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What am I doing wrong?

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I am trying hard to learn the art of fishing with a plastic worm.  I understand the color scheme and rigging (or at least I think I do) and I believe I am fishing it correctly or at least close.  But last night I had 3 really good hits (bringing 2 to the top of the water) and came up all 3 times empty handed.  I am running a Texas rigging, blue sparkle 6" worm curly tail.  I am setting the hook and the Bass fight back as they are hooked and then "POOF" he let's go or tosses it out and swims away.  What am I missing???? Are they just hitting the tail and not scooping it up all the way maybe?? Getting frustrated especially now that I am getting hits.  Need some advice please.  Thks.

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Welcome aboard!

If they are small fish they might just have the tail, but it's more likely that you just aren't getting a good hookset. When you feel the bite, reel down quickly and dip your rod at the same time. When you feel the fish, snap your wrist for a quick set. If you are using a sharp hook, this will penetrate the mouth. Another thought is your hook size. I prefer at least 3/0 or 4/0 EWG. A recent thread is recommending a straight hook, as opposed to offset, for better ratios.

For soft plastics you should be fishing at least a Medium Power/ Fast Action rod.

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Dont forget to check the sharpness of your hooks. Try using a medium heavy action rod and swing for the fences when you get bit.

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Well, I will be going back out tonight and will be giving it another shot.  I will swing by and pick up some new hooks.  (can't hurt anyway) I will also try and use that tip on setting the hook if I get shot at doing it.  :) Thanks for comments and suggestions.

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Also consider your technique of fighting the fish once hooked up.

Assure when you load the rod on hookset, you keep it loaded for the duration.  

Are you losing fish on jumps?  

Quality hooks can go a long way.

Just a few suggestions

Sirmo

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I don't think that moving up in your lince choice is going to help, unless you are using a "springy" mono type line. Then moving to braid or fluro might help with the hookset.

I love a nice tight braid for soft worms. Great sensitivity and near instant reaction with hooksets.

8lb should be plenty, unless you are worried about weeds and snags. (I have got my fair share of underwater logs and overhead trees)

Vince

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A recent thread is recommending a straight hook, as opposed to offset, for better ratios.

I'm an old Southern Sproat user.  They're getting very hard to find, everyone is pushing the offsets.  Looks like I'm going to have to special order in large quantities.

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It definitely sounds like the hook isn't getting set good enough due to one or a combination of the following:  your hooks aren't sharp, your medium action rod doesn't have the backbone to sink the hooks, or your hook-setting technique could be improved.  If the bass were pulling the tail you wouldn't feel the fish fighting after you set the hook because you would pull the worm out of their mouths.  

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Thats what I'm thinking.

You getting hooked up, and keeping the fish on until she starts getting a chance to wiggle loose.  Thats why I recommend putting focus on your rod handling.

And again, the right hook for the job.

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Well, I will be going back out tonight and will be giving it another shot. I will swing by and pick up some new hooks. (can't hurt anyway) I will also try and use that tip on setting the hook if I get shot at doing it. Thanks for comments and suggestions.

First and most importantly, learn to listen to what people are telling you. Check the sharpness of your hooks does not mean to buy new hooks. Many new hooks are remarkabley dull. Get and learn to use a hook sharpner of some type. Pull that hook point across your Thumb nail and see if it digs in and grabs. Many New Hooks will just slide or at most scratch you nail, when properly sharpened that hook will dig in and grab. Try that before investing in new equipment and I believe that you will greatly increase you hook up ratio and decrease you frustration with loosing fish. After that you can adjust your equiptment to deal with the situation, heavier line if you are breaking off, or heavier action rod if you need to muscle the fish out of cover, etc, Give it a try and let us know how you do, good luck and good fishing.

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Set the hook HARD!! Try using a Gamakatsu EWG 2/0 hook...I use these for almost all worms and I never loose fish. Some people prefer a bigger hook, but I do fine with this, no matter what size fish. On almost any GOOD soft plastic there is no rush to set the hook, they will not let the worm go. Take your time, reel in the slack and make sure he is on there, than BLAM!!. I wouldnt use braid as there is no stretch and you will lose fish on a good hook set. Braid is good as far as the line floating and " seeing " the bite, but if you set the hook hard like your supposed to, you can rip the hook right off the line.

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i was haveing some issues with landing fish with regualar hooks, get some gamakatzus, seriously the last time i went fishing, 5 bass with 5 great hooksets, those hooks are really amazing and REALLY sharp. i think thats all i will ever use.

another thing your probably doin sense your new to it which i also did was feel a bite and panic and set the hook out of anxiousnes. what i do now is if i feel a tap or see my line moveing i move my rod down like most said to give the fish slack so he doesnt feel me tugging against him and reel up the slack slow and then wale on him i almost fell out of my boat last time out lol. i think alot say reel up fast and set it quick but ive found i do better taking my time and so far every fish that hit like that has beeen a perfect hookset and landed fish.

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PETA is going to hate me even more for this, but when fishing jigs or soft plastics, I reel down until the rod is loaded up and then I try to yank the fish's head off with a quick, hard, overhead sweeping hookset.  I don't think any of my jig fish have been released without whiplash  ;D

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#1 Sharp hooks good hooks...whatever- Gams, or my personal favorite Owner

#2 How to rig your bait- Stick the hook completely through and then skin hook the hook point

#3 Line size and type- 8lb mono for worm fishing aint a good choice- Its hard to imagine the stretch 8lb mono has even at short distances- Try 12lb florocarbon

#4 You dont have to cross their eyes on the hook set, the most important thing is to make sure the fish has a solid hold on the worm...go on point for a couple of seconds

#5 Fight the fish with your rod not your reel, those things bend for a reason (shock absorber)

#6 Use the lightest weight possible as a heavier weight gives the fish more leverage against the hook on a headshake

#7 No matter what youve seen on TV letting a fish do the "Bill Dance" is a high percentage way to lose em'

#8 Your always gonna loose a few no matter how good you are

post-6229-130163005285_thumb.jpg

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^^

That picture is worth a thousand words about life and fishing or the outdoors period, for that matter.  What more could a child ask for out of life?

B

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all of the advice here is right on the money imo.but fin-s-r's #8 is a definite. you are gonna miss some. for me that is what brings me back again and again.my ratio is alot better now and yours will get better to.i am a 80% worm fisher and i never get tired of it. good luck!!!

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I would like to add only one other option and that is make sure your drag is set correctly. If you are losing line on your hook set you will never get the penatration needed.

Also if you have your drag to tight you will add to the size of your fishes hooked area thus allowing the fish to get off during the battle.

Just some extra thoughts

Dale

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It is real hard to penetrate the hook through the worm into the fish with 8lb line and medium rod on a long cast. You have enough power to impale the hook. I use a 7' MH rod for worming with 14+ mono even higher test with braid. I use a 7' rod because when I set the hook I am able to take up more slack with it. I am able to make a solid connection with the fish. Heavy line helps to battle line stretch (braid does the same thing). This means that on a long cast you still have enough power on the end of the cast to still impale the hook. Straight hooks stink for long cast worm fishing. You will be spending most of your time fixing your worm back on the hook because it slid down on the cast. Will it up your hook up ratio? I say no on a long cast but if you use a straight hook while pitching and flipping it will help tons. Something else to consider is the softness of the worm and the "Texas rig." I always use a medium to soft worm because it tends to have great action and the worm will rip and not get in the way of the hook. The larger the diameter of the worm the larger the hook you will need. What is important is the gap between the point of the hook and the shank of the hook. When a bass grabs a worm when you set the hook you are forcing the hook out of the fish's mouth which in turn makes the worm slide down on the shank of the hook. If you don't have enough gap on the hook the worm will ball up and you don't impale the hook all the way.  The fish clamps down on the bait the hook slides through the bait, the bait balls up, and if the hook is not exposed or don't have enough gap you are trying to hook a fish with a blunt object or with not enough hook to keep the fish hooked. I want my hook to either tear out of the worm or still have enough gap to still stick the fish. The "Texas Rig" can hurt you too if not done correctly. (sound strange)? If I am using a large diameter worm or a worm that is not soft enough and I rig the bait center with the hook not exposed sometimes the hook will roll back into the bait or will not penetrate the worm at all on a long cast. "Texas exposed" takes less pressure to pop the hook out of the bait. It is still weedless bit you only have the tip of the hook imbedded in the worm.

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One last question.....What is the easiest to learn in fishing a plastic worm, Texas rig or a Carolina rig?  And is there a particular color that "if all else fails" is usually a standard?  (for example, I always fall back to a White spinner bait when nothing is working throwing other color spinners)  I thank you for all the advice and I have taken it all in.  I have picked up some new hooks and for the hell of it replaced the line.  (just cause) Can't wait to get out there this weekend and do some practicing, it's suppose to be pretty nice in MO.  The hour I had to fish in the last 2 days didn't cut it.  

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Lets just say it was a team effort on the big smallie. Ive caught my share of good un's and my kung-fu may be a little more in tune with gettin' the hook up, but my son sure does put on a lot better show than do I while crankin in a toad!!

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One last question.....What is the easiest to learn in fishing a plastic worm, Texas rig or a Carolina rig?  And is there a particular color that "if all else fails" is usually a standard?  (for example, I always fall back to a White spinner bait when nothing is working throwing other color spinners)  I thank you for all the advice and I have taken it all in.  I have picked up some new hooks and for the hell of it replaced the line.  (just cause) Can't wait to get out there this weekend and do some practicing, it's suppose to be pretty nice in MO.  The hour I had to fish in the last 2 days didn't cut it.  

Texas rig is WAAAAAAAYYYYYY easier to learn than a Carolina rig.  Don't even go to the C-rig til you've mastered the t-rig (IMO).  

As for standard colors, the answer is probably no.  Everybody has their favorites and the "best" varies from day to day.  But for me (and to quote roadwarrior) I like DARK.  Watermelon (w/ some flake, red or black or both), green pumpkin, and black are MY standards.  

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