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I’m a new fisherman. I recently caught a decent sized fish on a jig and I honestly just pulled up and reeled it in. Didn’t set the hook. Didn’t know the fish was on. How do I detect the bite on a jig? I’ve seen many people say they are very hard to detect? After I started reeling I saw/felt my rod start to bend fight on its own so I knew it was a fish. Just wondering how many bites I missed.

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Pay attention to what your bait feels like each time you lift your rod tip up and the line tightens. It takes time but you'll start to notice the difference between rocks, sticks, weeds, and fish if you pay close attention. When in doubt, set the hook. 

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For things like spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and crankbaits, it's really easy to tell, because you're just reeling those in off the bottom and your line is always tight.

 

For things where you let the line go slack from time to time, it's more difficult.  For those things you really just have to watch your line and the rod tip.  Many times, you'll see the rod tip move but you won't feel it.  I just set the hook whenever I feel it get heavy.  If I rip through weeds or get caught on a rock, oh well.. at least I know I didn't miss a fish.  And many times if you rip it through weeds or jump it sharply off a rock, that's what will trigger them to bite it.

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Yup, got a video on that too!

 

 

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As has been said, get a feel for whatever lure you are using, that will help. Get to know your terminal tackle. My baitcaster set up is a heavier rod and a tad less sensitive than my Spinner.

 

A few weeks ago I'm fishing with a buddy and I threw a last lazy cast before moving to a new spot, all the while talking to my buddy while just walking with the rod in my hand, lure still in the water.

 

My buddy says, you wanna watch your line? You got a fish on. I turned and set the hook... biggest bass of the day...

 

Pay attention... 😁

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Drag your jig across the bottom and try to feel different tap between rock, gravel, weed, mud. Pay attention to how sharp the tap feel while dragging , it should corporate with how fast you drag. Any sudden tap that a bite. This is the easiest bite to detect, there are more but it need experience in the water, mostly happen when you feel unusual while reeling or lifting the rod.

Another thing is try to have part of your hand at least on rod bank where you can feel any vibration from bite. If you can lay the line on your finger that the best way to feel it. Line is also important, big mono line, cast out far, you would feel less compare to braid or fluorocarbon or even copolymer. Make sure no slack on the line, you can feel more vibration when your rod is in lifting position.

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What Glenn is trying to do with a split rig is teach you how bass strike underwater where you can't see them. While I agree using a split shot rig is a good lession, bass rarely drop a weightless split shot worm because they don't detect any line resistance and continue eating and even swallowing the small soft plastic worm if the angler is inattentive. Good to learn the feel of a strike but questionable learning to detect a jig strike.

Now I will go out on a limb and state jig strikes can be the most difficult strike to detect, especially big bass with big mouths.

We have a 21 page thread on fishing a jig questions in the top of the Fishing Tackle forum, read every page.

Tom

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Sometimes the bass is just on there so pay attention to what Bluebasser posted . If the lure is dropping and you feel a light tap ,then you are lucky, so set the hook with authority . If you are lifting the lure and feel a tap then you might just be hitting a   limb or something , maybe a fish . Just keep at it .

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I was jig fishing Friday and I didn't feel any of the bites.  Every one that bit would bite it on fall, then swim straight towards the boat.  So basically if I started to reel and I felt no resistance at all, I know i had one on.  To me, this the worst kind of bite, because it takes longer to take in the slack because the fish is B-lining straight towards you.

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The best way for me to describe it when fishing a Texas rigged worm is. When you run into limbs, grass, rocks, stumps etc. They feel dead. Your running or pulling your lure into them. When you get a bite it is different. It's like living thing just struck, bumped, or hit your line.  You can feel this difference between live and dead. Bluegill will machine gun tap a worm. Bass hit it and it stays "heavy". Learn to feel the bait at the end of your line.

     Don't make bomb (long) casts when fishing Texas rigged worms or bottom bouncing baits. No need to. Shorter the line the better your "sense" of feel is. Ten to twenty yards is plenty far, Accuracy is way more important then distance.

     Yes, paying close visual attention is also paramount. Bait stops sinking/falling before hitting the bottom. Line starts moving sideways or jumps and starts to move. Or it just can feel different. Mushy like, no feel at all or gets heavy. Reel down and set that hook. Fishing a jig is no different. Get good with fishing a worm and the other baits and lures will come naturally. 

 

     I should have watched the video first....

FM

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8 minutes ago, Fishingmickey said:

Fishing a jig is no different. Get good with fishing a worm and the other baits and lures will come naturally. 

 

 

I agree.  It's probably easier to learn to detect bites with a tx rigged worm than a jig.  I find in general, a bass will hold onto a worm or other soft plastic much longer than a jig.  Gives you more time to detect the bite and set the hook.

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56 minutes ago, Fishingmickey said:

Bluegill will machine gun tap a worm. 

Tell me about it. They were attacking my senko like starving piranhas last week. And all I had to do was nothing they were swarming it from the second it hit the water until it was completely out of the water.

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There's a lot of good advice posted above, especially about dragging your lure over different surfaces and imprinting what you are feeling at that time. Here are a few of my thoughts on the subject:

 

1. Get yourself a float (bobber) and a nightcrawler and toss it out there. While it's out in the water, keep a little tension on the line and grasp the line between your thumb and forefinger. Watch the float for an indication that a fish is nibbling at or engulfing the bait. At the same time make a mental note of what both your line (held between your fingers) and what your rod feels like when the fish hits the bait.

 

2. In most, but definitely not all cases, if you feel something and the line is not running off when your lure hits some sort of structure (rocks, trees, or even weeds) the feedback you get from your line and rod will be more of a single thud whereas with a fish it will be more of a pulsed vibration. The vibration may be subtle or it may be the classic tap-tap.

 

3. Having your fingers contacting your line can be an important part of detecting a bite, especially if you're new to fishing. For example, when using a falling bait like a jig or a worm you can grab the line between your thumb and forefinger as it falls allowing you to feel the more subtle vibration of a fish grabbing the bait. If your fishing a bait like a jig along the bottom you can place your thumb lightly over the line on the spool while you work the bait or are letting the bait rest on the bottom.

 

Lastly, rod sensitivity is also a factor in detecting a bite as well as detecting different types of structure that your lure encounters. I fished an Ugly Stick for years and I loved it. I caught a lot of fish with it. But it wasn't until I upgraded my rod that I noticed how much I had been missing when it came to feedback from bites or structure.

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I bet you missed a lot!  Most fish will spit out a jig pretty quickly once they feel that it's not natural.  So learning when to set the hook (sooner the better) is imperative.

 

IMO, the biggest lesson in jig fishing is not "feeling" the bite... it's learning to fish (especially the drop) with a controlled taught line on the descent, NOT TIGHT, just without slack. Your follow through of a pitch/cast can be a nice high rod tip- let the rod follow the jig down controlling the line as you go (and peel if needed to keep up depending on depth; but if you peel remember to click before you set or it's over!)  When fishing the drop, often the bite will be a sudden stop in the drop or slack line when you know it's not to the bottom yest.  Learning to control the line will often allow you to feel the jig thump on the back of their throat, even when on the drop and the line not "tight."

 

A swimming pool or just some clear water is great to get the feel of it.  I used to sink lawn chairs in the pool to see how things felt and reacted to pulling vs hopping over obstacles.

 

I get about 75% of my jig fish on the initial drop and first hop.  After that it's more like worm fishing as far as the bite goes. 

 

This is one of those things that's harder to describe than to do!

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I'll add something that may help. Keep some tension on your line, even if it's only the tension of your jig falling as you follow it down with your rod tip. You can't feel a hit, pick-up, or a fish engulfing your presentation from behind if there is slack in your line.  When you can't keep tension on the line, watch where it enters the water, (it's always a good idea to do so, slack line or not) any movement, extra slack, or twitch that you don't impart with your rod has been initiated on the other end. Often times with a jig, your first indication is what's happening with your line, not something you've felt.

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Well, you already have gained half the battle when you figured out that the feedback you felt was not done by you and there it must be a fish. This is a critical and crucial skill to learn and acquire. Why? Because in situations when the line is not taut enough to feel the bite or pressure, you have to use other means like the logic you employed. 

 

Then you just build upon this and future catches of this type. 

 

I dont use jigs much because for some reason, many of the fish I catch want other presentations. I can say that my jig proficiency, lol as a result isn’t as up there as with other baits. 

 

Just a couple days ago, I tried the ned rig, which I had been meaning try so because I had a gut feeling this technique will suit my preferences and by golly, I need to get better with using jigs of any kind. 

 

On the first cast with the intent of catch a fish, I felt the jig hit the bottom. I hopped it was and noted the time it took to land (which wasn’t much time) and hopped it again. When the feedback of the lure hitting the ground didn’t come, I quickly reeled up the slack and set the hook. Lo and behold, fish on. BAM!! 

 

First time using a using a technique and getting the first hook up and landing in the first 15 seconds is fist pumping awesome. 

 

Papajoe is definitely right that it is ideal to keep tension on the line when possible. I subscribe wholeheartedly to that philosophy and I try to keep line tension. However, during the retrieve, there will be times when there will not be tension in the line. 

 

Just like in my case. I’m not telling you this to brag, but rather to share with you another example of an indirect method of fish detection, similar to that which you figured out on your own. I think you’re definitely on the right track. With each fish you catch, try to make mental notes on how each one felt, what you did and store it. As your memory/experience bank fills, your proficiency will increase and soon you’ll be the offering your advice to future newbies. 

 

-ib the nerdy bass angler, lol. 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/9/2018 at 12:24 AM, BubbaBassin’ said:

Just wondering how many bites I missed.

A lot like the rest of us. Some people think they don't miss any, but how can you ever know about a fish that you never felt. Underwater cameras have backed this up.

 

Now, what we can try to due is limit this. You've got some good advice so far. The line bumps and jumps are easy to detect, it's those little pressure bites when you go to move your lure and feel some pressure like you experienced. I posted about this a few weeks ago. I still struggle with these. The best advice I can add is if there is any doubt, reel up slack and set.

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One thing I do to feel more is to place my index finger on the rod blank above the reel seat while dragging a jig or worm.  Having just one digit on the blank rather than the reel seat makes a big difference in feeling more "ticks" on the line.

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On ‎7‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 1:27 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

Pay attention to what your bait feels like each time you lift your rod tip up and the line tightens. It takes time but you'll start to notice the difference between rocks, sticks, weeds, and fish if you pay close attention. When in doubt, set the hook. 

Bubba, how much does it cost to set the hook? As Bluebasser says, know how each of your baits feels and if it feels different, you set the hook.

 

It costs nothing to set the hook.

 

You may look like a fool if nothing is there (we all do) but there are times the bass will just pick up your bait and sit there with it in his mouth or swim away very slowly.

 

WHEN YOUR BAIT FEELS DIFFERENT YOU SET THE HOOK!

 

Words from Hank Parker.

 

And watch your line. If it starts to move right or left or away or towards you, the bass has it and is swimming away and  you...…..drop your rod tip, reel in the slack, and set the hook.

 

And keep a finger on the line at all times. If you fell the tap-tap it is a hit. From what, who knows? May be a bluegill, catfish, small bass or a 10 pound bass. Concentrate on what you feel with your finger on the line as it comes off the reel for both baitcasters and spinning setups. You feel that tap-tap you drop the rod - reel in the slack - and set the hook.

 

Now go out there and note how your bait feels when it is on the bottom or you are reeling it in and if it feels different, you...…..know what to do.

 

Good luck and have fun.

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I have too have issues with this... I've been getting into swim jigs and so far I don't think I've had a hit on them. I haven't yet figured out how to detect a bite on the fall, especially on spinning setups where the line is looping off the spool as it falls. How anyone could notice a bite when that's occurring is beyond me at this time lol. Same with it feeling heavy or different. I've set loads of times from the lure feeling a bit heavy or just different when I didn't think it was a snag, and it's mostly resulted in me losing the jig/lure due to a snag of some sort, or else just pulling up some weeds when I bring it in. So I really try to wait to feel if it's alive or not before I go to set. I suspect polarized lenses might help me somewhat to see things better but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

 

Concentrate on what you feel with your finger on the line as it comes off the reel for both baitcasters and spinning setups.

 

I do that on a baitcaster, how does one keep a finger on the line on a spinning setup? I can really only keep contact with it when it's coming around the bottom of the spool, otherwise it's way out of reach.

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A jig imitates a crawfish correct?

 

Yes I believes they do

 

A crawfish has a hard shell does it not?

 

Yes they in fact have a hard shell

 

Why would a bass spit what it perceives to be a crawfish because it feels something hard?

 

When the bass "crushes" the jig to kill it; it feels the hardness of a shell & the firmness of the trailer just like a crawfish.

 

While pre-fishing a tournament I've tried to shake fish off with a jig & they'll hold on all the way to the boat.

 

Don't be surprised when a 2 lb bass inhales your 1 oz jig without any tell-tale line movement & proceeds to sit there until you apply too much pressure at which time they spit it!

 

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I agree that jig strikes can be the hardest to detect- of all bass lures.I also think that bigger bass strike jigs more softly. Not every time of course, but overall. Got to be on your toes. 

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15 hours ago, FishDewd said:

 

 

I do that on a baitcaster, how does one keep a finger on the line on a spinning setup? I can really only keep contact with it when it's coming around the bottom of the spool, otherwise it's way out of reach.

I just keep my index finger on the blank on spinning reels. 

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Cracks me up when people say hook sets are free.  Many of them have cost me around 4 or 5 bucks.

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