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DCinMD

1st post here, wish it was on a happier note

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Hey everybody!! Found this place a few weeks ago and got hooked. I have learned more here in a month about fishing than i had in my lifetime. Kudos to all y'all that make this site so great. I'm a 28 year old virtual newbie to bass fishing located right outside of Ocean City, Maryland. I have a few small ponds within a couple miles from my home and a few more good ones within a half hour drive. I have been catching 1.5lb to 2.5lbers steady with my best being about 3lbs. My giirlfriend who had never caught a fish in her life landed a 3.75 to 4lber her first night out with me.

Now heres my problem, I have gut hooked three out of my last four fish and not been able to get the hook out. I mean darn near the whole hook is buried down in the gullet. No matter how I twist and push or pull the hook it won't budge. The first two were gamakatsu finesse w.g weedless size 2's . The last was on a gamakatsu offset shank worm ewg size 2/0. I have been using senko's wacky style and t-rigged. I have two different types of forceps/pliers that were working great for hook removal until the last couple of days. All of these bass were caught right before dark. After trying to free the hook for about five to seven minutes I give up and cut my line giving the bass a leader hanging out their mouth. It has ruined my two last outings as I don't want to kill the fish. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.....

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I guess my advise would be to set the hook as soon as you think you got a hit.  Don't let the fish start swimming with the bait before you set the hook.  Remember "hook sets are free".

As for getting the hook after they are gut hooked, I hate trying to perform open stomach surgery so I usually just cut the line as far down as I can and let the fish go.  Less hassle for me and less torture for the fish.  But in all honesty, manage your line and set the hook asap after a hit and you shouldn't have to deal with the swallowed hook too much, or atleast I don't.

Welcome to the forum 8-)

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This happens when I am still letting the senko fall to the botom.  I usually cast, count to ten real slow and then start to take the slack out of my line.  Alot of the time when I first start reeling in I have already caught one without feeling anything.   I thought that the senko's sank real slow and the whole idea is to fish them slow.  Is my technique wrong?

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DC,

This is key. 90% of your strikes will come from the initial fall(quote from Ike). You have to let your senko fall on "semi slack line" and be a line watcher. Watch your line for a twitch or jump or sideways movement, or if your bait is 5 ft of water and it stops falling after 2ft. When you feel or see that, reel down  feel for the fish and then set the hook. It sounds like you are letting your bait fall on too slack of line if you can't see or feel that. If all else fails put the line in your fingers during the fall. That may help you feel those bites. If it is getting dark you will need to do that.

Good luck

PS my heart jumps when I see the line jump ;D

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Try a 2/0 circle hook.  They are designed to come out of the gut and get lodged in the hinge of the mouth.  This will resolve many of your gut hooks.

There is a trick with using a circle hook however.  You do not "set" the hook with a swing of the rod like usual.  Instead, you just raise the rod applying even pressure and the fish sets the hook for you.

Go look in "tackle",..there is a tread about it.  I thinkit says,.."what is an octopus hook"

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There was some talk about this about a year ago.  Someone had an ingenius way to remove the gut hooked bass.  I tried to search for it and couldn't find anything.  Anybody have any ideas??

It's in the FAQ's.

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As noted, a circle hook will reduce some of that. However, if the fish are in feeding mode you are not going to stop gut hooking from happening. Learn to remove the hook out through the gill and you won't damage the fish.

http://www.in-fisherman.com/magazine/articles/if2806_HookRemoval/index.html

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If you are waiting till a 10 count to take up the slack that is the problem IMO. Most of my hits fishing that way take place in less than 2 seconds after splashdown!

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George Welcome strikes again.

The procedure George posted is not as easy as it looks, or at least not initially. Stick with it and it will become second nature. This technique works most of the time for all fish, but I have found it to be 100% effective for big fish where you have a little more room to work.

I'm a guy with ten thumbs, I get five gold stars for replacing a light bulb around my house.

Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it.

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The key to through the gill hook removal is controlling the shank of the hook. The shank must lay parallel to the point at all times during the removal. It is no different than removing a hook using line from a person. Shank control is the secret. The other of course is to not have the hook twisted, which means depending on location removal will be one side of the fish or the other.

If done correctly in human or fish the hook will come out effortlessly.

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Your probably waiting to long. I haven't hooked a bass like that in five or six years. I do occasionally hook them in the gills. After being hooked either way, if the fish is bleeding excessively, and doesn't swim away strong, I usually put the fish in ice and fillet them when I get home. I never keep bass but there is no sense in leaving the fish dead and for the turtles to eat it.

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If you don't have problems fighting and landing the fish, you can mash down the barb with pliers.  This helps.  I recently tried removing a deep hook through the last gill plate and it worked surprisingly well.  Just have to keep your hands from shaking for fear of injuring the fish.

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I use a method very simolar to what was shown on the InFisherman page, insted of going through the gill with my fingers I use a long nose plyers. grip the shank of the hook just before the bend, have the point lined up with the shank, and the eye so it can go out the gill, twist the plyers so that the point rotates on an arc back out the way it went in. The eye and shank will go between the gill plates and the point will easely come out without tearing up the fishes gutt. Once the point is free, release the shank, remove the plyers from the gill and go through the mouth to remove the free hook.

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Just watch the line.  A lot of times, after the first fall, I'll have a fish on and not know it, so, I set the hook if I see even the slightest bit of motion.

By the way, welcome aboard.  ;)

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I guess my advise would be to set the hook as soon as you think you got a hit. Don't let the fish start swimming with the bait before you set the hook. Remember "hook sets are free".

As for getting the hook after they are gut hooked, I hate trying to perform open stomach surgery so I usually just cut the line as far down as I can and let the fish go. Less hassle for me and less torture for the fish. But in all honesty, manage your line and set the hook asap after a hit and you shouldn't have to deal with the swallowed hook too much, or atleast I don't.

Welcome to the forum 8-)

Why do people comtinously say "set the hook as soon as the fish bites?" This has not worked once in my entire life. If I set the hook the instant I feel the strike I will miss every time. I always let the fish swim a little before setting the hook and have never gut hooked one. Maybe I just have ultra fast reflexes and detect strikes sooner than anyone else, so when I set the hook I miss, but when people who don't detect the strike at once set the hook, the fish has had it a little while and they always get hooked. Who knows.

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As noted, a circle hook will reduce some of that. However, if the fish are in feeding mode you are not going to stop gut hooking from happening. Learn to remove the hook out through the gill and you won't damage the fish.

http://www.in-fisherman.com/magazine/articles/if2806_HookRemoval/index.html

Duh!! ::) Thanks for the link George Welcome. After reading that article I found the solution to be ridiculously obvious. I don't know why I never thought of it. Sometimes the simple, easy solutions are overlooked because we are seeking a more difficult one.

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It will take you time to learn when to set the hook. Pink has it down packed for his own reflexes.

This is something you will have to learn from all the info you are fed.

And yes, you will gut hook fish in the process.

It will subside.

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I just bend the barb down on the hook and it slips out with less damage to the fish and I seldom lose a fish because of the barb being bent down. Just keep some pressure on the fish at all times.

There is really no way to know from one bass to the next how they will eat the bait, but in time you will get better at it.

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I agree with captgene.

Mash the barbs down if you're not keeping the fish on lures with treble hooks.

I have lost bass on barbed hooks as well as unbarbed hooks so I am not sure if mashing the barbs down has lost me any more fish than with the barbed hooks.

I am going to have to try the circle hooks for my rigged lures.

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Until recently I would just clip the line as close to the hook as possible and let the fish swim away if they were not bleeding. My fishing partner told me it is better to actually cut the hook as close to the gullet as possible becuase fish can rust out a hook in 2 days with no ill effects. I now carry side cutters in my bag for just such a situation, only once this year thank goodness. I had not heard of this before. Can anyone cast some light on if this is true or not? I truely hate when a fish is gut hooked but luckily it only happens few times a year. ;)I'm like some of the other guys. I do a lot of swingin' and missin'. ;D

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I have heard the same thing from many people.  Hook will rust away in 2-3 days max.  I also try to cut the shank of the hook close as possible when no other option is available.  I wish the general public could see the concern that the anglers on this board have for the welfare of the fish they catch.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Baits differ much in size and hook arrangement, and bass eat them as differently. Small baits can be inhaled without the fish moving toward it while other bites are a chase-down all out killing attack. Rather than tell you to speed up or slow down focus on a lure at a time. Set the hook on a specific count each strike, like "1-2-3". But why not "1-2"? Well, you try different delays, from 0-5 seconds or even more. If counting off one second fails to hook them add a second. If adding 2 more gets a gut hook, cut back a second and refine that for the perfect hooking.  Sometimes a bass has to be given a chance to turn the bait just like it would turn a live bream so the fins don't go down wrong. The object to to learn when the bait needs to be stopped from going down. A jig probably requires a 0.5 delay, while a magnum Spook needs to be taken under completely and line loaded up before setting, and a 16" snake worm might take 5 seconds for the bass to inhale it, crush it, then decide to move away loading the line up. If you set too soon you take it away from the bass, and too late it's swallowed. 16" of worm takes time to swallow.

But, gut hooks look a lot worse than they usually are. If you can't unhook the bait, try cliping the hooks off. If you must leave it all there, clip as much line off as you can get to. Bass have a high acid content that can dissolve hooks and lead very quickly. They also develop a cyst around those objects to smooth them up like an oyster forms a pearl around an irritating particle of sand. I figure whatever damage a bait does initially is at least doubled by sloppy angler surgury. Clip off what you can and get the fish back in the water revived as soon as possible.

Jim

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Upon autopsy we find in a bass's stomach and associated structure: sticks, stones, shells, weights, can tabs, bottle caps, etc. The simple fact is: if the bass is in the eating mode you are gonna gut hook the fish. You can be as fast as you want, the bass's swallowing is quicker. I find it downright impossible to believe that anyone has fished for any period of time and has gotten away without gut hooking a fish at some point. Learn to remove the hook through the gills - it's simple.

If you decide to leave the hook. It is considered amongst fishery people that it is best to leave some line outside of the fish's mouth. This will aid in keeping the shank straight and allow the fish to eat. Also, the idea that a high quality steel hook is going to disolve in a couple of days is just plain incorrect. It's going to be a long time.

Blue Sky - you do exactly what I do with one exception. Once removed I cut off and retie rather than feeding it back through the delicate gill structure. No chance of raking a gill then.

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Never ever leave a hook in a fish if it is possible . The hook keeps the wound open and invites infections that can spread to other fish . Most lakes are the lowest area in the water shed and everything flows down hill , the bacteria and virus can cause very big problems when conditions are right . A sick fish is like any other sick animal , they can pass on the sickness. Leaving the hook in a fish is just bad common sense. If you think I might be wrong on this point just cut off a hook in yourself or a friend and see how they do if they get hooked then compare the wound to one with the hook remove .

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