefer to solve the core issue.  I want them to crush it!

I never thought of that. I did change my retrieve speed up a lot, so I doubt that was it, but it definitely could have been the skirt or blades. And I agree with you on trailer hooks, I hate using them. ;) I just trim the skirts on mine and that seems to help. And thanks for those tips! I'll keep them in mind. :) 

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What rod/reel/line combination are you using? Fishing a spinnerbait on the wrong gear can make hooking them pretty difficult. 

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I will echo Glenn's thoughts on your issue. With hard baits like cranks and jerkbaits you get followers or what I call "nippers" that just barely touch the rear treble. When that happens changing size, color, or both usually works but with spinnerbaits it is a little different. When it happens to me I make the decision on what to change based on the missed strike, for example if the fish are short striking you will actually feel pull back that will load the rod for a split second. If that is the case I will try either speeding it up or slowing it down first, after that I change to a different color. If I'm getting hard hits that I'm not getting pull back but instead either knocking slack into the line or a hard thump without feeling any resistance then that usually means they are hitting the blades and then I'm downsizing the bait from 1/2oz to a 3/8oz or from 3/8oz to 1/4oz. Sometimes when the fish aren't active you may get the bait close enough to one that it will bump it without getting hooked but that will be one or two, but getting repeated strikes lets you know your bait has them striking but something is keeping them from fully committing. Glenn is correct about blade size and color, my thought is most guys don't carry the same size bait with different blades sizes or colored blades so the easiest thing to do is downsize the bait, and I don't use trailer hooks on my spinnerbaits either so I try to make changes with the bait in order to get the fish to fully eat the bait.

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i use a trailer hook and its responsible for a decent amount of catches.

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15 hours ago, EGbassing said:

I got about 4 - 5 pretty vicious strikes on it, I missed all of them on the hookset. I'm pretty sure they were all fish

What else would they be ?  Not trying to be a jerk , just trying to understand .

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56 minutes ago, scaleface said:

What else would they be ?  Not trying to be a jerk , just trying to understand .

Gar, they will slam a spinnerbait but you cannot hook them.

 

Allen

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1 hour ago, scaleface said:

What else would they be ?  Not trying to be a jerk , just trying to understand .

Rocks, wood, grass, etc. I was fishing it near the bottom so I probably did hit some cover a few times, but for the most part the strikes felt like something was actually trying to yank the bait away, not like the bait was just hitting a twig and stopping or something.

20 minutes ago, Munkin said:

Gar, they will slam a spinnerbait but you cannot hook them.

 

Allen

There aren't any gar where I fish, but there are bluegill, crappie, and catfish. It's possible that it was a bluegill biting at it or something.

7 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

What rod/reel/line combination are you using? Fishing a spinnerbait on the wrong gear can make hooking them pretty difficult. 

I was using an Abu Garcia blackmax rod and reel combo, and 30lb PowerPro braid. 

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On 3/22/2018 at 5:09 PM, EGbassing said:

I finally got out for about 2 hours today fishing the Strike King KVD finesse spinnerbait, and while I got about 4 - 5 pretty vicious strikes on it, I missed all of them on the hookset. I'm pretty sure they were all fish, but I just couldn't hook them. Does anybody know why that would be? I'm thinking it might be the way I'm setting the hook, but I'm not sure. My hookset is just a hard pull on the rod, is that wrong? Also, is fishing open water effective, or is shallow water better? Thanks! :) 

There could be many reasons why you are not getting many hookups on a spinnerbait. Maybe this spinnerbait comes with a dull hook that is of poor quality (big bass have hard mouths so you need a quality sharp hook to go through the bone), maybe the spinnerbait is too small or too large for the bass you are targeting, maybe you set the hook too hard which is a common problem with people that fish spinnerbaits and frogs.

8 hours ago, Munkin said:

Gar, they will slam a spinnerbait but you cannot hook them.

 

Allen

I have caught plenty of gar on spinnerbaits in the Everglades and many other species of fish. 

8 hours ago, EGbassing said:

I was using an Abu Garcia blackmax rod and reel combo, and 30lb PowerPro braid. 

What is the rating of your rod? Heavy action, medium action,etc? I prefer using heavy action rods when using spinnerbaits, but I tend to use big spinnerbaits since I am specifically targeting big bass.

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Lots of good advice on blade color and bait size however I think you should reconsider your thoughts on trailer hooks. they're not only good for short strikers but I also like that 'insurance' hook deep in their mouth when they're whacking it good. 

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What Glenn said, but even though I don’t like trailer hooks, they work.

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I would suggest maybe trying something other than braid for the spinnerbaits unless you're fishing heavy vegetation. I also don't like trailer hooks, but sometimes you just have to use them. 

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8 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I would suggest maybe trying something other than braid for the spinnerbaits unless you're fishing heavy vegetation. I also don't like trailer hooks, but sometimes you just have to use them. 

Ok, I tried monofilament yesterday but I couldn't stand it after getting used to the sensitivity of braid. Would flourocarbon be a good choice?

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Floro would be better than braid. With braid there's a good chance that your jerking the bait away too fast. The stretch in floro or mono would help. A slight delay in your hook set might also help. 

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Like the others have said, a trailer is the way to go.....

But I have had more luck immediately picking up a weightless wacky or trig and throwing in the same spot

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If everything above fails, there is a good chance they are not bass.

the reservoirs here are loaded with drum and they love spinnerbaits. 

they often hammer the bait, but sometimes don't get the big spinnerbait hook in their small mouth.

they are very good at removing trailers from spinnerbaits and chatterbaits.

 

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I'll echo what everyone else has already said. Start by switching up retrieves, then colors of: skirt, blades, trailer. But if I was getting slammed and not hooking them, I would have put on a trailer hook, and I wouldn't have gotten to 5 strikes by the time I put one on. By the 3rd time that would have happened to me, I would have been digging in my box for a trailer hook. 

 

I, like a lot of others here prefer to start off without a trailer hook. But I realize that a trailer hook, like every other lure, rod, reel, or piece of terminal tackle that we use, is a tool used to catch fish. We choose our tools based on the conditions, and use the right tool for the job when the time is right.

 

And when you were missing fish, a trailer hook was the right tool for the job.

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3 hours ago, EGbassing said:

Ok, I tried monofilament yesterday but I couldn't stand it after getting used to the sensitivity of braid. Would flourocarbon be a good choice?

You can still use braid, learn how to tie on leaders.  What I do on 90% of my setups!

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2 minutes ago, lmbfisherman said:

You can still use braid, learn how to tie on leaders.  What I do on 90% of my setups!

+1

Spinners are my favorite thing to fish!  But I can't afford a lot of set-ups.  If I'm fishing a really big spinner in cover I use my heavy (it's a M/H fast that fishes more like a heavy) rod that has braid on it and I just use a flouro leader.  For the majority of my spinner fishing, though, I use a m/f rod with Yo Zuri hybrid.  Here's why I prefer the medium rod:  I fish very stained water.  When I'm fishing clear water I can see the fish hit the spinner and I wait until he turns his head and then set the hook.  My home lake, however, I can't ever see the fish clearly so the medium rod gives me that pause I need so I don't yank it away from the fish.  

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