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Short strike on bottom?


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Is that really a thing?  Other than on a bed, I mean.

  I get a lot of underwater footage in my various 'feeds', and I don't think I have ever watched video of a black bass just getting a taste of a craw, jig, worm, etc.  (Bed fish excepted) 

  I'll be first to admit that I have attributed missed hookups, missing craw claws and halved worms to 'short strikes' before.  But now that I think about it, I wonder if all truly short strikes on the bottom are ....probably something other than bass.  When bass decide to put something in their mouth, they don't seem to go half way

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I experience this with wacky/neko or a ned rig on occasion.  I am almost 100% positive its panfish (primarily sunfish) pecking at the plastic.  It feels more like a "tick tick tick" rather than the traditional bass bite.

 

I'm sure smaller bass could have a similar feeling.  A 10 inch dink doesn't have a very big mouth.

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Like Gim - sunfish and crappie are also attracted to Neds/Neko...one time out I pulled in as many bluegill as bass using a Ned.

 

Panfish are a 'Tick-Tick-Tick' as he says

Dinks (under 14") are more of a 'Tap-Tap'

Larger bass are a 'Thump'

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What is the overall definition of a short strike?  For me, I picture it as the bass taking the lure in a way that misses the hook. For example, a bass sucks in the non hook side of a senko and does not inhale 100%. They either spit it out after holding it a bit or I set the hook and yank it out of their mouths. I suppose this can happen anywhere in the water column. 
 

Or they attack a lure with no intent to actually engulf the bait. I’ve seen this with lure and bass in view but I suppose it could also happen on the bottom. 
 

I concur with @gimruis on the machine gun take of a lure. 

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Bass aren’t perfect predators. So many variables at play that could make for a missed or partial strike. A certain percentage of strikes will fail. A bait is usually a moving target - often randomly. Sometimes it moves right as they get ready to strike. Add in visual hindrances, cover, retrieve speed, fish disposition, and on and on. Missed or partial strikes usually aren’t intentional, but they happen.

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@islandbass, good question.   It was clear in my mind, lol.  Maybe a better question is, does a black bass ever pick up a just part of a bottom lure with its mouth?  That is, not inhaling entire thing? (Or at least trying to...maybe in the case of a small fish that physically cannot get it all in.)  

 

   I understand other kinds of misses on jerkbaits, buzzbaits, frogs, spinnerbaits, glides, etc - where a bass just misses, or hits without trying to eat.  I just am less certain than I once was, that it happens on the bottom

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24 minutes ago, MN Fisher said:

one time out I pulled in as many bluegill as bass using a Ned.

 

Interesting that you were actually able to catch them.  99% of the panfish that are pecking mine aren't caught because their mouths are just too small to get the hook portion.

 

I think its a good sign that panfish are pecking the presentation because bass eat panfish (especially sunfish) as a regular part of their diet.  If there's sunfish around, there's likely some bass around too.

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1 minute ago, gimruis said:

Interesting that you were actually able to catch them.  99% of the panfish that are pecking mine aren't caught because their mouths are just too small to get the hook portion.

I was going light and small that day - 1/16oz with a #1 hook...and the crappie and bluegill were 'keeper' size - 9"+

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I see, so you were actually targeting the panfish.  I thought you were referring to when you were bass fishing with plastics in above post.  That makes much more sense.

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I think with longer worms they can just grab the tail at times, swim off with it, and then inhale the rest.  I've seen video of them doing that.  On the other hand, I've seen video of them inhaling a 12" worm on one hit.

 

My default is a 4" beaver and with a flipping hook the hook point is 3/4 the way back so if they hit it at all they are caught.  That's one thing I really like about throwing a beaver type bait.

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1 hour ago, Choporoz said:

I get a lot of underwater footage in my various 'feeds', and I don't think I have ever watched video of a black bass just getting a taste of a craw, jig, worm, etc.

There are several examples in this video of bass doing just that.  The bite at 5:30 in the video is a good example.  I think it happens all the time. 

 

 

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@Choporoz I thought it was too, until my mind started contemplating before I hit reply. Took the next few minutes to ponder 🤔 lol.

 

I don’t know what the heck made me do that, and winter is already over and such thoughts should be illegal 😂

 

To paraphrase an adage, “Fish first… Think later.”

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I see bass gumming the bait plenty.  Fishing pressure definitely does it to em.

 

Heck in the small ponds I fish they won't even open their mouth on topwater til they bump into it once or twice to see if it feels alive or chew toy-like.

 

Bass are inquisitive and cautious when they need to be.

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A lot of rapid bites or rapid bites as its moving away to me always point to blue gill or perch. When I say rapid I mean like automatic fire bites. 1-2 slower thumps is more likely a bass.

 

I wouldnt call it short striking but when I fished a rubber worm almost exclusively we would get some bass that would grab the tail and fall just short of sucking in the hook until they start swimming away with it for a minute then inhale it. We always used to let them swim with it for 2-3 seconds before setting the hook for this reason and our success rate went way up. You do run the risk of hooking in the throat though if the fish is aggressive enough on the first strike. I still do this practice with rubber worms, but not creature baits or jigs. 

 

With creature baits that are shorter and fatter I've not noticed them do the above as much and they either take it and spit it instantly or take it and go.

 

I dont have enough experience with jigs to comment but I'd imagine they are similar to creature baits since the profile/length is similar. 

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Just to set the background:

I fish 2 or 3 times a week - I fish extremely clear water most of the time - I can see about 50% of the bass strike.  I don't fish bedding fish because the season is closed so this is during July, August and September.

My conclusions:

Smallmouth don't strike the same way as largemouth.

Fish that are alone don't strike the same way as fish that are with  others.

 Fishermen don't feel more than 50% of the strikes when fish are alone, especially     largemouth because the fish don't move.  

 

Smallmouth double strike a lot.  They will take the bait into their mouth, spit it out, then grab it again.  Largemouth not so much.

 

When fish are in a group they will grab and run making for a harder strike.

 

It's very difficult to feel the strike when a bass comes out of the grass, engulfs your jig and does not move.  I've struck on fish like that when they were slightly opening their mouth to push the lure further into their gullet only to see the jig come out having felt just a tick.

 

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When this happens with worms I will open up the barb end a little bit, then Texas rig.  If that doesn’t work I will let them take it a little longer before setting the hook.  Sometimes it will be small exotics picking at the tail rather than inhaling the bait.  Lastly I may go to a smaller bait like a zoom centipede.  Good luck !

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I have seen underwater footage from TacticalBassin of this exact thing, where a bass nips at the end of a jig but not enough to hook it.

 

As others have said, if it's a bunch of rapid short strikes, it's some smaller fish like bluegill. If you throw your jig into the middle of a school of bluegill, it's actually quite entertaining. They will circle it and then nip at it like a school of piranhas.

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Greetings All,

Interesting comments! Keep them going.

I'll toss in $0.02 worth (I hope). Over the years of angling adventures I've found more success when using baits from 1- 3 inches in overall length. I'm just a recreational angler and pretty much always using Ultra Lite gear. That size of bait package presents something that fits easily in most fish mouths where there is access to the hook point. It is just a higher percentage of having the hook contacting something fishy.

 

I realized one time when angling where there was actually clear water to see the strike that I was the one ripping the baits. A fish would grab the larger bait but not have the hook point presented. I would feel the activity and haul back with tension. Well that soft plastic is not going to withstand that level of tension, so it rips. That reasoning led me to simply using bait presentations that are 4 inches or smaller. Since that epiphany I started paying more attention to the overall bait size.

 

One summer I did tests at the regional waters where I would use a 3 inch Yum dinger and a 4 inch Yum dinger on the two fishing rigs. I caught fish using both configured weedless. I did catch more and larger fish on the 3 inch.

 

The other benefit realized is the 3 inch did not get mangled as much as the 4 inch. Of course it could also be attributed the 3 inch Yum dingers are smaller in diameter too. Hey, just all observations. Your mileage may vary...

Yes, most all the baits I use are in the 2 - 3 inch overall size just to make sure that hook point is presented in a higher probability of connecting. Keep taunting those fish! Be well, and cheers!

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On 6/11/2024 at 3:20 AM, Pat Brown said:

I see bass gumming the bait plenty.  Fishing pressure definitely does it to em.

 

Heck in the small ponds I fish they won't even open their mouth on topwater til they bump into it once or twice to see if it feels alive or chew toy-like.

 

Bass are inquisitive and cautious when they need to be.

Yeah, I think fishing pressure has a lot to do with it.  I definitely notice it more on some lakes than others.  I also notice it more on certain days than others. 

 

I've also experienced where the bass will bite off the claws of a craw before trying to swallow it whole.  You'll feel something that feels like a bite, try to set the hook, and nothing.  Reel it in, and your craw is missing a claw.  Throw it back out with the missing claw, and this time you set the hook and reel in the bass.  Some days when this happens to me, I'll cut off the claws or switch to a ned rig. 

 

Bass are stupid.  But they're not incapable of learning things.  

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On 6/10/2024 at 12:48 PM, LrgmouthShad said:

While jig fishing I am positive I have felt bass swallow my jig and then reject it before I set hook. Multiple times

Yup !!!!!

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