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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hooked 6 Reds, we landed 3. My biggest of this year 32".
6 Blues all around 5#ers.
2 keeper Trout.
2 Jacks & 1 Ladyfish.
We must have had at least 15 more blow ups.
Had some hook break while fighting a big Red.
We lost 2 topwaters, one came floating back after an hour.

All on topwater, all in one spot, all in a few feet of water with Porpoises swimming around us.
All fish released to fight again. CPR. ....... ICM

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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What is a "normal" hook-up to landed fish ratio? I've have lost nearly 1/2 the red drum that I've had hooked up. I'm talking about a fish that has made at least one decent run minimum and then gets off. I'm not complaining I'm just wondering if there is opinion on an average hook-up to landed fish ratio. I am using top water with up sized hooks and splits rings with crushed barbs. Personally I don't feel it's a problem with the crushed barbs because I never give the fish slack line.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rarely lose a hooked fish that's pulling drag.
Did lose 2 Reds this week. One to faulty weaken hooks that snapped.
The other was operator error, cupped the spool to add a little too much pressure.
Lost 3 topwater in the last two weeks, more than I have lost in any given year.
Also fishing topwaters more than any given year.
Today fished 4 rods, 3 different topwaters & the 4th. a subsurface.

Did have Seth's big Red take us under the boat & around the Power Pole before we landed it.
Here's a tip: Open the bail to reduce rod / line tension.
Let the fish run while working thru the obstacles ......... ICM
 

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Are you using barbless hooks icm? I would think opening the bail would settle fish free??
I'm not defending defending crushed barbs I'm just wondering if these fish stay on with completely slack line and no barb.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No, they're not barbless. Pretty sure it would not matter if they were barbless.
We did let him swim free, he's still hooked, just not fighting.
If we didn't open the bail & eliminate the line tension we would have lost this Red & his lure.
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Please stop trying to over think every aspect of fishing. It's fishing!
It's supposed to be fun. Be spontaneous, enjoy life. ...... ICM
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I tip my hat to all those die hard, hardy souls we saw yesterday morning at the ramp.
Dumb enough to leave the comfort of a warm bed, to do battle with the elements.
Strong cold winds, big whitecap chop on the water couldn't keep us from catching a few topwater Specks.
Only 2 keepers, both rewarded with CPR. ...... ICM

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What is a "normal" hook-up to landed fish ratio? I've have lost nearly 1/2 the red drum that I've had hooked up. I'm talking about a fish that has made at least one decent run minimum and then gets off. I'm not complaining I'm just wondering if there is opinion on an average hook-up to landed fish ratio. I am using top water with up sized hooks and splits rings with crushed barbs. Personally I don't feel it's a problem with the crushed barbs because I never give the fish slack line.
Thanks
I've seen plenty of them come off top waters Challenger. Most of the time from what I can tell it is the hooks being weak like on cheaper lures or just rusted out a bit. There is a lot happening really fast when the reds come up and take a swing at a top water. Try using top dog jrs (they come with very strong hooks) and working it slow to give them a better chance at enhaling the plug. Had this little guy take me for a serious ride Friday. He was wrapped up in the marsh grass for the better part of 60 or so seconds and I thought he was off until I got the line free and he bolted again. Love my top dog jrs. Nothing like it and as a bonus he chose to wait to take the plug about two feet from the yak. That'll get your heart beating. haha Water Sky Cloud Vertebrate Boat
 

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I tip my hat to all those die hard, hardy souls we saw yesterday morning at the ramp.
Dumb enough to leave the comfort of a warm bed, to do battle with the elements.
Strong cold winds, big whitecap chop on the water couldn't keep us from catching a few topwater Specks.
Only 2 keepers, both rewarded with CPR. ...... ICM

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There is a small dock on base that I go by every so often during lunch and have never seen a fish caught there until I got a 24'' speck on my she dog. There had to be 2' swells rolling through the river and it was overcast and stormy looking all day. It seems the fish don't care about the weather quite as much as the fishermen do sometimes.
 

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I've seen plenty of them come off top waters Challenger. Most of the time from what I can tell it is the hooks being weak like on cheaper lures or just rusted out a bit. There is a lot happening really fast when the reds come up and take a swing at a top water. Try using top dog jrs (they come with very strong hooks) and working it slow to give them a better chance at enhaling the plug. Had this little guy take me for a serious ride Friday. He was wrapped up in the marsh grass for the better part of 60 or so seconds and I thought he was off until I got the line free and he bolted again. Love my top dog jrs. Nothing like it and as a bonus he chose to wait to take the plug about two feet from the yak. That'll get your heart beating. haha View attachment 65552
This last one I got bashed the spook 4X before it hooked up. I just left it for a second and started walking it again each time. Once hooked I was still not ready to heat up the pan but it fought hard and became part of my anatomy.
I put 4X VMC hooks and Owner split rings on all my "full size" hard baits. I've had other hooks start to straighten but these never do. My 4" green spook has out fished every other plug I have so I seem to be using it nearly all the time. I do swith often if nothing is happening figuring I'd change up the rattle, action or whatever. I'll never claim to figure it out and as long as I'm no married to one single plug I think I'm covering the bases.
I'm ready to put down the top water in an effort to improve my skills in working the soft swimming and Jerk baits. I know it's not rocket science but in the skinny, super dark water I'm fishing I'm not confident with anything other than top water. People think the other artificials may produce more fish so I'm going to do my best to make the proper presentation with them. Popping cork is out as a primary for me. IMO it's just not nearly as much fun reeling in a fish and a popping cork. It just takes away too much.
Thanks

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