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Discussion Starter #1
Fished last night, had a small bass but felt pretty disapointed by the fact i could possibly have caught many more bass. Is there a technique to making sure the fish is hooked and how to strike at a bite ? At the moment, unless im sure the fish is on i just leave the hook at there are do nothing.

Any advice would be much appreciated. cheers
 

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There's no hard and fast rules on this one. An experienced angler can more or less tell what fish is biting from the bite, sometimes you'll need to strike straight away, sometimes you have to put your hands in your pockets.

The trick is to make sure your set-up allows fish to hook themselves, so don't keep your line too tight and try not to mask hookpoints with the bait.

When bites are hard to come by you may need to strike immediately, when bites are plenty and you are fishing two or more hooks, just let out some slack line when you get the first bite, if the rod is still rattling after doing that you may have a double shot of fish on.

A rod tip that rattles and then goes back to motionless means wait. A rod that bends or rattles continually means the fish is well hooked, all you need to do is wind until you feel the weight, pull to break out the lead and wind it in keeping the line tight, job done! :)

It's surprising how many anglers are unable to detect bites, it's all about watching the rod tip and looking for movement that is out of sync with the wind or wave movement. Sometimes the biggest fish give the smallest bites.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice guys. Yeh i am shore fishing over really rough ground.I suppose im not to bad at detecting the bites, and can usually tell when its just something like the swell moving my lead around etc.. I guess i just rush into things and strike to hard to soon.Yesterday I was having a few bites which were about 6 or 7 taps quickly one after another and fairly strong, i guess the fish isnt hooked but should i stike in this situation ?
 

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There are some who would argue that by using circle hooks the fish will hook themselves a lot easier than if you were using standard J hooks. Yet to try it myself but it's on the cards.
 

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Another little trick I use is to offset the hook points, just gently bend the hook point to one side with pliers to about the "One o clock" position. Fish picks up bait, fish feels resistance, fish spits out the bait but because the hook point is angled it catches the lip on the way out resulting in a self hooked fish. Also doing this I've reduced the number of deep hooked fish I catch to almost zero.

It can weaken the hook if you overdo it though, but using Mustad Viking Uptide hooks, a good strong pattern, this is minimal. Sometimes it's worth picking up the rod to feel if a fish is hooked, if it pulls back or the line goes slack, happy days! :)
 

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There are some who would argue that by using circle hooks the fish will hook themselves a lot easier than if you were using standard J hooks. Yet to try it myself but it's on the cards.

gotta love the circle hooks. use them a lot now 99% of my fish are lip hooked even doggies! only realy suitable with fish baits though as trying to thread a worm on would be a nightmare
 

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Before you strike wind down a bit on the reel, lowering your rod slightly when you do, then when the line is slightly taught strike. This should be done fairly quickly.Wind carefully though so as not to displace the weight and add too much movement to the rig to spook the fish.

The natural bow in your line can mean that sometimes if you just strike, the fish the other end will barely realsie, especially if you are fishing in the wind and there is a bow created by that wind.

Also if you have a sure feeling you have a fish on and the bite isnt too rod bending leave it for a minute or two. A hooked dab will excite others to come along and look what is goign on, as they are intruiged by movement. And if you have a 3 hook flapper you could end up reeling in 3 fish rather than one by just waiting a few minutes.:)

Sometimes you just have to reel in as well.

Almost forgot... Leave hook points nice and clear so the hook up chance is greater and also hook size can depend on wether you actually catch anything.

Not been too helpfull have i LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the responces. I tried leaving the hook more exposed like you suggested whopper last night and it did worklike you suggested whopper. 2 bites, 2 bass landed to about 2.5 lb. Cheers guys
 

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Another little trick I use is to offset the hook points, just gently bend the hook point to one side with pliers to about the "One o clock" position. Fish picks up bait, fish feels resistance, fish spits out the bait but because the hook point is angled it catches the lip on the way out resulting in a self hooked fish. Also doing this I've reduced the number of deep hooked fish I catch to almost zero.

It can weaken the hook if you overdo it though, but using Mustad Viking Uptide hooks, a good strong pattern, this is minimal. Sometimes it's worth picking up the rod to feel if a fish is hooked, if it pulls back or the line goes slack, happy days! :)
spot on m8t:) i offset all my hooks & its rite what u say, not so many deep hooked fish:clap2:
 

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Thanks for all the responces. I tried leaving the hook more exposed like you suggested whopper last night and it did worklike you suggested whopper. 2 bites, 2 bass landed to about 2.5 lb. Cheers guys

Sometimes the bait ccovering the hook can cause a missed fish. Glad you got a few fish mate! The thing about offsetting the hooks sounds like a good idea. I never thought of that before. See you learn something everyday!:)
 

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All good advice there and I would agree with it, the best tip is the off set hook,keeping the point clear, it really does work. Striking at bites when fishing at distance is pretty much a complete waste of time, just lower the rod, wind in the slack you have just created then smoothly lift and lean back into it, you will soon know if anything is on ! Lastly, if its time to change your bait and you are fishing on clean ground, reel in just a few feet and leave it there for a couple of minutes more. The disturbance of the sand can attract the flatties.
Hope this helps,
Pete.
 

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don't offset the point on a circle hook (yes - I know they're already offset on Varivas full circles and semi-circles).

It does slightly increase the hookup rate compared with an "in-line" circle, but greatly increases the number of fish which get hooked down the throat / in the gill rakers.

If you are fishing for the pot and are going to keep everything, then do offset - obviously.

To put it in perspective, however, I had a dozen grey mullet on a varivas semi-circle and not one of them was deep-hooked. But blue sharks: 30%+ deep-hooked (even if striking on first run) with J-hook, 1% with non-offset circle.
 

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Three quick tips:
1) You can mistake a lot of things for a bite, but you cannot mistake a bite for anything else!
2) You will catch a lot more if you hold your rod (if a hefty model, put butt cap on toe of footwear, and hold rod at chest level in bend of elbow, leaves hand loose for smoke, tot of brandy, etc).
3)Test your hooks for sharpness often, as rocks & stones can blunt hooks easily.

Hope this helps,

philtherod
 

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a butt pad will help if holding your rod!

Jamie
 

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Hi all- all good tips there, another thing i do is change my hooks regular. its ok to resharpen once or twice on the day, but once a hook point has been blunted its best to replace it as soon as pos.
Hooks are not the dearest item in the box so theres no point in skimping on them.
Always check a rig both after and before use for any weakness. The golden rule is change it if in any doubt.....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cheers guys, may try experimenting with offsetting the hook as soon as the these bloody exams are over lol !
 

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It's funny how often comments on hooks and other things crop up on this subject. Some may be better than others but -

When fishing on the bottom it's best to wait until the rod rattles and raise rather than strike when the fish is definitely on. That sets the hook if needed which it usually wont be. The typical 4 to 6ozs on a beach caster behaves in the same way as a carp bolt rig - the fish pulling and the weight sets the hook. Carp fishers pinched the idea.

Several other things can happen.
The rod or line can twitch from time to time. That's usually a crab. This is a pain and can only be handled by seeing just how long it takes them to eat the bait. That and scent is a good reason for changing bait every 20mins. I fished last week with whole squid and found that the crabs had eaten 2/3rd in 20mins so I changed every 15mins.
There can be a single pull which might be a fish or a crab and that's best just left for 10 mins before checking the bait as it's often followed by a decent bite.
A small fish might get hooked and not be capable of registering a decent bite. Usually signalled by modest rod rattles at the start and little after. Spotting that comes down to experience and is another good reason for changing bait every 20mins. Squid and sand eel and maybe fish can be fished for a lot longer than that but it still needs to be checked.

John
 

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Would someone like to explain how you can break a lead out at any distance but you can't apply enough force to hook a fish?

Also if the bolt action of a lead is so good why do you regularly get fish which rive the lead out and without hooking themselves?
 

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I can assure that sea fishing is where the idea of using a heavy fixed or semi fixed lead in carp fishing came from. Both methods have been used in sea fishing for donkey's years. I did my carp fishing in the days when normal course fishing weights were used. A few people started using much heavier weights even when they weren't needed. Heavy for distance at that time was usually 2ozs.

On the bolt action of the lead I don't see how anyone can be sure that a fish has moved the weight unless it's a slack line bite and that might be caused by a fish just disturbing a weight. I've only ever had a few and the hook in each case was no where near big enough to come any where near being sure of a fish and of course the bait may have just been pulled out of the fishes mouth - hence the wait for a bite to develop what ever happens. Fish do not learn - even carp.

There isn't any problem applying enough force to hook a fish by striking but given tides etc bowing the line and the need for some slack in the line in the 1st place. There is something of a time issue and if a single rod bob is followed by a strike and a fish the chances are enormously in favour of the fish having hooked itself in any case - the strike didn't do anything at all.

:)Try hanging a hook on it's tip on your finger with a 5oz lead hanging from it. Many use 6. Doesn't work ??????????

I usually use 4,5 or 6 oz grip leads so that I can set the line up with exactly the amount of slack I want. The slack tends to ensure that the fish jerks against the lead and self hooks but nothing is 100% effective. Some methods are just more effective than others.

John
 
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