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Chris at Tech

Fighting a swimbait fish

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Hey all,

I'm forcing myself to throw swimbaits more this year instead of the token 10-20 casts I'd make on each trip out of habit.

This past weekend, I told myself "today is the day".  Overcast, cool, breeze, incoming front.  Found a nice spot between 2 points with lots of shad being busted.

I'm throwing my el-cheap Storm Kickin Minnow in white when I finally got a strike.  One of those "no doubt" strike that almost pulled the rod out of my hands.  I set the hook, kept constant tension and then it happened.  She came to the surface, shook her head and threw the bait back at me.  I certainly don't think she was a 10+, but a REALLY good ~6lber.  Sonofa...

So let me ask the swimbait experts - how do you fight the fish?  Clamp the drag down and winch them in?  Take your time and fight them more like a fish caught on a crankbait?

I will NOT make the same mistake again ;)

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To paraphrase Mattlures,

"There is no playing the fish.

Bring her to you RIGHT NOW,

just as fast as you can."

This is why the "right equipment" is so important.

8-)

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DO NOT PLAY THE FISH... You want to reel so fast that she looks like a buzzbait coming across the top of the water.  You'll learn quick how to fight these fish.  Right before she comes to the surface, you want to turn her so she can't jump.

This is where the right equipment comes into play.  Big, strong, swim bait rods like Okuma 7'6 XH or Loomis 955-957,  Big reels with lots of #'s of drag (Cardiff 300 or 400, Calcutta 400B).  Super strong line (20-30# Pline CXX).  Having the proper equipment and the experience of fighting big swim bait fish really helps to not loosing fish.  I have been blessed and have never lost a swim bait fish because I have always had the right equipment and 4bizz taught me the proper way to fight a swim bait fish

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For me, losing swimbait fish is a way of life. Probably one out of five comes unbuttoned. I added a #4 treble to the main hook and that improved my rate quite a bit.

Falcon

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I started using the treble hook stinger too it has increased my hookups and landings to about 80% but I still do lose a few. But not near as many as on a rattletrap

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The down side to the  6" kickin' minnow is that it doesn't swim well on heavy line so I use 12-15lb fluro line. Braid helps but keeps the bait up higher in the water than I would like sometimes. So with flurocarbon line I am somewhere between playing the fish and forcing it to the boat. When it tries to jump I put my thumb on the spool and try to pull the fish harder and when it's swiming away and down I just let it swim. If I lose a couple I just put the bait on 20lb-30lb braid and force it in. I have lost a teen size bass twice on that bait and if I had braid on I would have probably landed it both times. But I like to fish the bait at seven to eight feet over the edge of pond weed and I might not have got the strikes with braid since the bait runs shallower. Right now I have braid on that rod since I don't want to lose another fish  that size.

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Thanks for the input.

I don't *THINK* equipment was the problem.  BPS Extreme 7'6" H Flippin' stick, Cardiff 301 with 17 or 20 lb P-line CXX (don't recall which).

I think I went through every single thought in the 15-20 seconds the fish was on.  I started with the "winch her in" approach, then had a momentary lapse where I questions what to do if she was poorly hooked on the single treble.  And it seems that's where I messed up ;)

I'll just have to remember to turn the fish when I see or feel a jump coming.

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Thanks for the input.

I don't *THINK* equipment was the problem. BPS Extreme 7'6" H Flippin' stick, Cardiff 301 with 17 or 20 lb P-line CXX (don't recall which).

I think I went through every single thought in the 15-20 seconds the fish was on. I started with the "winch her in" approach, then had a momentary lapse where I questions what to do if she was poorly hooked on the single treble. And it seems that's where I messed up ;)

I'll just have to remember to turn the fish when I see or feel a jump coming.

Sounds like your equipment was fine.  Sounds like that when you questioned yourself, you gave the fish just enough time to get off.  That's just part of the game. It'll happen less and less when you catch more and more fish.

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Just never give them slack and try to keep them under the surface. Grind them all the way to the net  ;)

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i believe i watched a video where Bill Seimental was showing someone on In-Fisherman i believe, how to throw Hudds. after the guy hooked up, he said if it comes to the surface reel as fast as possible to fill her mouth up with water and she wont jump if you keep the pressure on her. he did just that and it did not jump, just was coming along the surface.

aaron

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i believe i watched a video where Bill Seimental was showing someone on In-Fisherman i believe, how to throw Hudds. after the guy hooked up, he said if it comes to the surface reel as fast as possible to fill her mouth up with water and she wont jump if you keep the pressure on her. he did just that and it did not jump, just was coming along the surface.

aaron

I bet he copied that technique from someone else... ;)

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She probably did get a bit of skack line but some get off and some stay hooked. Another rerason it is called fishing not catching.

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the only thing i can tell you on that is what everyone has said.

reel the fish in as fast as possible. make sure that your hook sets are strong too.  without a god hook set, theres no way your going to catch a "GOOD" fish. and again equipment "could" be an issue if your not the best of angler

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Well, the good news is that I got out today and landed a swimbait fish on the same bait as last week.

Problem was it was a pickeral ;) Oh well -- but I did remember all the tips here, and I think the pickeral was in the boat before he knew what hit him.  No slack in the line, no mercy :)

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Well, the good news is that I got out today and landed a swimbait fish on the same bait as last week.

Problem was it was a pickeral ;) Oh well -- but I did remember all the tips here, and I think the pickeral was in the boat before he knew what hit him. No slack in the line, no mercy :)

Atta boy ;D

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