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Any tips for keeping topwater fish hooked?

Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
I lost three nice snook, after having them hooked for some seconds, on topwater. Any tips for keeping them hooked? I was using the big subwalk.

Thanks.

Replies

  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,211 AG
    Rod tip down when they surface.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • superdupersuperduper Posts: 1,927 Captain
    thats not a top water.

    i assume you are losing them when they jump and shake their head???
    i try to do what i try to do with bass, and pull harder if they come up. doesnt always work, but thats what i try.
    if they are coming off under water, i dont know what to tell you. pull harder maybe?
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    superduper wrote: »
    thats not a top water.

    i assume you are losing them when they jump and shake their head???
    i try to do what i try to do with bass, and pull harder if they come up. doesnt always work, but thats what i try.
    if they are coming off under water, i dont know what to tell you. pull harder maybe?

    Yes, they throw the lure when they surface on the head shake.

    Pull harder in which direction? Straight back toward me?

    Flash: When they surface for the head shake or for the initial strike?

    Thanks to both.
  • tunamantunaman Posts: 3,767 Captain
    All good advice. Also good chance you're letting the get a little slack sometimes.
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    tunaman wrote: »
    All good advice. Also good chance you're letting the get a little slack sometimes.

    Yes, that did happen on one fish. I was on the jetty, so it went slack for a second while I hopped down the rocks.
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    Should I try replacing the treble hooks with singles?

    Another thing is that one of the hooks on the rear treble hook had broken off before these fish were hooked.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,965 Captain
    If you're using braid... one of the first things I'd look at is either a bit less drag on the reel or a rod with a softer tip. Of course, that's only one possibility if jumping fish are coming un-buttoned. Since braid has no "give" to it a strong drag means lots of opportunities for just enough slack with a head shake to give you back your hook... A bit lighter drag or a softer rod tip makes it harder for any fish to shake a hook (if you can keep a snook out of the structure she really wants to get to, once hooked..). If you hooked those same fish with mono a lot more of them would stay on the hook (but that's just my opinion after years and years of using and watching folks using their gear...).

    Now for rod handling with a fish that's jumping.. Every day that I'm on the water if we're not fly fishing one of the first items on the agenda are ladyfish that we'll be catching ourselves for bait. First timers will need to hook at least five fish to get one to the boat (if they're lucky...). Once I can get them to hold their rods right next to the water at right angle to the fish and just reel without moving the rod at all - their score goes way up... Most of the time, the slightest hesitation or rod movement means a fish off the hook (thank heavens it's only ladyfish and tarpon that are really, really good at tossing a hook...). By the way ladyfish hooked on a fly rod have a terrible time throwing a hook... the combination of a fly (no weight really - just a hook with a bit of hair or feathers) and a long limber rod means that they're not getting any slack in the line (and we've got another bait in the well...).

    As far as lures go - yes, a jig or something with a single hook will stay attached to a fish better than a plug (with all that weight to toss around and a pair of trebles that are relatively easy to shake free..). That said, if you put single hooks on a plug, most of the time the plug won't have the same action on the retrieve... There are some tricks with plugs that will boost their ability to "stay stuck" with an active jumping fish. For giant tarpon we routinely change out the rear treble hook for one that's two sizes larger and as strong as any "4x strong" hook we can find. With tarpon, though, you have some leeway since they're taking much slower moving plugs than you'd use for big snook....

    Hope this helps - of course we all need more practice with big, jumping snook on the end of our lines....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • a little knotsa little knots Posts: 1,222 Officer
    Heres a tip i use !! ( take it as you will )
    First yes !! Sharp hooks !! 2nd yes a good hook set !! Both are essentials !! But when i feel that fish dive an you know
    hes comin air born , i hold the tip of the rod an stuff it as far down in the water as possible were i can still fight the fish an maintain a tight line !! (tightline also essential) i started doin this an it has incresed me landing them considerably !! BUT .... it not fool proof !! I know cause im the fool who proofed it !! Lol .. Anyway ... Give it a shot hope it helps !!!
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    Heres a tip i use !! ( take it as you will )
    First yes !! Sharp hooks !! 2nd yes a good hook set !! Both are essentials !! But when i feel that fish dive an you know
    hes comin air born , i hold the tip of the rod an stuff it as far down in the water as possible were i can still fight the fish an maintain a tight line !! (tightline also essential) i started doin this an it has incresed me landing them considerably !! BUT .... it not fool proof !! I know cause im the fool who proofed it !! Lol .. Anyway ... Give it a shot hope it helps !!!

    Thanks for the help. I did not do that last time out. If I ever hook another one, I'll put your advice to use.
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    Try the Owner Stinger treble hooks.. use the appropriate size/weight hook to best match the stock trebles.. fish look at it and get hooked lol.. and they seem to stay on a lot more reliably .. I also like to give a light offset to the hooks..
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,336 Moderator
    slower rod might help... and perhaps a bit longer. Of course slower will impede the amount / type of action you are alble to put on lure.

    Some mono top shot might help if you're all braid now.

    Its all a compromise, though. No silver bullet.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    Thanks all. I'm replacing the trebles with some single hooks and will try the rod tips aforementioned.
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    Thanks for the help all. I think I'll try the inline hooks first.

    I don't want to start a new thread, so I'll ask this here:

    What size hook should I use for 4 inch finger mullet when I have a sliding egg sinker above the swivel? I keep getting snagged on the rocks when using a 5/0 circle.

    Thank you.
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    you can probably get away with a 3/0 circle for a 4" mullet.. it's best to match hook size to the bait you are using rather than the size fish you are targeting
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    cbmdk86 wrote: »
    you can probably get away with a 3/0 circle for a 4" mullet.. it's best to match hook size to the bait you are using rather than the size fish you are targeting

    Thanks. I think I am mostly snagging rocks because I can't resist reeling in the slack in the line, little by little.
  • Pescatoral PursuitPescatoral Pursuit Posts: 5,065 Admiral
    1. Mono.

    2. More limber rod.

    3. Be very aggressive in pulling it back in the water when the fish jumps. When I see the line come up I point the rod tip almost straight at the fish, and as its head begins to clear the water, I "sweep" the rod at a very low angle away from it. That puts a lot of pressure on it to get it back into the water. Not fun if you like to watch them jump, but really helps keep them buttoned on.
  • Bite 1Bite 1 Posts: 489 Deckhand
    Peeps are right . Rod down = head down = tight line. Jumps = 50/50 chance good luck. Play'em right.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    Topwater fishing is low on hookups to begin with. I think there's already a lot of good advice in this thread, and I agree especially on:

    1) Sharp hooks.

    2) Fighting any fish that wants to get airborn with the tip way down in the water, control the fishes head and pull down and away from the direction of their run. Bass pros do this ALL the time because an airborn fish or a fish that is allowed to turn it's head is a fish that's likely to get off.

    3) Keeping line taught at all times.

    4) Lighter drag than you'd use for fishing j-hooks but still tight enough to set the hook properly.
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    Thanks all. I put the VFC inlines on the subwalk, but I have not used it yet.
  • SouthshoreSlayerSouthshoreSlayer Posts: 408 Deckhand
    Also, do not set the hook right when the fish hits. Give it a second or 2 before your hook set.
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    Also, do not set the hook right when the fish hits. Give it a second or 2 before your hook set.

    Huh, can anyone else backup this claim?
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,960 Captain
    I do the same. Rarely do i even set the hook on topwater. It usually results in ripping the lure away from them. Once hookeup just keep tension.
  • Pescatoral PursuitPescatoral Pursuit Posts: 5,065 Admiral
    Reel Teal wrote: »
    I do the same. Rarely do i even set the hook on topwater. It usually results in ripping the lure away from them. Once hookeup just keep tension.

    +2

    I only set the hook with soft plastics anymore, or after the fish knows it's hooked. In fact it's become a novelty to me to watch others do it.
  • SouthshoreSlayerSouthshoreSlayer Posts: 408 Deckhand
    Snookman77 wrote: »
    Huh, can anyone else backup this claim?

    You should start another thread about it
  • Snookman77Snookman77 Posts: 1,099 Officer
    You should start another thread about it

    Uh............
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