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So, I think I will have to preface this by saying that of course it's impossible to tell exactly the size of a fish when it's on the water and you haven't seen it and of course they're all individuals and may not all do the exact same things. But what have been some of the things that you noticed in common in the big fish that you did catch from the time you set the hook to when you got them in? Did they run to deep water immediately? Head for cover? Or did they all do something different? Don't read that literally because I can't name everything a fish might do. I'm just trying to flesh out the topic. Maybe there's nothing at all. 

 

I've caught some pretty good fish this year, already and it SEEMS like there were some commonalities in them and what they did once I had them on. I know this might be way too general and impossible but it just made me wonder what everyone else might have to say about their bigger catches. 

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In my experience bigger fish always seem to try to go deep when you try to bring them up to the boat. I don't notice a whole lot of difference from the time I hook up till I get closer to the boat, but when you get pretty close is when they seem to hit the turbo button.

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14 minutes ago, jbsoonerfan said:

In my experience bigger fish always seem to try to go deep when you try to bring them up to the boat. I don't notice a whole lot of difference from the time I hook up till I get closer to the boat, but when you get pretty close is when they seem to hit the turbo button.

 

Ditto

 

I also remember that after hooking my last 2 PB fish I noticed an immediate and hard head shake, and when they got within 5 ft of the boat they headed straight down. 

 

Whereas the head shake on the smaller ones say 4 lbs and down wasn't as pronounced and they rarely went straight down within eye sight of the boat. 

 

 

 

Mike

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In my limited experience the only two "bigger" bass I've (almost) landed seemed to quickly head down to cover, whereas the smaller smallies were more inclined to come to the surface, jump and shake free. Some of them rather successfully.

 

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They hit hard enough to bend the rod in half. They didn’t require any hookset. The headshakes get stronger when you put more pressure on them.

 

I hope that doesn’t mean I just missed all of the other big ones that didn’t hit so hard and hook themselves.

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I haven't caught huge fish by any southern guy's standards, but the bigger bass that I have caught I will agree that it was the head shake that gave them away.  

 

My outing before last I was slow rolling a @Siebert Outdoors Fogy (bladed jig) in less then 4ft of water along the trunk of a laydown.  I felt a fish suck it in and then I got two massive headshakes and my M/H rod bent almost in half.  I had a Mike Iaconelli moment and I actually yelled "It's huge!!!!".  And 1.6 seconds later I said out loud, "It's not a bass".  I could tell from the "dead weight" pull instead of the "springy pull" that it was a catfish or drum.  Sure enough it was 10+ pounds of whiskered river pig.  I dislike catfish almost as much as I dislike Iaconelli.  

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Down deep, strip drag, and making constant runs until played out. 

 

Never had much headshake imo

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Depends on the body of water, bass in shallow water marshes (2' deep) can do nothing but run & head for cover while bass in deep water lakes can run, dive & head for cover.

 

I have noticed that big bass caught near the bottom in 15-30' do not like coming up to the surface!

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Big bass strikes on jigs and worms are usually missed IMO because they are difficult to detect, usually a nothing feel. The reason for this is big bass over 7 lbs have a big mouth and they engulf underwater lures with ease. Faster moving lures or big swimbaits the strike simply stops the lure from moving. The bath tub size explosion only occurs with top water lures.

What happens after the set isn't predictable, every fish acts differently. Some take off and jump, some act confused a few moments, some run straight at you and others run into cover, run away from you or dive deeper, all pull hard because they are big fish and no mistaking what you hooked.

Tom

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The biggest bass I have caught act much like everyone has described.  One thing i have also noticed is on the hooks they don't really move much, it feels like you are snagged but then they pull back.  

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Most of the big bass I catch make long, strong runs (compared to normal sized bass) with a couple jumps to shake off the hook. I catch most of the big bass that bite but there are always a couple smart ones that shake off the hook like a tarpon does.

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A lot of my big bass are caught shallow. They can't dive much but they do swim very fast, a lot of the time straight towards the boat and try to dive under the boat. They try for any obstacles and seem to know where everything they can hide in is at. 

 

The big fish I've caught deep seem to like to stay deep and can be long, drawn out fights. The shallow water fish are shorter but much more intense fights. 

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Bigger the bass, less ‘bite’ I feel. They don’t nibble. They take the whole thing. Also noticed the bigger ones 6+ have turned to the side when we’re about to grab/net them at the boat. Can’t say why. In my dumb mind I’m thinking they are attempting to show how big they are in a last ditch effort of survival. 

Lastly, I miss more smaller fish on top water than bigger ones. Seems to me the big girls don’t miss when it’s go time.

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I'll present the flip side of this: the second biggest bass I have caught was a 6lb15oz log

I hooked it and my partner asked if I needed the net.

I said no I'm just hung on a log.

As I cranked her in she even came up sideways like a stick or log will do.

As soon as I saw it was a fish I steered her towards the boat and flipped her in.

Even in the boat there was not much movement as we measured and weighed her.

 

I set her in the water and she just swam off like she had done this before.

Maybe she was raised by walleyes?

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Generally, when fishing with jigs/plastics (bottom contact), if I set the hook and I don't feel that I pulled the fish up and my rod stays bent in half rather than releasing up some after that initial hookset, I know it's a good one. 

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Love it when I set hook & they set hook back 😉

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Some of what happens seems to depend on what gear I'm using at the time.  And it does seem the harder I pull the harder many bigger fish will resist my efforts.  When pinned to a plus size bass with somewhat undersized gear, I almost always more successful if I can coax her to the net rather than trying to force her.  Like a puppy on a long leash.  Either way, I am always amazed just how big a bass can get most all of itself up & mostly if not totally, out of the water.  That goes for both green and brown bass and warmer water helps their cause quite a bit.

:smiley:

A-Jay 

 

 

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I know anglers who haven't had the experience of catching truly big healthy* bass tend to think they are fat lazy fish, nothing could be further from the truth. Big bass often get away because anglers make mistakes underestimating the speed and power these fish can generate around the boat when still full of fight.

A-Jay mentioned their jumping ability and here agian most anglers think these big fat bass can only head shake on the surface, not true it depends on the bass. My 18.6 lb bass cleared the water by it's body length right after the hook set, strong fast fish!

*post spawn females don't fight hard they are worn out spawning.

Tom

 

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45 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

the harder I pull the harder many bigger fish will resist my efforts.

A-Jay 

With very few exceptions, if you stop pulling, fish stop pulling. Not only that, but they will almost always pull 180º from where you are pulling, which helps to steer fish around. 

And I have to disagree with the opinion on most here. While bigger fish do pull harder than smaller fish (the whole physics thing) The hardest pulling fish are often those mid sized fish, specially large males in the spring. I've caught 5-7 lb fish that pulled much harder than many of the biggest bass I've caught, and unless I'm fishing light line and/or light wire hooks, even the biggest bass aren't going to pull much more than a few feet of drag.

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3 hours ago, Catt said:

Love it when I set hook & they set hook back 😉

Man I love it when that happens, throw in a few head shakes and you know its usually a good one😁

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20 hours ago, jbsoonerfan said:

In my experience bigger fish always seem to try to go deep when you try to bring them up to the boat. I don't notice a whole lot of difference from the time I hook up till I get closer to the boat, but when you get pretty close is when they seem to hit the turbo button.

 

 

 Every big bass I’ve hooked, say 4lbs+ (Big for WV) wants to go straight to the bottom 

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The big brown bass I hook into most often are in shallow rivers. They often have no place to go but up.

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2 hours ago, NittyGrittyBoy said:

River Bass fight harder than lake Bass 😎

While I personally dislike river fishing, I will agree to this statement. 

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The hawgs I've caught tend to try to swim out to deeper water, if they can't swim away they'll try to get into the nearest cover. The little ones run, jump, and shake.

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