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just started beach fishing mainly at night in clacton essex. ive had loads of bites some very good and some soft but have only managed to hook one small bass. no matter how i strike or when i strike it doesnt seem to improve my hooked success rate.. any ideas !!!
 

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Try this months sea angler magazine (December issue), there is some advice on how to hook those bites you are missing. (page 72ish)

My problem used to be striking too quickly after seeing the bite.
 

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As said before hook size v.important, having said that i've had double hook ups of small whiting on 2/0 pennel rigs but the general rule is big hooks for big fish, small hooks for scratching. Start there and you'll get something. Big fish are also taken on small hooks. V.important keep em sharp and the point uncovered.

As for striking I would say don't, let bites develop, most of the time the fish will self hook or nick ya bait anyway. I find striking works best when fishing straight down ie boat or pier. strike from the beach when you think the fish is hooked just to make sure.
 

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Yes. Definitely have a look at Sea Angler this month.

Some tips -

1. Generally you don't need to strike when sea fishing. If the bait is being presented correctly to the fish then they should hook themselves.

2. Using a grip lead is useful as the rig then acts like a carp angler's bolt rig. As the fish swim away the point of the hook is pulled into the mouth. Further struggling then drives it in past the barb.

3. Always try and ensure that only the shank of the hook has bait on it and that the point and barb are clear.

4. A lot of baits can be prepared using a baiting needle (e.g. worm, sandeel, mackerel/squid cocktails). A baiting needle makes baiting up faster and easier, and also greatly improves bait presentation. Learn how to use one.

5. Bait elastic is also extremely useful. It binds the bait to the hook so that its neat and doesn't move or get too mashed during the cast. It also prevents small fish from ripping baits up for a while, and giving false bites.

Hope some of that's useful to you.

Rhod.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
cheers guys ,, some sound advise there,, tried smaller hooks sunday and caught several dabs off walton pier ..so will stick to smaller hooks / bait and also try elastic next shore visit as i feel lug are covering whole of hook.. is it normal to use part of a lug worm as some are huge!!!
 
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Leggy,when using lug or ragworm bait you need to thread the entire worm on to your hook.
The best way to do it is using a baiting needle - if you don't know how ask your local tackle shop to explain - if presented properly the worm goes up the hook and over the eye so that as much as half the worm is on the line leaving the hook shank covered but the point exposed.
I would imagine that bait obscuring the hook point is the the most likely cause of your missed bites.
 

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just finished reading this months tsf mag and and there is a piece in there on improving match fishing, it says by off setting the hook you can improve byte to catch ratio.

kelvin
 

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Kelvin,
Tried the not they suggested aswell, though it restriced how well the bait goes on, i can see that on light line it does keep the line straighter.
JD
 

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Whats the best knot for attaching the hooks so that the bait goes up over the eye of the hook then? Currently I use what I think is called a half blood knot that leaves the cut end of the line facing down the hook making it quite hard to get the worm over.

Also, what bait needle do people use? Don't think I have ever seen one of the these.

Have to say though, the advice here sounds great and probably explains why I have been having trouble these last few months since taking up the sport.
 

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Standard knot I use 99% of the time is the grinner or uni knot. It leaves the end tag pointing up along the hook length so you can thread worms on easily and stops them sliding down. Anybody got any links to a diagram? Alternatively, the popular magazines frequently show how to do this one.

Rhod.
 

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http://www.worldseafishing.com/rigs/knot_uni.shtml

This uni (grinner) knot is also on this web site, and I agree with Rhod - strong knot - easy to tie - very strong - easy the thread worms over and helps keep the worm up the line. Don't trim the loose end too close as a short tag end helps keep the bait up.
 

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I have to say that I use a grinner knot for nearly all my knots as it is very secure. Used to use a half tucked blood until about ten years ago when I lost a big fish and will never use it again. Hooks has always been an issue that seems to be brough up again and again. I must say that the best thing is to find a hook that works for you and stick with it. My prefered patterns are as follows:

Mustad 3262 Size #6, 4, 2 and 1 for flat fish (this are very fine wire therefore wouldn't use them in sizes any bigger nor on other species when you may encounter a heavyweight).

Mustad 3261 BLN Size #6, 4, 2, 1, 1/0, 2/0 as an all-rounder even using sizes 3/0, 4/0 for cod when fishing worms.

Mustad 79515BR Size #2, 1, 1/0 for crab baits for small fish and big mackerel chunks for wrasse etc. with sizes 2/0, 3/0 and 4/0 for big crab baits for cod extra.

I find that matching the hook to suit the bait is the best way to determine the hook size therefore connecting with more fish. I always allow the bites to develop as nine times out of ten the fish will hook themselves.
 

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Hi Ruby,

Double Grinner every time. If tied properly the tag end will always lie parallel to the main trace. The bait goes on easily and is presented well. I use this knot for everything, the neatest and best in the book.

Cheers

Drew
 

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A well tied blood knot should be tight enough to trim the tag flush with the knot leaving nothing in the way. I never have problems with it slipping.
 

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is your hooks presented properly?must have hook showing or if say fish has to eat through your bait before sharp point of hook hits chances are it will feel the resistance&drop your bait!common problem make sure your pointed part is not got bait covering it have bait up shank not too far & im sure you will start landing they fish!all the best,see ya good fishing
 

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Thanks for the tips, I will give the grinner know a go on my next trip. with a bit of luck I may even catch something. I'll, let you knowhow I get on.
 

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Hi Ruby,

Make sure you use the Double Grinner. Try tying both and you will see the difference.

Cheers

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter #20
cheers for all that info, although I think the discussion went astray at times. anyway ive armed myself with many hooks and by trying smaller baits have had great success fishing from both the shore and off the pier.. thanks again
 
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