TopStriperAngler

Approaches to 1st Phase of Fight When Using Spooks Shallow WAter

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You ever notice when you hook a striper on a spook they'll try to shake the lure off before eventually starting swimming? Seems like its really easy to lose fish when there doing this. Is there anything that can be done to minimize the chance of losing them? Does the kind of rod you have affect how you should approach the fight like with drag settings or maybe footwork? I've tried lowering the rod tip to the water level when they shake. Seems like when you do that instead of the fish shaking with its head out of the water it shakes with its tail out of the water. But maybe that just allows them to rub the lure on the bottom?  

 

Do hook hangers on a spook come into play it a fish's ability to shake it loose? 

 

 

 

 

  

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Assuming you taking about them rolling and shaking on top in shallow water .. it’s all part of the game ... first off razor sharp hooks most important , alil backing up  while reeling and it thrashing might help ...  Also outside the face hook ups happen a lot with spook so i feel ya pull hooks a lot from that alone .. 

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:agree:

Spooks, like other top water baits, but on spook more so the fish miss the bait a lot. So when you do hook one,  the chances of losing one are higher also.

Like WFF said a lot of time you will hook them on the side of the face, or the they will be lip hooked but the plug will be outside of the fishes mouth.

Its the way that the fish hits the spook that creates these dilemmas   again just my .02 

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Sharp hooks as was mentioned are key, also managing your reaction when a fish takes..... I make the conscious decision to stop setting hooks on top water fish.  I maintain cadence until tension is applied to the line at which time, I set the hook.  Responding at all to the visual effects of a surface strike are primarily responsible for poor hook sets and inevitably, lost fish

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To fish a spook right you need a little slack. You have to train yourself to 

pick up the slack before setting the hook. Same as for LMB, SMB, northerns, muskies. Hard to wait cuz your instinct is to set right away. 
 

And as the others have said, make sure you have sharp hooks. 

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13 hours ago, DeepBlue85 said:

Sharp hooks as was mentioned are key, also managing your reaction when a fish takes..... I make the conscious decision to stop setting hooks on top water fish.  I maintain cadence until tension is applied to the line at which time, I set the hook.  Responding at all to the visual effects of a surface strike are primarily responsible for poor hook sets and inevitably, lost fish

This is very good info.

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14 hours ago, DeepBlue85 said:

SI make the conscious decision to stop setting hooks on top water fish.  I maintain cadence until tension is applied to the line at which time, I set the hook. Responding at all to the visual effects of a surface strike are primarily responsible for poor hook sets and inevitably, lost fish 

Yep. I always find I can be my own worst enemy by acting on hookset based on the visual cues and not the actual feeling of getting tight. very well said 

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One of the reasons I love topwater fishing.  You SEE the hits, and they are split second hits.  When they come up to surface, they "swipe" at the lure and immediately go subsurface.  They don't want to be on top long.  Reading the strike or "swipe" in a split second is challenging.  Not much time to react.  I'll set the hook when I feel the pull and hope for the best, even though gut reaction is to set immediately. Sometimes you have to wait to make sure the fish has the hook, and if you set too quickly you might have a lure flying toward your face.

 

Another reason I love topwater is that it's almost impossible to gut hook for the reasons above. 

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I've just keep reeling and working it and never had the problem of setting the hook. One thing I did pick up last season was the thing where when you get a boil you give the reel a couple very fast turns as if bait was trying to escape. Sometimes they'll chase it down and grab it.. 

 

 

Anyone downsize their spook when they dropping fish in an effort to allow the striper to get it in their mouth? 

 

 

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It is crazy how a suction feeder like a striped bass can put an entire lure in its mouth and spit it out without getting treble hooks stuck.

 

I try to set when I feel the empty.  Meaning the bass sucked in the plug and is moving towards you so you don't feel the weight of the plug anymore.  Those are the tough ones to hook.

 

 

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I fish more small pencil poppers in the backwaters than I do spooks, but the principle is the same.  As folks have already mentioned, the fish miss that sort of lure more than they connect, and a lot of the hookups are tenuous.  And, as others have mentioned, I don't stop my retrieve until I feel the weight of the fish.

 

As far as thrashing around on the surface goes, a softer tip helps absorb some of the shock.  Mono rather than braid (I'm fishing from a boat, so the added distance braid adds to the cast doesn't matter).  A stiff tip combined with braid has little to cushion the impact of the fish's headshakes, and makes it easier to pull the hooks.

 

Other than that, pulled hooks are part of the game.  The equation you need to figure out on any given day is whether the increased number of hits you get on the spook/pencil popper is great enough to offset the increased number of fish lost.  This year, fishing in SW Connecticut, that's been true about half the time.

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3 hours ago, Captain Ahab said:

It is crazy how a suction feeder like a striped bass can put an entire lure in its mouth and spit it out without getting treble hooks stuck.

 

I try to set when I feel the empty.  Meaning the bass sucked in the plug and is moving towards you so you don't feel the weight of the plug anymore.  Those are the tough ones to hook.

 

 

Had that happen on a nice fish last week.....spit it right back at me....I was usin'  VMC In-Line Singles....went up another hook size since then.

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