• Can't get a good hook set?

    Set the hook FASTER & harder ... if using jigs. (snap the rod back with a combination of wrist flex & upward arm movement)
    Sweep set the hook ... if using live bait/hook/sinker rig. (in one continuous smooth motion, lift the rod upward and use your wrist to pull the rod back towards yourself)

    They're basically the same "motions" ... for jigs (casting) and live bait (tightline) ... they're just in the opposite order. With jigs, you snap your wrist back first, then lift your arm to bring the rod back towards you ... with live bait, you lift the rod upwards, then pop the hook in with a wrist snap. The reasoning is (well, MY reasoning is) that your jig is under direct control of your rod & reel, while live bait has a few inches of "play" between the sinker & hook ... so you stick the jig hook into the fish's mouth with the first motion of the rod, which is why you use the wrist snap speed & then take up line slack control with the upward lift of your arm/rod ... but, lift the rod with your arm (1st) to take up the slack between the live bait & sinker, then wrist snap the rod to put the hook into the fish.

    When I'm casting jigs ... it don't matter if I'm using a 5' UL & 4lb test line or a 7-8' med power rod & 10lb test braid --- I'm setting the hook with the same speed & power !! (speed is essential because the fish may quickly realize it has tried to eat something that's NOT what it thought it was and will spit it out) When using live bait ... I expect the fish to hold onto the bait a bit longer, as it tries to position the bait in its mouth for easy swallowing, and the fish may not be in a direct line between the rod tip & sinker. I lift 1st, so as to minimize any slack & bring everything into a direct and taught position, then use the wrist snap speed to plant the hook.

    Keeping control of the fish, as it comes to the boat, is also a key factor in getting the fish INTO the boat. My drags are set to slip, short of the breaking point of the line ... but, I don't "always" depend on the reel's drag. If the fish tends to pull drag anytime during the "fight" ... I flip the anti-reverse switch off, and control the fish with backwinding of the reel handle (to give line to the fish) while using the rod to keep out any chance of slack. It also helps keep constant & consistent pressure on the hook, so that the hook isn't tearing an exit hole in the fish's mouth.

    Crappie tire easily, and pretty quickly, when the angler fights them with consistent pressure (even when the fish is gaining line against the backwinding of the reel) ... and they are then much easier to lift over the side of the boat, and handle. They're also less likely to shy away from a net.

    ... cp

    Stock Photo taken on Lake Greeson while fishing with Jerry Blake.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: difficulty started by brettw View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      nice fish
    1. Dave and Lynn's Avatar
      Dave and Lynn -
      Very good explanation. I will use it.
    1. jackie53's Avatar
      jackie53 -
      Thanks for the aritcle.We have been having trouble lately with such a lite bite!! Get them to the top of the water and they come off the hook Thanks again!!!
    1. crappie 11's Avatar
      crappie 11 -
      Good read. Thanks
    1. PawPaw Gene's Avatar
      PawPaw Gene -
      CP that makes a lot of sense, thanks for posting.
    1. chucktx's Avatar
      chucktx -
      thanks!! gonna have to give it a try!
    1. boatdocksam's Avatar
      boatdocksam -
      good read
    1. RetiredRR's Avatar
      RetiredRR -
      Will be on Lake Greeson the entire month of October, for fish just like that one. Great post.
    1. ronetone's Avatar
      ronetone -
      great article