CLFish5

Setting the hook on a Fluke

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New fisherman here - especially via boat.

 

Been out on party boats recently in Shinnecock and Montauk. I have dropped a lot of fluke! What the hell am I doing wrong?
 

It’s probably hard to give advice without seeing but here is some background info and please just give me whatever ya got!

 

I’m trying to figure this out from trip to trip and just can’t seem to do it. Tried the slow lift, tried the hard swing for the fences. I feel the bite, try to set the hook, get them on, reel a bit and then boom off. 

 

I have been using swing hook bucktails (pretty large hooks would say 7/0-9/0) with a teaser about 14” up. I have also tried a chicken rig with two poison tails. I have a rod 7’6 tsunami slow pitch rated 2-7 and am bouncing bucktails in that range. I use gulp mostly and not much bait. I have tried the slow lift and the hard hook set and it just doesn’t seem to work fully! Have lost fish to the guy next to me a few times. Basically I feel the bite, I lift up, keep the rod up while I’m reeling the slack. Take a few more cranks and then there gone!

 

Please! Help! Anything ya got folks...

Edited by CLFish5

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You are probably doing nothing wrong.
 

I always check my hooks the day before and I only use hooks that are very sharp. black nickel for me. I don’t have time to hone duratin hooks. 
 

Don’t swing on small fish, sea bass or sea robin bites. On these small nips, just lift slowly. Usually they drop off or if it’s a sea robin or a small fluke, you get that wiggly head shake. 
 

If you get a solid thump, lose contact with the bottom or feel stuck, reel up the slack until you feel weight on the line then swing hard. If you don’t connect, drop the  jig to the bottom immediately and reel up the slack and jig furiously.  If you connect, reel up nice and easy. If you get a large fluke, you may have to pump the rod. Do this slowly as this can give the fluke a chance to escape on the slack you create when you pump down. 
 

good luck!

Edited by hookmeup

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Shinnecock is loaded with very small fluke and with those heavy bucks and big hooks you are probably using large gulp. I think the small fluke are probably hitting the tails. I actually caught two small fluke that were never on the hook just hanging on the rubber.  Try 1/2 oz bucks with 3-4  inch gulps.  

Your setup sounds fine for Montauk . Just slow down and let them chew before striking.   Good luck.

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1 hour ago, ghost said:

Shinnecock is loaded with very small fluke and with those heavy bucks and big hooks you are probably using large gulp. I think the small fluke are probably hitting the tails. I actually caught two small fluke that were never on the hook just hanging on the rubber.  Try 1/2 oz bucks with 3-4  inch gulps.  

Your setup sounds fine for Montauk . Just slow down and let them chew before striking.   Good luck.

We don’t fish the bay tho. All out in the ocean. I do agree sometimes it’s probably small fish but out in Montauk there aren’t a lot of shorts. I’m missing keepers and I know it!

 

with gulp, I should let them a chew a bit and then lift up hard and quick?

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19 mins ago, CLFish5 said:

We don’t fish the bay tho. All out in the ocean. I do agree sometimes it’s probably small fish but out in Montauk there aren’t a lot of shorts. I’m missing keepers and I know it!

 

with gulp, I should let them a chew a bit and then lift up hard and quick?

Unless I get the definitive thump, I wait until I feel the weight then I swing hard. 
 

Also, look at the baits when you bring in the rig. A fluke will leave parallel teeth marks on the gulp. 

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7/0 to 9/0 hooks are fairly big for the average size keeper fluke.  The mouth on a fluke is basically sideways so a smaller hook is easier to get into the fish's mouth.  I actually make a line of bucktails for one customer with the hooks rotated offset to 45° for just that reason.  A stinger hook of a smaller size might help.

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I would change the hook to a 4/0 to a 6/0 circle hook. No setting of the hook needed just tighten your line and start to crank..

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I've stopped with the hard hooksets this year.  I gently lift up and if I feel weight, I start to crank as sy said.  Often times, those little nibbles are undersized fish or possibly crabs.  When you lift the rod tip up, they drop off, in which case I'll drop the bait back down.

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I don't think your hooks are too big. I have been using 6/0 & 7/0 in my jigs for years. I do keep a small ceramic hook file with me and I use it! If you can drag the point across your fingernail and it doesn't bite in, sharpen it. As far as hook sets go, I set it hard enough to cross their eyes. However, I don't care how you set it, if it ain't sharp you might as well just feed em. Just my 2¢. 

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Just checked with manufacturer and the hooks are 6/0 siwash swing hooks. Brand new and real sharp

 

I like the swing hook action and I think it’s helping me get the bites but maybe making it tough to set the hook?

 

Ive heard that term before “crossing their eyes” but in actual theory what does it mean?

15 mins ago, mtl50 said:

I don't think your hooks are too big. I have been using 6/0 & 7/0 in my jigs for years. I do keep a small ceramic hook file with me and I use it! If you can drag the point across your fingernail and it doesn't bite in, sharpen it. As far as hook sets go, I set it hard enough to cross their eyes. However, I don't care how you set it, if it ain't sharp you might as well just feed em. Just my 2¢. 

 

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Just now, pakalolo said:

Not enough backbone with the rod you’re using ! IMHO of course. You need to move the bucktail and the fluke when you set the hook! A stinger hook helps

 

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