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Help to Understand Why I Lost A-rig Bass at Boat

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Hello, I'm hoping to get some insight into why I lost a bass right at the boat on an A-rig. This is likely rookie mistake(s) on my part; hopefully some insight can be gleaned by watching the clip. 

 

I don't particularly think equipment played a major role but this is it:

-BPS PQ2 7' MH/F

-30lb power pro to 15lb maxima ultragreen mono leader (4-5 ft)

-yumbrella flash mob jr

-VMC 1/8oz Boxer jigs (all three; two dummy baits). I believe these are 3/O hooks??

 

Fishing from a boat (this pond prowler anyway) is new to me this year, as is the a-rig. I landed a smaller Spotted bass a few casts prior. I've had trouble in the past with treble hooked fish but my landing ratio on single hooks is typically pretty high. Even though I could tell this fish was bigger when it hit I was feeling pretty confident I would land her. 

 

I definitely understand every fish can't be landed but I'd appreciate any feedback about anything you see. Hookset? Rod angle? Looking for any critique to help landing rate going forward. Thank you.

 

 

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I probably would have kept the rod down but otherwise I don't see anything wrong with it.

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I'd be using a Heavy Power rod for an A-Rig, heavier braid, heavier mono or fluoro, but what I notice most is that you didn't set the hook. You just kind of leaned/reeled into the fish.

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Keep winding them in and boat flip it. Letting a fish wallow on the surface is frequently fatal. I'd keep my hand on the reel too and keep the handle turning unless the fish is pulling hard away from you.

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It looks like the bass strike was close to the boat and jumped off quickly before you had a chance to get a good sweep set. The bass may have grabbed a decoy swimmer instead of a jig hook?

Tom

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No way to be definitive, but a more robust hookset may have helped. Of course it's possible the fish was skin hooked lightly, and the head shaking surface breaking thing will often bite you. The last thing I see as bad form which may or may not have contributed to the fish getting away is the fact that as you reeled the fish to straight up and down, you then pulled it out of the water with a high stick (after hesitating on what to do) instead of leading it sideways. But hey some fish are always going to get away, and others are never going to get away. Oh and not related to loosing the fish, but the casting grip changing opposite hand bail closing :) thing is not efficient. Sorry, I coach tennis and cycling, and tell it Jack Webb style. Hope that helps. 

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18 minutes ago, BassWhole! said:

No way to be definitive, but a more robust hookset may have helped. Of course it's possible the fish was skin hooked lightly, and the head shaking surface breaking thing will often bite you. The last thing I see as bad form which may or may not have contributed to the fish getting away is the fact that as you reeled the fish to straight up and down, you then pulled it out of the water with a high stick (after hesitating on what to do) instead of leading it sideways. But hey some fish are always going to get away, and others are never going to get away. Oh and not related to loosing the fish, but the casting grip changing opposite hand bail closing :) thing is not efficient. Sorry, I coach tennis and cycling, and tell it Jack Webb style. Hope that helps. 

All very helpful thank you. You're right, I did hesitate I wasn't quite sure how to best "bring her in". I was trying to avoid a surface break. She was staying down and kind of surged up last minute on me. When I felt her surging up my heart stopped. What happened was exactly what I was afraid of. 

 

The hookset also bothers me. These jig hooks are pretty stout. Here is a pic of the smaller spot from a couple casts prior. This doesn't look like a real good hookset either. 

 

Screenshot_20190420-141605_Gallery.thumb.jpg.65f8ee8d7b4a266f42acf536f57a485b.jpg

 

This reservoir actually doesn't have a large population of LMBs at all. It's mostly Spots and Smallmouths (and a wiper here and there). Do I need this thick a jig hook for this rig in this fishery? Can anyone recommend a good jig hook option for this kind of fishery?

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Those hooks aren't overly thick. I wouldn't want anything smaller for an A-rig.

 

A couple things that kind of bother me;

 

1. why run a leader to your braid? To make it easier to break off if you snag? They're eating a rig with wires, snaps, swivels, stuff sticking out everywhere, running a leader is really unnecessary imo if you're doing it for visibility reasons. I'd highly suggest going to straight 20lb mono unless you're dealing with really heavy cover, then go to 50 or 65 pound straight braid. Plus you'll have no leader knot to potentially fail that way.  

 

2. Keep the fish's head down. That's a lot of weight (and a lot of leverage), if you allow the fish to get it's head above the water. With not getting a great hookset, although I think you got a good enough hookset on short line, the hook might not have even been driven into the barb making it even easier to toss. 

 

3. You barely used the reel at all during the fight and applied very minimal pressure to the fish. Heavy baits that they can get a lot of leverage with a good baits to guide the fish around the boat and maintain pressure with. Reel until you have a couple feet of line out and just lead the fish around the boat with your rod tip near the surface of the water, ready to push the rod under the water if the fish tries to jump. 

 

Just being very nitpicky. You were close to landing that fish and with time more of those type surprises will make it into the boat. 

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Slow the video down to .25 speed and you can see much clearer. No hookset, then you let the line get slack right near the boat right when she whips her head 90 degrees. When you hold the rig up to the camera, it's hard to tell which bait she bit. It should be obvious.

 

Thanks for not adding loud music to the video! 😆

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Two big things I see are the hookset was kind of weak and you kept the rod high and kind of lifted the fish rather than keeping it low near the water and keeping good tension by reeling constantly. You want to give it a good quick sweep to the side when a fish hits it to load up the whole rod and make sure the backbone of the rod is driving those hooks home. Then when you have the fish on immediately drop the rod tip to surface level of the water and reel as much as necessary to keep up with the fish. If you see them coming up to jump like that especially you need to be grinding on them to keep them down and keep your rod loaded up. 

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You can't keep bass from jumping. You can keep them under control but difficult sitting in a small pond prowler. The tackle isn't ideal for the flash mob Jr. A-rig, lots of blades and rigs to move fast enough to to get a good solid hook set.

Don't over react to loosing 1 bass.

Tom

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