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Shad_Master

Reaction bites

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Okay, here's a follow-up on my earlier post.  I know that Crank Baits, Spinners and to some extent buzz baits produce a reaction bite and I have noticed that I have a more difficult time getting the hook set in these situations.  Today I had what looked like a solid 2#er hit my crank bait but threw it before I could get 'er in. I fought her for about 5-10 seconds before she got off.  I have also had this problem at other times and with spinners (I know, use a trailer hook ::)), but I am wondering if there is something in the hookset itself that I am missing.  Advice???

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For spinnerbaits and buzzbaits or any single hook lure, you can cross their eyes when your rod loads up. For lures with treble hooks, I don't really set the hook, the hooks set themselves while you're reeling and the fish is fighting. "Setting the hook" often results in pulling them out of the fish's mouth.

I also suggest that you NEVER set the hook twice with any lure or bait. Use sharp hooks and the hooks will penetrate the fish, usually by themselves with treble hooks and cetainly on the initial set with a single hook. I've caught too many fish that are barely attached when I get them in. One more "set" and they would have been gone.

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Try and play the fish and dont horse it in, also loosen your drag a little bit, also keep the rod tip below you shoulders when fighting the fish, it keeps the fish from rising to the surface sometimes.

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Crankbaits are one of the easiest baits for bass to throw, especially when they jump. My advice is to do whatever it takes to keep that fish from jumping like sticking your rod tip down in the water to pull the fish down when it feels like he might jump.

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What bait are you using? What pound test line? What hooks are on your bait? What size hooks? What gear ratio is your reel? What kind of rod are you using? Stiff? med/heavy? fiberglass? Im6?Are the fish jumping and throwing your hook or are they just getting off without any reason? This is where you need to look to figure out why they are not staying on the hook. Round body baits that the hooks are still covered by the bait when they swing are easy to throw. Its hard to get a good hook into the fish with these baits. Short shank hooks have the same problem. If the fish swats at it you get a poor hook up the same with triple grip hooks But if the fish are grabbing the bait they work great. If you are getting a lot of bass swatting at the bait a round bend hook is better. If you jump to a larger size your hook ups go up even more. Line stretch is another factor. 10 LB test works great if you need depth on your bait but it stretches bad. Mainly on a long cast. Beef up you line if you can to 12 LB or 14 LB test. Gear ratio can cause you lost fish. With a low gear ratio it takes longer and more turns of your handle to take up slack. Where you loose them is when a bass makes a surge and you can't keep up. Kind of rod or what its made out of. Graphite rods are more sensitive than fiberglass. You feel the fish faster and you react faster. This don't give the bass enough time to take the bait deep. What happened is the bass gets hooked on the outside of the mouth. A lot of times they only get one hook of the treble hook. Hook set makes a difference because a lot of crankbaits have light wire hooks. You can set the hook and rip the hooks out or rip a big enough hole in the fish so that it frees up the bait. By sweeping the rod and keeping pressure on the fish and not trying to horse the fish to the boat is a better deal. Just the pressure of the line being tight will drive the hook home. When you get them out to the open water back off your drag or push the free spool and thumb the fish tired. Sometimes if I see that a fish is not hooked well as I fight the fish I try to stick it with more hooks. I just point my rod in a different direction than the fish is going while still giving the fish drag and it ends up driving more hooks in it.

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If your losing fish on crankbaits get new hooks. Get some gami's or another type of treble. If the hook is sharp you'll get the fish on a crankbait

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Whenever I see something like this I have one question: Have you checked to see if your hooks are sharp? With all the discussion on line, lures, etc. the sharpness of the hook rarely gets mentioned. I would be willing to bet the majority of people never check-they figure a hook right out of the box or hook right out of the package is sharp. BIG mistake. Sure, there are some that are extremely sharp. And some that aren't-ever checked the hooks on a Rat-L-Trap right out of the box?

Do yourself a favor: Next time you are in WalMart or BPS or wherever get yourself a hook sharpener. I use one of these:

hook%20sharpener.jpg

Less that $5 and well worth the investment. Check to see if the point will dig into your fingernail with just a small amount of pressure.  If not, it needs to be sharpened. You would be surprised at the number of name brand hooks that need to be sharpened right out of the box.

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Yeah always check your hooks for sharpness. But also make sure you use mono, a med or med light rod if using graphite, and let the fish hook itself. Also remember that you will lose more fish with a crankbait than any other bait in your tackle box. :-/

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Excellent point Rebbasser. Checking your hooks is a necessity, I sharpen my hooks before every tournament just to make sure, I guess that's one reason I don't think about it when guys start talking about losing fish. It is a habit you need to get into

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