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Thread: Sucker Hookset

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sucker Hookset

    Do you move above the fish or pull on him to get him to run. I have been having bad luck the last few years and don't know what to try next. Suggestions please.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    Try to get the fish swimming away from you and hook back into its mouth. If it refuses to swim away, try easing it to the surface and eventually it will want to swim back down. Swimming back down is the same thing as moving away from you, so set the hook then.

    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

  3. #3
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    I like to get over top of the fish. Imho I know I am in the right position and I don't have to worry about what direction the fish is in.

  4. #4
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    I typically just panic and set the hook the moment I realize there is a fish there. I know you're supposed to wait a few seconds and get over the fish and get the fish turned away from you, but %^#% me if I can muster up that sort of patience. It actually works out better that way. It's damn cold out there in the fall, and wet hands make it feel even worse. Having to unhook the fish and release it and rig up another sucker? Brrr. :7

    Maybe some day when I'm old and forget there was a fish there to begin with, my hooking percentages might just go up. But I'll probably be too feeble to get a decent hookset so I'll probably still lose just as many!


  5. #5
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    one problem with setting from directly above the fish is you are increasing the likelihood of setting the hook into the top of its very hard mouth and not getting a good hookset in the process. often times in the past those were the fish that would eventually come to the net and then open their mouth and swim away. since my group has focused on setting the hook with the fish moving away our hookup percentage has dramatically improved and almost all fish are hooked in the corner of the mouth

    rnovak

  6. #6
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    I am very lucky to have a secret little place where I have done a lot of experimenting with live bait rigs in very clear, very shallow water in the early spring. I have come away with lots of stuff, but here are a few:
    1. Totally nearby fish will totally ignore your sucker, and then go after them only minutes later--or not. Your sucker going nuts does not mean he's about to be eaten and you need to be patient.

    2. You are likely to have a whole lot more time than you think before needing to make a hookset. The musky really does not want to let go--really, and you can likely provide a nice, steady, gentle lift until you are totally sure that the quick-strike is where it needs to be and going to remain with the fish after your set.

    3. If you ever see your sucker or the rubber band again after your hook set, you should buy your next supply of rigs at a place where they also sell dresses.

  7. #7
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    Marty

    #3 - priceless!!!

    rnovak

  8. #8
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    You know, I didn't put this down because Herbie covered it so well in the other "sucker thread," but I really think that the single biggest thing I have changed my mind about more and more with each time out is that reducing the amount of hardware visible (or feelable??) to a fish is likely to be the biggest single change that will result in getting "bit" more often than the two or three other boats that are 30 feet away from you where I fish. There is a real resistance on the boards to discussion of "downsizing" of equipment for musky, and there is always the corresponding risk of getting bitten off....but a tough bite is a tough bite is a tough bite.

  9. #9
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    I have learned the hard way not to set directly over the fish because it can be in the hard roof of the mouth. My last fish on last year was a big one that grabbed the sucker and took off deep. We went out to catch up to it and when we were directlty over it, I lifted to see if it was still there and it almost yanked to rod out of my hand. I got excited and just set straight up. I fought it three times up to the boat. Just as we were about to net it on the fourth approach, it open itís mouth and turned itís head and out popped the hook the. We could see that it was in the roof of the mouth. You want it moving away so when you set, it grabs the corner or side of the mouth.

  10. #10
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    RE: Sucker Hookset

    After this weekend I will add make sure you have a good base prior to setting! Skinny little guy setting the hook with his feet together, slightly leaning forward, a nine foot rod, and a BIG fish make for an almost swim in the cold water!

    Travis Kopke

    "Let em go, Let em grow"

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