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Sekrah

Fishing Falling Off!!! AHHH

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Over the past couple weeks I've had fish falling off at alarming rates.  I've been using various soft plastics, gitzit tubes, senkos, berkley gulp twister grubs... I can't keep any fish on the hook.  Usually on the first leap out of the water they've been spitting it out/falling out.

I am finding holes and they are hitting my lures left and right before I can't keep them on.   One addition, I've been a Rapala/hard bait guy for a long time and just beginning to venture into the soft plastic world, and I'm getting fish to hammer them, but I would say 75-80% of the fish I'm getting to hit are falling off before I get them to the shore (or into my hands if I'm wading).

Extremely frustrating.. What am I doing wrong?  The only thing I can think of is that I'm spoiled on the Rapala treble hooks "setting themselves", and I sadly have no idea how to set a hook on these plastic baits.  But when they hit these plastics, it feels like the fish are on the hook and it doesn't need "setting", but as soon as they jump.... %!#$!

Thanks for any help!!

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Actually, I'm having this problem as well.  I'll get a fish hooked but then immediently lose it.  :(

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All i can say is, reel your slack in and yank like there ain't no tommorow:). I think that if you keep the tension on the line, the hook won't fall off if you got a good hookset. Most of the time when they jump up i try to reel in the slack really fast so I have tension on my line so the hook won't be spat out by the bass.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Using baits with a single hook makes three things more critical.

1. Needle sharp hook at all times. Trebles are usually fine wired and self hooking. Worm/tube hooks are generally thick-wired and require more attention.

2. Related to #1, a firm hookset is required. There is no self hooking.

3. A tight line is required until the fish is in the boat or on the bank. You can afford to let a bass play with a treble hooked lure when under water, tightening up when jumping to prevent allowing leverage to throw the lure. A soft plastic with one hook requires constant firm pressure or that one hook will easily just simply fall out of the hole it made. A big worm hook makes a big hole and wallows the hole out more than a fine treble hook. You can know the difference when a bass hits the deck. Very often a single hooked lure falls out right then as soon as any slack is in the line. Treble-hooked lures usually don't fall out unless it hooks the carpet and the bass flops, tearing the lure free.

Jim

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Sounds like you're just not getting the hook set.

Sometimes a soft plastic bait will ball up no matter what you do.

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when they hit these plastics, it feels like the fish are on the hook and it doesn't need "setting"

There is your problem. When using plastics, remember, in order for the fish to be hooked you have to penetrate the lure enough for the hook to set firmly. This takes quite a bit more than just reeling them in. My guess is that some of them were not even really hooked if you are not setting the hook firmly. Remember, keep tension at all times and set the hook hard.

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There was something mentioned in another thread concerning hooksets that I think bears mentioning here again. A firm hookset with soft plastics is important, but what may be more important is the speed of the hookset. As soon as you feel eveidence of a fish on your lure a quick, yet firm hookset, is essential. A powerful hookset does not penetrate the flesh as much as a fast one.

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#1 Are you using quality hooks? Are they the right size? For most soft plastics I recommend 3/0, 4/0 or 5/0 EWG Offset Worm Hooks.

#2 Are you maintaining a tight line? Pretty basic, but I see a lot of guys "pumping and winding". Sometimes that's required with big catchfish and most saltwater fishing, but never with bass. (Well, 30 lbs of moss wrapped around your fish might be an exception).

That's all I can think of. We all lose a few fish, but even 5% coming unbuttoned would be a huge percentage on any lure, almost unimaginable on single hook baits.

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To go with the hook set, what rod are you using? I like to use a rod with some backbone. Mine is a 7' MH action rod spooled up with a low stretch mono.

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Firstly you have to remember that there is only 1 hook so if your used to the hard plastics then it is frustrating to be losing more fish then you normally would. Second set the hook when you feel the weight of the fish and set it hard, to avoid losing them I try to land them as fast as I can. Last weekend I had a 4 pound smallie on a thin dock and the hook came out, I had to wrestle him around to keep him on the dock.

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But when they hit these plastics, it feels like the fish are on the hook and it doesn't need "setting"

With a good soft plastic, especially some of the scented/flavored ones, a bass will sometimes swim around a bit and even put up some fight just holding the bait in its mouth.  So even though you feel the weight of the fish and some pull, you still need to give a solid hook set.  

Also, when you see the fish coming to the surface for a jump, get that rod tip down and keep the fish in the water if you can.  A big jump and head shake will probably throw a single hook a lot easier than a treble.  As a relative newbie I've

probably lost more fish on the jump than any other time.  

And like RW said, let us know what kind of hook you're using.  I use 4/0 EWG for almost all soft plastics.  When I first started, the hook looked huge to me.  But I've caaght real dinks, like 6", on a 4/0 hook, so it seems like it's hard to get a hook that's too big.  

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But when they hit these plastics, it feels like the fish are on the hook and it doesn't need "setting"

With a good soft plastic, especially some of the scented/flavored ones, a bass will sometimes swim around a bit and even put up some fight just holding the bait in its mouth. So even though you feel the weight of the fish and some pull, you still need to give a solid hook set.

Also, when you see the fish coming to the surface for a jump, get that rod tip down and keep the fish in the water if you can. A big jump and head shake will probably throw a single hook a lot easier than a treble. As a relative newbie I've

probably lost more fish on the jump than any other time.

And like RW said, let us know what kind of hook you're using. I use 4/0 EWG for almost all soft plastics. When I first started, the hook looked huge to me. But I've caaght real dinks, like 6", on a 4/0 hook, so it seems like it's hard to get a hook that's too big.

I've been using 1/0 Gamakatsu offset shank with a 4" Senko..

With my 3 1/2" Gitzit tubes, I'm using the tapered jighead that came with them, not sure of the size of that hook but it seems large enough that the hook shouldn't be a problem.

I'm pretty certain that the problem must be that I'm not setting the hook hard enough.

I've lost some pretty large smallmouth's the past several days on these two baits. Probably over the last three times I've went out, I've had 12-15 fish on with these two baits and only landed about 3 or 4 of them, it's pretty pathetic. (And of course, the biggest ones have gotten away)

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You're right that you probably need to set the hook harder.  But you also might want to try a bigger hook with those 4" senkos.  I've only fished the 5" variety and as I said I also use 4/0 hooks.  If I were you I would at least give some 3/0 EWG hooks a try.  

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One thing I think happens this time of year is that fish get caught a lot and end up with lots of holes in ther lips making it easier for the hook to pull out.  Just a theory.

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3/0 for those 4" senkos like fatboy mentioned.

HOOKSETS ARE FREE!! Puncture that girl in the head with a quick, powerful snapping hookset. As RW mentioned, pumping the rod is a bad idea unless you have a 100 lb sailfish on or a fish with a very boney mouth (gar,etc) However, 95% of the time, if you are using a repetitive, pumping hookset, you are merely widening the hole the hook has made giving it ample opportunity to come out.

These are some soft plastics hooksets. (video)

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Reel down and use a whip set. Point your tip at the fish and whip it back over your head. Keep the rod down so the fish does not jump. Make sure you have sharp hooks and no slack in the line when setting a fish. I like my rod to be on the stiff side with a good amount of backbone when fishing worms.

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