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Losing fish during fights


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Hi everyone, I think I need some serious help with my problem of losing fishing during the fight. This year has been horrible for me and I don't quite know why. I've lost nearly every fish I've hooked this year(it's really that bad). I've been losing bass and walleyes equally.

My equipment I normally use is med action walleye rod, 15lb power pro and stradic reel. My drag is set to give pretty readily. I normally jig fish, and reel in slack before hook setting, and I always keep my rod up. Could it be my line is just pulling the jig out? I 've noticed I usualy loose the fish when the fish surfaces. I'm really at a loss at what I'm doing/using wrong....

Any advice is welcomed and will be appericiated

thanks

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Really hard to say.. For me, I fished a ton of braid a few years back, and like you, lost a lot of fish. I noticed that a lot of the fish I caught had large holes/rips in their lips from my hook... I assumed this was due to the lack of stretch in the line.. I have gone back to mono and have lost far few fish.

I still use braid in heavy veg situations.. but seldome much else.

a tip, do every thing you can to not allow that fish to surface.. Fight the fish with your rod tip near the surface, and if your line is going to the surface, push your rod tip down in the water and try to turn the fish.

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there could be many issues. Obviously it is user error if you are truly losing almost every fish you hook.

Try tightening your drag. You aren't gonna break off fish on 15 pound power pro unless you are really trying. It is possible you aren't getting a good hookset because your drag just gives line when you set

Conversely, you may be ripping the hook out. If you are setting the hook hard with no slack in the line, this may be the case. If so, tie on a mono shock leader of 8 or 10 pound test line, maybe 3 or 4 feet. This gives you some stretch, which would help if you are ripping the hook out of fish on hookset.

Finally, sounds like if you are losing them when they hit the surface you aren't keeping the pressure on them. It's hard to describe, but just try to keep them from surfacing, and keep the pressure on when they do. Rod tip high when they are deep, lower when they are near the surface, like the previous poster mentioned. And remember, keep the rod at right angles to the fish - for example, don't point the rod at the fish when reeling in

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Two of my suggestions were already covered by Dietz and goblue - get rid of the no-stretch line, and tighten your drag - especially if your drag is slipping on your hooksets, then you're not driving the hook home.

You said you mostly jig fish - make sure your hooks are sharp, and try bending the point of the hook up slightly and off to the side slightly, to open up the gap a little ----- leads to better hookups.

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I don't think you need 15lb line for what you're fishing. I use 6lb for most of my fishing unless I'm trolling cranks, then I go power pro. The mono has a nice stretch so that always helps as others have said.

Another thing to watch is the knot you are tying on it. I started using Palimer knots for the most part and it really helps with them not coming undone.

Also, don't set your hook like you are shark fishing. I feel a light bight with eyes and just give it a solid give. You may loose a few, but you will set way more than you loose.

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Thanks everyone who repplied laugh. A lot of great advice and really appericate it. I use 15lb braid because I fish on shore and lots of snags in the area. Much easier to pull out without giving away line diameter. Would it be bad if i switched to 15lb mono? And what brand of mono would you guys reconmend?

thanks again

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Focus more on line diameter than on the lb strength. 15 lb power pro has the diameter of 6 lb mono and when I use superlines for bass / walleye / pike they are usually in that neighborhood, or heavier. For mono I usually use 4 lb to 10 lb depending on what I'm doing. And not just mono, but also the copolymer lines - gamma is becoming a favorite of mine in situations where I used to use mono.

Given what you said about fishing from shore with lots of snags in the area, I don't think 15 lb power pro is a bad choice. If you use mono or copolymer I'd go with 8 lb, maybe 10 lb --- 10 lb gets awfully big for jigging though.

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I had that same problem about 4 years ago. Was using power pro and fireline for all my fishing. I really liked the feel of the bite with the no stretch line. Seemed to bend the hook out on the hookset too often. I switched to 12lbs. mono for everything except bass jigs, scumfrogs, and I have fireline on a spinning rod for dock skipping. The versitility of super lines is awesome....but for me....the way I set the hook...mono just hooks up better. Try 8lbs. or 10lbs. Maxima mono. That stuff is tough. I witnessed a buddy pull in a 25 inch Kamloop through 50 yards of ice chunks on Lake Superior with 4lbs. Hope you can figure out your problem.

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Something else to consider is if the rod you are using is to just too stiff you may be just plain old ripping out the hooks or it may not keep the line tight under some circumstances. Like said earlier, I would look at your hooks for both size and sharpness, they need to have a fair sized gap and needs to be sharp. I don't fish braid on anything other than my Musky rod so I have no experience with it for jigging but it could be the combo of a too stiff rod and no stretch line causing you to pull the hooks free.

I rarely fish anything over 6# line and mostly 4# pound, so to me 15# seems like anchor rope. I would rather lose a few rigs to snags than lose all the fish I hook, so I would at least consider something a little lighter.

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I have no problem using 14, 20 or 30lb fireline for bass, walleye, pike.

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i had the same issue a few years back and i switched to a rod with a little more bend on the tip and the problem was solved.

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I don't know if this has been mentioned yet but I've seen more fish lost when patience is short. One must have patience and avoid trying to horse the fish in. Set your drag tight enough so it doesn't slip when you set the hook but does slip when the fish runs and then take your time. Let the fish tell you when it's ready to be landed.

Bob

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If it's all wide open water, you can play a fish with light tackle gear and ease it in. If it's a tight spot with lots of obstacles for fish to bury or line wrap it, then I've got no choice but to resort to overpowering the fish in with heavier tackle gear. But when I use heavier tackle gear, I generally have too light of a hook set. Sometimes that proves bad as I don't have good hook penetration.

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Another option is to use a little different shaped hook or different type of jig. I changed hooks I used tossing worms for bass last year and I was amazed because I was hooking all the fish in a good spot (right through a tough part of the bottom of the mouth).

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I agree with the hook change suggestion. I sometimes fish Walleye tournies and when money is on the line, I replace my trebles with Mustad Triplegrip hooks. My ice fishing jigging lures also carry them. A fish hooked with them doesn't get loose. When you use Triplegrips you better have a hook remover because they are hard to get out of the jaws. They hook,they hold. I buy those hooks in quantity. End of commercial.

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Whoa, whoa guys!

(I have always wanted to do that grin)!

Are you fishing from shore on a lake or river?

Quote:
I use 15lb braid because I fish on shore and lots of snags in the area.

The way you are talking, reads to me as river talk grin.

I have found (and anyone can dispute this), but when fishing from any shore, verses a boat, there is a major difference to the hook set. Plus throw in the river hook set from shore, many things change.

Plus, are you using circles or standard "J" style hooks?

If it is circles, I would bet the circle side step shuffle might be needed.

If not, adjust your drag and keep tenstion on your rod grin

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well he's jigging, so if there's a circle-hook jig out there, i've yet to hear about it. I've never had any problems with hook sets in lakes or rivers, haven't found it to be different. Now its possible I spend so much time on rivers, both wading, boating, and from shore, that I just naturally account for any difference the current makes. But I don't notice it, must be subconcious smile

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Sorry goblueM,

I did not read/realize he was jigging from shore. I guess it does not mean nothing.

Go on! Sorry! smile

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jeez shack, i was so [PoorWordUsage] at your post! i hold a mean grudge, too wink

although i wonder if a circle-hook jig would work for finesse presentations...

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I fish both lakes and rivers on shore....not that i have a choice :P. This year I haven't river fished very much....I just don't catch anything worthwhile in the areas I know. But on the lakes I fish, i always look for rocky areas, and I tend to lose quite a few jigs, no matter what kind. I figured I better stop losing jigs, A for financial reasons, and B , all that lead in the area...not so good. I mostly go after eyes, but i do get a lot of bass hits.

And again, thank you everyone who replied. laugh

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goblueM,

I hold no grudge at all dude! You where right and I was wrong.

I might have worded it a little harsh (now I look back), but no hard feelings dude. Again, you where right.

Thanks for the advice! smilesmile

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hahah shack i was being sarcastic, thought you might catch on - tough with the internet and all. wasn't offended at all smile

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I would look at 2 things, the first being rod, for a med action rod, might want to look at med/ligh power with a fast or x-fast tip to it. As far as line I would go with Berkley XL or XT in 15-17 lb test...also maybe play them out a little more and make sure you aren't horseing them in and let your drag work in your favor

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If you line does not break, lost fish can easily be traced to 2 things.

Rule #1... Sharp hooks catch more fish.

Nothing is more basic, and more overlooked, than the hook.

A good hook-up is the start and finish of landing a fish. Sharp hooks are a must, check them often and sharpen or replace as needed. Carry a good hook sharpener, and use it. Carry an assortment of replacement hooks, especially for crank baits.

As was mentioned already rods are about the second most important choice you can make to up your hook-ups and success in landing that fish.

With a no stretch super braid line a longer more forgiving rod, in a moderate action, holds fish more securely. They are more forgiving as long as you keep steady pressure on the hooked fish. In general, a rod that is too stiff allows for slack, that allows for Miss Piggy to shake free.

I hope this helps out.

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Going back to the light tackle vs heavy tackle fish playing method. It's two totally different way of fishing. In likeness to light tackle, you pull rod up to pull fish, ease up on the rod load and crank up the line. In likeness to heavy tackle, all you have to do is keep rod at the correct position and crank up line. There shouldn't be slack in your line. Sometimes it happens, but sometimes it maybe more fish playing skills need to be honed or gear wasn't set up properly (especially drag quality/smoothness).

It's true that a forgiving rod will take the load of the fish fighting. That's where even small light weight reels with the cranking power of heavy tackle can really assist in the fish fighting.

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Icehousebob...10-4 on the triple grips.

I use them on most of my ice jigs and cranks, especially the rear treble.

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As many know, I am a big fan of fireline, and rarely use mono any more. When I do, it just seems too foreign and awkward. And, I'm very satisfied with the amount of fish I hook and catch.

I would trace your problems to a few possible scenarios.

I see people horsing fish too much, and with fireline or braid, this very often results in lost fish. Something has to give, and usually it's the fishes mouth. This problem is compounded if you're fishing current.

Second would be hook set and sharp hooks. It's really easy to use a file and put a quick edge on your hook. I like hard hooksets to drive the hook home.

Third is slack line. If you've got it at any point in your fight, you're going to loose a good share of the fish, no matter what species.

Braided line takes some getting used to. It takes just the right balance of rod, reel, drag, and operator control (hows that for a catch-all) for consistent results. Most of the rods and reels in my boat have 10/4 fireline on them, and literally thousands of walleye and bass in the boat this spring and early summer so far, and only a very small percentage lost. A good share of these are caught by clients who have no experience with fireline. With a little coaching, they do just fine.

In my opinion, the strength and sensitivity of this stuff is well worth any negative stuff you might encounter while you're learning to use it. My advice is to give it some time, and you'll figure it out.

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The other thing about hook setting depends on the type of hook. Aside from hook sharpness, the type of hook point and the size of the barbs to the gap of the hook to the neck shape and length of the shank will have some effect. The following examples If using small bait hooks like size 6, then obviously a hard hook set will more than likely tear some flesh. If using a big gap 4/0 hook then, it possible to get only point penetration and the hook neck ends up pulling the fish. A quality hook won't leave a big hole as it makes penetration and snugs itself in, a low quality hook sometimes makes a big hole where the barb itself won't stick and hook can fall off.

So rethinking strategies, you have to play the fish like the terminal tackle you're using.

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I would really look hard at you hooks/jigs. Sharpness, size, and gap between shank/head. I have had the same issues ice fishing for Walleyes with really small jigs when they get finicky, set the hook and after a short fight the hook comes out. One those I know I kept the line tight, just plain pulled out. I have had some success with bending the hook to change the gap a little. If I can find them in the size/weight I want I get jigs with the longer hook shank and wider gap.

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