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View Full Version : when is the best time to set the hook?



gomezfish
02-19-2008, 08:33 PM
so when im fishing for sturgeon and i feel like im getting a real soft bite..at what point do i try to set the hook?? do i wait for the fish to keep biting or doi slam the hook into its mouth first chance i get? i see alot of people getting bites then they pick up there pole and wait....wouldnt it be too late at that point? arent i lookin for that small window when the fish is sucking the bait up through its mouth , it ether takes it or spitsit out? trust me guys im getting close , i just got my boat running so i plan on spending alot more time out there after these fish , after several trips of getting skunked ive yet to throw in the towl , there are some cloudy areas though and one of them is the hook setting thing. any takers?

GCinGV
02-19-2008, 09:01 PM
You may get some different answers on this one. When I first started Sturgeon fishing I was taught to wait for the second pump. Then about ten years ago I started doing the quick draw thing and setting as fast as humanly possible and as soon as you detect anything at all and my fish count went way up. I know a lot of very good Sturgeon fisherman that still wait for the second pump but I like to hit it as fast as I can and hard.
GC

JMR209
02-19-2008, 09:19 PM
You may get some different answers on this one. When I first started Sturgeon fishing I was taught to wait for the second pump. Then about ten years ago I started doing the quick draw thing and setting as fast as humanly possible and as soon as you detect anything at all and my fish count went way up. I know a lot of very good Sturgeon fisherman that still wait for the second pump but I like to hit it as fast as I can and hard.
GC


i do the same thing, but most of the time its the second pump because i am sleeping...you know how it goes but i do it once i see it

animal
02-19-2008, 10:04 PM
BaitNbeer make sure your hook is sharp real sharp , that way whenever you do decide to pull your chances are better . check it every time you real in , and if you don't have a hook sharpner at lest be willing to change it out for a new one . your hook should stick into the top of your finger nail when you drag it across . to be honest with you most of my fish have hooked themselves that is to say i wait till i feel the weight of the fish usually around or just after to second pump :-/

ZACK
02-19-2008, 10:15 PM
Ahhhhh.....
What EVERYONE wonders about when they 1st began sturgeon fishing. How do I recognize a bite and when to react. The first problem is just about everyone refers to a sturgeon bite as a pump and that is all you look for when you are new. Truth is yeah they can bite in a pumping like fashion but they can also hit you with a real crisp yank like a schooly striper would. Most of the time though it would be better described as a small nibble and if you are waiting for your rod to really dip like it would while trout, or cat fishing you are making a GINORMOUS mistake.
Myself I don't do like a lot do and pick up my pole when getting bit and swing at the next nibble, I instead make ready like a gunslinger with my hands under my rod without touching it after the first nibble and swing hard at the next.

You aren't really looking for a bite you are looking for nibble. If the bite is hard, or soft doesn't really matter just swing when the tip goes down (I have caught many 6 + fish and a lot of them were very light on the nibble)!
Good luck you'll get one if you keep trying and pay close attention. Sturgeon fishing isn't like any other. It is more like deer hunting. Sometimes you score and get one and other times your skunked. With that said if you fish em enough along with many days of nothing you will also find days when you catch 5, or more legal fish in one outing!
ZACK!

BassKet888
02-19-2008, 10:48 PM
I have a tough time with this one too, but I usually set it when it bumps it the 2nd or 3rd time. :)

*Deltadog*
02-20-2008, 07:38 AM
Like Zack said....hardly ever are you going to get a bite to where it would be considered soft. The good crisp yank description fits well. I remember when I first started fishing for sturgeon. Every time the current moved my pole I was convinced that some monster was sucking the bait off my hook and that I just missed the bite. Not until I actually caught one did I notice that there is no mistaking a sturgeon bite. So dont wonder too hard about it. When you get the chance to hook one, instinct takes over and you'll do just fine I'm sure...
Dog

gomezfish
02-20-2008, 08:26 AM
ive been using owner 07 cutting point hooks

STURGEONSTOMPER
02-20-2008, 08:45 AM
Just hit it as soon as possible. Alot of times Im asleep also but still slam the pole after waking. Thats to sink that hook as far as possible in its mouth...Swing Batter swing ;)

Yes, check your hook every bait change, also your line too ;) It could change that " Ahhh man, I just lost him" to "YEA I GOT HIM" ;)

GCinGV
02-20-2008, 09:26 AM
Zack made a good point about the bite not always being a pump; I was kind of using that as a general term. Sometimes the bite is almost un-detectable and you値l often get just one hit, which was common earlier this season below Rio. When getting really light and single hits I like to hold the rod in my hand. When holding the rod, during a light bite, the bite often feels to me like someone is just lightly thumping your line with their finger. I値l set on the first thump.
I think that by far learning to detect to bite is the biggest obstacle to overcome. Until you get the feel for it, if in doubt I壇 set the hook. Like Delta Dog said you値l be setting every time the current moves your line at first and waste lots of bait but once you stick something you値l start to see the difference. You値l find they bite a lot of different ways as well. I remember hooking my first one and it was as if a light bulb came on. I realized I壇 been getting those hits all along, missing fish and never knew it. I think it痴 better to waste bait then miss fish at first.
GC

RENOBOYS
02-20-2008, 09:40 AM
I have yet to catch a keeper in the Sac. Hell, I have yet to catch a shaker in the Sac. All those posts are good stuff, I will practice each way. I am planning on getting a few opportunities in the next 3-4 days. That is, if we can stand the weather out there. Thanks for the help. :)

ZACK
02-20-2008, 10:15 AM
Many good points and with that said I forgot to mention if you do have a nice nibble/bite that you swing and miss on DO NOT REEL IN TO CHECK BAIT, but instead set the rod back down and wait for him to return. More often than not he will and you will get another crack at him and may connect and get FISH ON! ZACK!

Rockezra
02-20-2008, 02:25 PM
As said above I like to set it as soon as possible, I too get cocked up with my hands around the rod with out touching and the next time it starts to go down, wappp a good sharp crisp pull. But the rod tip MUST be on the way DOWN don't wait for it to bottom out. And also the trick about the sharp hooks on your fingernail is the best advice you will ever get! Good Luck! ................... Rockezra ...........

Luke
02-20-2008, 05:22 PM
Ahhhhh.....
What EVERYONE wonders about when they 1st began sturgeon fishing. How do I recognize a bite and when to react. The first problem is just about everyone refers to a sturgeon bite as a pump and that is all you look for when you are new. Truth is yeah they can bite in a pumping like fashion but they can also hit you with a real crisp yank like a schooly striper would. Most of the time though it would be better described as a small nibble and if you are waiting for your rod to really dip like it would while trout, or cat fishing you are making a GINORMOUS mistake.
Myself I don't do like a lot do and pick up my pole when getting bit and swing at the next nibble, I instead make ready like a gunslinger with my hands under my rod without touching it after the first nibble and swing hard at the next.

You aren't really looking for a bite you are looking for nibble. If the bite is hard, or soft doesn't really matter just swing when the tip goes down (I have caught many 6 + fish and a lot of them were very light on the nibble)!
Good luck you'll get one if you keep trying and pay close attention. Sturgeon fishing isn't like any other. It is more like deer hunting. Sometimes you score and get one and other times your skunked. With that said if you fish em enough along with many days of nothing you will also find days when you catch 5, or more legal fish in one outing!
ZACK!
Excellent description. The bite is different from fish to fish and as well as the weather or water conditions like temp change the bite a little too. The first fish I got on Saturday slammed the bait while later in the day the bigger fish did what I call the sturgeon bait tickle. I swung and missed set it back down and it came right back with the same bite. I got it that time. Thats why I like the sensitive rod tips. I have only had a couple "classic pumps" . Most of the bites are like the tickle. And then you have the slam downs.
Luke

wood2turn
02-20-2008, 05:52 PM
WOW..Sound to me like my broomstick, roller guided rod might be might too stiff in the tip. Gee thanks a lot guys...now I got to make a trip to the tackle store for yet another rod! ::)
SWMBO's gonna love this excuse!! Shh!...I have so many now she won't notice if I forget to tell her. :-X

W2T

DinoBlaster
02-20-2008, 05:53 PM
now...Now..NOW!!! Don't wait Yank!!! ;)

wet_biker
02-20-2008, 06:33 PM
When bait fishing doesnt matter what Im after I go for the hook set after the second bite. My rod is 99% of the time in a rod holder.

Luke
02-20-2008, 06:53 PM
WOW..Sound to me like my broomstick, roller guided rod might be *might too stiff in the tip. *Gee thanks a lot guys...now I got to make a trip to the tackle store for yet another rod! *::)
SWMBO's gonna love this excuse!! *Shh!...I have so many now she won't notice if I forget to tell her. * :-X

W2T
If your rod tip is too stiff you will not see the light bites. I normally use a rod rated for 12 to 30 pound line like a fenwick 270 or calstar 270. But the 59 incher I got last weekend I nailed on a Lamiglass skeet reese fiberglass rod rated for 8 to 20 pound. Save the broomstick for tuna or something else.
Luke

Hot_Rod
02-20-2008, 08:06 PM
A lot of good points here. Here are a couple of my rules of thumb:

When in doubt, swing. It doesn't cost anything. As in love, it is better to have swung and missed than never to have swung at all.

If you miss, put it back down. They will sometimes come back, but depending on the bait type (especially grass shrimp) you want to check it after a few minutes if they don't.

If you can, set the hook when the tip is going down regardless if it is the first, second or the 82nd pull.

With a light tip you will observe what we call a "prelude". I think it is caused by the fish swimming close to the line because the rod tip will quiver. When you see this- get ready!

I believe in setting the hook right out of the holder for two reasons. One- if you pick it up, it's hard to tell whether they are hitting or you are moving (yes, sometimes they bite that softly). Second -I don't want to disrupt the bite if I can help it.

Never assume it is a small striper, bull head, flounder or anything other than a big sturg there daring you to set the hook. Unless of course you miss. My motto is, anything that I swung on and missed was a little one. It helps ease the pain. ;D

When fishing in three foot rollers or the wind is blowing like hell and the boat and rods are moving all around, recognize that there is always a rhythm to the apparent chaos. When that rhythm changes set the hook.

Ron

wood2turn
02-21-2008, 08:07 AM
Thanks Luke...I'll go sneak me a new rod, I don't think my salmon rods would have enough backbone for a REALLY large fish.


Ron...You summed it up very well.

Terry B.

Seon
02-21-2008, 08:50 AM
...When in doubt swing it doesn't cost anything. As in love it is better to have swung and missed than never to have swung at all...



So what you're saying is, it's better to be a swinger?? *;D ;D

ZACK
02-21-2008, 10:38 AM
Thanks Luke...I'll go sneak me a new rod, I don't think my salmon rods would have enough backbone for a REALLY large fish.


Ron...You summed it up very well.

Terry B.

Maybe your salmon rods are perfect? What rods do you have? Some of my favorite sturgeon rods are made for salmon. ZACK!

Luke
02-21-2008, 05:19 PM
The lamiglass rod I have is probably more like a tournament bass rod, trigger stick you know. I'd give those salmon rods a try.
Luke

NorCal_Bangers
02-21-2008, 05:39 PM
"When fishing in three foot rollers or the wind is blowing like hell and the boat and rods are moving all around recognize that there is always a rhythm to the apparent chaos. When that rhythm changes set the hook."

Ron

second best piece of advice given......even if there is no wind there is still a rythem to the action of the rod...study it and if there is ANY variation to that rythem then give it a rip.

i say....watch the tip...if it dip...let it rip!!!!! nice little rhyme to remember ;) ;) ;) that is untill you can see the difference...now i dont set everything because i can usually tell the difference between striper, grass, sticks, wind, line rub, my eyes just plain fooling me and sturgeon....

NCB

gomezfish
02-21-2008, 07:19 PM
good info guys!

ZACK
02-21-2008, 11:06 PM
"When fishing in three foot rollers or the wind is blowing like hell and the boat and rods are moving all around recognize that there is always a rhythm to the apparent chaos. When that rhythm changes set the hook."

Ron

second best piece of advice given......even if there is no wind there is still a rythem to the action of the rod...study it and if there is ANY variation to that rythem then give it a rip.

i say....watch the tip...if it dip...let it rip!!!!! nice little rhyme to remember ;) ;) ;) *that is untill you can see the difference...now i dont set everything because i can usually tell the difference between striper, grass, sticks, wind, line rub, my eyes just plain fooling me and sturgeon....

NCB

Rythem?
I didn't know you
'white boys" had Rythem! ;D

Stuuuuuuurgeon Boooogie, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! *;D

And we even got NorCal bustin rhymes "watch the tip...if it dip...let it rip" :o OMG
If you don't catch one with all of this info then my name ain't the "Rappin Duke" Duh Ha, Duh HA!
ZACK! ;D

C-dub
02-22-2008, 07:00 AM
I used to wait for the classic pump and the second pump too. Then one day it was real windy and I decided to hit any bites I had. I nailed two nice fish on bites that looked like bull heads or baby stripers. I cannot count he times I have hooked sturgeon on bites that were not "pumps". I have now become a quick hitter and my numbers have increased. Your gonna have to see what works best for you and how other people hookup.

Westside_916
02-22-2008, 09:32 AM
I set the hook normally on the first or second tap.. My recent surgeon did the opposite of tapping.. he took it and ran. :)