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rvrnr64

How did I miss all these fish?

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I went fishing yesterday and got a bunch of hits but missed them all on this rig. I texas rigged a 4" lizard, a salty crawling grub, and a yum crawdad all on different size worm hooks. After the strike I pulled my line in to find that the bait was pulled down from the hook eye toward the hook. This happened many times. I even protruded the hook out of the bait thinking maybe my barb was too deep in the body of the bait. If the fish is getting his mouth all the way up to the hook eye why can't I hook him. Help!!!

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Two suggestions to try:

1.  Use a bigger/ sharper hook. For the lizard and crawdad, Gamakatsu or X-Point 3/0 EWG Offset Worm Hook. For the Grub, a comparable jig head.

2. Use a "snap-set" for your hook-set. Lower your rod tip and reel down QUICKLY. When you feel the fish, snap the tip of your rod with your wrists without moving the reel position relative to your body.

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Not trying to sound like a jerk here, but could it have been a tail-biting fish like rock bass or sunfish of some sort? They like to mess up bass baits for sure. Usually they bite in a rapid sucession tap-tap-tap-tap instead of the usual THUMP of a bass. If they are for sure bass...then do what RW said, and maybe let them have it for a second longer.

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I would try what road warrior said.  When I am missing fish I always sharpen the hook. I use a Lansky Hook Sharpener. After every fish I catch I sharpen my hook. I can never blame missing a fish on the hook anymore, just slow reflexes and not paying attention.

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Modern, high tech hooks are chemically sharpened. Dull hooks should be replaced.

This is a pretty interesting site, take a look:

http://www.xpointhooks.com/

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When in doubt, Ask the "Warrior", haha! Thanks, I am ordering some today. I use the Gamakatsu EWG and the skip gap and they dull pretty easy, atleast in my experience. I love my hooks sharp as can be and I think I'll give your reccommendation a try.

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For one thing, listen to what RW said. Also, some days smallies can be just persnickety, if that is a word and just be tail biters, I call them,lol. Today was a good example. My buddy and I fished from day break until around 2pm and only had 18-20. It was tough today. Our best ones were his 3-6 and my 5-6. I can tell you between us we must have missed 15 or so. I would get bit and set the hook only to come back with the tenticles tore off of my tube, lol. Its just that way sometimes. Aggravating?, yes, but, its just how it is sometimes. Hang in there and always have sharp hooks on. Good luck. :)

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Not trying to sound like a jerk here, but could it have been a tail-biting fish like rock bass or sunfish of some sort?  They like to mess up bass baits for sure.  Usually they bite in a rapid sucession tap-tap-tap-tap instead of the usual THUMP of a bass.  If they are for sure bass...then do what RW said, and maybe let them have it for a second longer.

yea the yellow perch here really get me aggrevated sometimes with the "missed hooksets".  

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If you are using a Medium rod try stiffening up to a Medium Heavy for a better hookset.

But like RW said, sharp hooks are key.

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Thanks for the help. Since my hooks are new and I used 1/0 up to 3/0 I'm going to go with tail biter. Next time this happens I'm going to try a weedless jig head. I'm not a big fan of them but if it works then what the hell. The two inch pumpkinseed grub saved the day as usual. I ended up with about 15 fish but only 1 was worth talking about.

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I believe the Sunny's & perch are not trying to eat. They're just throwing punches to drive an intruder off their turf. You can nab a real tailbiter with a Ha-ha #6-8 treble loose rigged back to the tail with light fluoro and one point buried. CB

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All good suggestions, some days its just like that, but I'll add a couple ideas. One is to use a tube with the simple ballead jig inserted into the tube. The exposed hook will get more hookups, a ballhead on a quality hook like a mustad or gama. Sometimes I'll also take most of the tentacles off a tube. I've read and believe that sometimes a smallie will try to take off the pinching claws off a crayfish. I assume this is to lessen the instinctive chance of injury and possibly to consume it easier. I've seen smallies peck at salamanders underwater, I don't know why. btw- if the water is good for snorkeling you can learn alot in just a few minutes underwater. Some smallies are tame acting and will even follow you around if you're turning over rocks or something. Another technique that I get good hookups with is a wacky rigged senko- on a 1/0 gama split shot/dropshot hook. The light wire penetrates easily. That brings up another thing, fine tuning the presentation. They may be mildly interested in a black senko but crush a daquiri one. They may be interested in a 4" pumpkin tube but EAT a 3 1/2" pumpkin tube with green flake. On and on... Lastly, it may be worth burning a small crankbait, spinnerbait or aggresive topwater to try to get a reaction strike.  

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Use a #8 hook in the tail of you grub.  If they short bite, they'll get hooked on the small hook and wont feel it when they bite.

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