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Guest Swampthing

Missing strikes

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Guest Swampthing

I don't know what it is I'm doing wrong, but some nights, I just seem to be missing strikes.  I am using a 5" senko with a 4/0 wide rigged weedless and without a weight.  I am fishing from sundown to about midnight.  I would cast into a good spot, I would get a tap on the line, sometimes, a few taps, but when I drop the rod to check for some resistance, I come up empty.  Should I be setting  the hook as soon as I feel the tap?  Unfortunately, because I am fishing at night, I don't have the benefit of watching the line for a pickup.  It almost seems like they bass are hitting the worm but not taking it.  Is it my technique, or does it sound like I should try a different size/rig?  Thanks for any help. :)

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You missed a fish?  ??? Man, you stink! I never lose fish. well, almost never...  sometimes... every once in a while...  alot.  :'(

Actually, all I can say is a 4/0 hook is too big for me. A bigger hook should help get better hooksets, but I only use 2/0's with senkos and I do just fine. I don't want to kill the action. (you just have to make sure the hook tip is right against the back of the worm and doesn't have to go through too much plastic to make a solid hookset) - which may be your problem with the 4/0's .  ???

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Should I be setting  the hook as soon as I feel the tap?  
Not if there's still slack in your line.

When you feel a bump, you're supposed to reel up the slack while getting the rod into position to set it. Once the line is gently tight, you feel for the fish. Then with the rod in position and the line tight and you feel that fish move, you set the hook!

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When you feel the tap set the hook.  Sometimes your bait will fly past your ear.  But that's better than missing one.  

Check out these three videos to note how the fish suck in the bait, etc:  Bigmouth; Bigmouth Forever; and Feeding Habits of Bass. To order write or call Wet & Wildlife Images, P.O. Box 480, Silver Springs, Florida 34489; 800/661-4286.

Uncle Homer Circle introduced me to the Bigmouth video and I got the other two after I saw Bigmouth.  Very interesting footage.

Happy fishing!

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You may be feeling the tap of a panfish,but still set the hook or just pull back real lite and if you feel a pull,stick her.

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I agree with Gobbledog about the hookset and also about the hook size.  I think a 4/0 is to big for a 5" Senko.  Usually when I feel a tap tap it's a usually a very small fish and that's why you can't set the hook, he probably just has a small piece of it.  Most bass of any size seem to just inhale it.  When I feel a little tap tap it's usually crap crap!

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I don't fish 5" Senkos anymore, but when I did I used 4/0 & 5/0 Gamakatsu Offset Round Bend hooks instead of EWG. Maybe 3/0 EWG would be a better choice.

The real question is, "What's going on here?" Well, you are being bit by bluegill or little bitty bass. Bass that are or think they are big enough to eat a 5" Senko like the feel and taste and won't let it go as you describe. So, don't worry about it, you are not really missing much of a fish.

One more suggestion, if you want to catch bigger fish: Try the 6" Senko. Even though it's only an inch longer, it is considerably larger.

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Hey Swampthing,

I'll probably repeat some of the postings.  Size 4 is a little big for the Senko, try a 2.  Senkos are dense enough that they are very castible weightless.  I get a lot of nibbles by smaller fish when I'm fishing a senko or trick worm. Because I got tired of setting my hook into logs and stumps from nibblers, I adjusted to only setting the hook when I could feel the weight of the fish on my line.

Happy Fishing

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Sounds like panfish to me.  They like to grab the tail and trying to swim off with it.

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I use a 4/0 EWG hook with a 5" Senko and feel very comfortable with that combination. I'll join the chorus of those who suggest that you might be feeling panfish with those taps.

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Guest Swampthing

Wow! :o Thanks for all the input guys. I think you guys are right about the panfish and/or small bass. I tried a different place tonight using the exact same setup and did well. I missed a few, but landed some good size bass. I guess I just went into a panic a little because I had had that problem a few nights in a row. I had to take a break from fishing for the last couple of years because a member of my family had fallen ill (spare time completely dissappeared) and just started fishing again earlier this year. I was a bit worried that I had lost my touch with fishing a worm. :) I think the hook that I was referring to in my original post is actually a katsu round bend/offset 4/0. But, I think that I will go ahead and try a smaller hook just to see if I can do a little better. I bought some 6" senkos and some 4" ones, but haven't tried any of the 6" yet. Thanks again for all the help. :D

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I agree w/ Roadwarrior.It sounds a lot like a bream or possibly a small bass.Maybe you should change lto a lure that a bream couldn't mess with as easily.I miss bites on plastics,but after 2 or 3 in a pretty short span you chalk it up to a bream.

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