View Full Version : Keeping Them On

03-28-2006, 09:23 AM
Fished Lake Amador Sat. trolled with needle fish lures. Caught a few small trout, but lost all the big ones. The big boys would come out of the water and throw the hook. I didn't want to change my set up because it was catching fish. I know a treble might be the answer.
Anyone give me some suggestions or how you fish for these big trout??


03-28-2006, 10:48 AM
If you're not already doing it..

1.) Use a soft tipped light or ultra light rod that's at between 6-1/2 to 8 ft long. Keeping a good bow in this kind of a rod will help keep a light, but constant pressure on the lure. That way the fish isn't likely to get a slack line when it jumps or reverses direction and throw the hook.

2.) Next use a reel with smooth drag. A smooth drag is one that doesn't jerk as line is being pulled from it. It is smooth even from the first moment line is beig pulled all the way through the end of the fight. Set the drag fairly light so when the fish makes a run, it can easily pull the line off the reel. If the drag is set too tight, the tension can wear a hole in the mouth of the fish around the hook or even tear the hook out. When fish break off (break the line) it can be due to a drag that's not smooth enough or is set too tight.

3.) Finally, sharpen your hooks.. sharp enough so they'll stick in your thumbnail with just a little bit of pressure. Lures (like Needlefish) often need sharpening even when they're brand new.

Hope that helps.. Larry

03-28-2006, 12:37 PM
Those cutbows know how to shake a hook. They will swim straight to your boat then take off on a huge run. I see way too many people out there with tight drags. Just keep pressure on him. Just wait till you have a 5+ lber and he is running straight for a submerged tree or bush. All you can do is try and work him away from it, but with 6# line you can't
get too anxious to get him in. Also, you need a good hook set. That seems to be the key for me. I have had big fish go airborne 5-10 times
and they won't come off.

03-28-2006, 12:45 PM
As SJS suggests, hook set might be something to consider, particularly at Amador where trolling speed is just a notch above standing still. Most of us are used to trolling faster and using a downrigger to help set the hook. Super slow and top line probably creates some soft hook sets.

03-28-2006, 12:46 PM
fish4fun - Excellent response! *I never considered too tight a line enlarging the hook hole. *I'm also a believer in constant pressure after a good hook set.

As far as hooks go I am now a firm believer that there is a BIG fish catching difference between high quality hooks. *After taking the advice of Amador Power Grub guru, Dennis, and changing to Gamakatsu light wire #2's my catch rate went up significantly. *I rarely lose the big feisty Amador cutbows now. *I should also mention learning to tie quality knots has also upped my lunker landing rate.

I recently invested in a shiny new Shimano reel for trolling at Amador and the main reason I purchased it was the quality of the drag. *I played with a bunch of reels in the tackle store and found the drag adjustment and smoothness of this reel especially nice. *I usually set the drag a little tight to insure a good set without upsetting the boat, but can then easily loosen it allowing the fish to tire itself running against the tension. *My experience at Amador is that most of the fish come to the boat (or kayak) quickly, but they have a heck of a whole lotta fight left before they are ready for the net. *Fishing solo with no net help I usually don't rush to get 'em in. Most of the time the trout agree with that strategy too.

03-28-2006, 12:49 PM
Fish4fun's points on a smooth drag and a light flexible rod tip are right on target. I also try to keep the rod tip down near the water surface when I'm playing the fish to keep em from going airborne too much. It's fun to watch em do that but that's usually when they spit the hook.

03-28-2006, 01:10 PM
Yes the gamakatsu light wires are what its all about. I have tried some mustad and eagle claw light wires and they kill the action of the grub.
You need to find the biggest hook you can use without affecting the presentation. One thing out there is those fish have teeth. I probably lose a few fish when they swallow the grub because the line is directly
on their teeth. Atleast a lip hook, your line is clear of it's jaws for the most part. When fighting the fish, i keep my rod as high as possible when he's further away, then when he gets close i try to lower it to keep
him in the water.

03-28-2006, 02:29 PM
I may be looney, but I have a suspicion that on two occasions those cutbows were not even hooked, but were simply holding on to the grubs until the last second. I actually saw and felt them let go of it when they got about 2 or 3 feet from the surface. No head shaking or anything. They just let go and swam right back down. Next time, I'm setting the hook ;)

03-28-2006, 03:10 PM
On my Needlefish I change the hooks to Gamaksu Swiash hooks and this has greatly reduced the number of fish I loose. The other thing I do is use braid when I long line troll. This really helps with the hook set due to the lack of line streach.

For a little experiment, take the rod, reel and line you use to troll with. Have someone peel off the amount of line you troll with and stand that distance away. Have them hold the rod and you hold the lure, then have them set the hook trying to pull the lure from your hand. You will be suprised how little pull you feel when you have 8 or 10 lb mono.