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It's been a long time...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have often wondered, especially with those voracious and numerous Smallies we have here in Western New York regional waters, whether there are times when it's possible that a hooked bass isn't fighting for it's life, but fighting to keep its "meal."

A few isolated instances where bass have been brought all the way to the angler without so much as a hook point embedded anywhere in the fish have been mentioned by a few people I know. It just kept a tight grip on the bait with its mouth - all the way into the net!

You can often see "buddies" following a hooked fish to the boat as well. Obviously, the hooked fish is not sending any negative cues to its buddies. Not to say that these are the specific times that the possibility of the fish fighting for its meal is actually occurring, but it's sauce for the goose of this topic.

I do believe there may be times when the fish is not struggling for survival once hooked, though, but simply making sure that it's "food" doesn't get away.

I'd like to get your thoughts on it, please. :yes:

Tight Lines...
 

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lurecrafter
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296 Posts
Rob, your observations are simialr to mine.
A few actual examples:
1. I fished a clear water pond in Sullivan C. and as I was bringing in a plastic worm. Three bass charged it at the boat, and one hooked itself. Note: these bass traveled quite a distance to track their prey!

2. Two smallies or LM on the same jerk minnow, at the same time!

3. A plastic worm (especially a Senko) being carried away from other fish, like gulls trying to escape with a morsel without dropping it among an expectant crowd.

4. Multiple hits on the same cast, especially from school feeders of different or the same species.

5. The torpedo-like charge of a topwater in shallow water from 15' away.

6. The numerous times a fish hooks itself solidly without a hookset.

Granted, the basic flight-response is the reason for #6 much of the time, but a heightened aggression-level accounts for a lot, especially for pickerel and other toothy critters. The main reasons suggested have been greed, competition, space-invasion, hunger etc.

Good point and always exciting when it happens!

Frank
 

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Dragging Bass
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Rob, it is probably both, at the same time. At first, the bass probably senses that the food it just ate is like no other it has eaten before, and trys like mad to get it under control. Somewhere along the way during the fight (if it is an extended fight) the bass must sense danger. All wildlife has the ability to sense danger one way or another. Once danger is sensed, the bass tries to flee, but is unable to. It probably turns into a survival thing at this point. The buddies are just looking for a free meal, they are unaware of the danger at first.

The fine line between trying to eat the lure, and sensing the danger probably varies from fish to fish, timewise. Some fish may not sense this danger until "it sees the boat", or some may sense it right from the get go.

That's my take on it anyway :D
 

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Meal

I fish allot of soft plastic.

At times I get the hook out and the plastic remains.

I need to fish the plastic out of the SM's mouth as it's trying to swallow it. Then the little suckers bite me.

I think once the fish has food in it's mouth, it does not want to give it up. Especially the salted scented variety.

Think about it, you're hungry, got a piece of lobster in your mouth, and some yo-yo want's to grab it out of your mouth.

What would you do? :beerchug:
 

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Rob,

Your definition is the exact reason that when you lose a fish on the way in, you should immediately stop, push the button and let the bait drop. If the fish still wants it or if there is one or more fish following to try to take the meal away, you will most likely pick up another hit. It works most of the time - especially on smallies.

It's also important to have a grub or gitzit tied on at all times so when this same thing happens at the boat and even if you haven't lost the fish, your partner can drop the grub or gitzit into the water and very often pick up that second fish.

John/NH
 

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I do not believe that bass feel the sting of the hook. Alledgedly they do not have nerve endings in their mouths so I envision a tug or war type effect when a bass is hooked. I do think they realize something un natural is happening.
 

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Administrator
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I like all of the notions expressed in here.....

I am sure , as food, they do not want to release it....

I am also sure as Earthy pointed out, that the sting of the hook is not necessarily a factor alerting them, otherwise, why would any fish take in and hold onto an exposed hook like they do.....

I think it is the PRESSURE of the hook and partial or complete set that alerts them to danger, or as stated, "unnaturalness"

as soon as we feel the slightest pressure on that line, so does the fish......
 

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Pro Guide
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Food stealers

Bass are definite food stealers. That is why so many doubles are encountered. If they are feeding the bait available is fair game to the one with the strongest lips.

We place a good number of bass throughout the year into the boat with no hook penetration. If they think it is real and they think it is getting away they will hold on.

That hard slam hit is more than likely a bass attempting to grab and run with the perceived food in order to hide it from their competition.
 

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It's been a long time...
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899 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
John/NH said:
Your definition is the exact reason that when you lose a fish on the way in, you should immediately stop, push the button and let the bait drop. If the fish still wants it or if there is one or more fish following to try to take the meal away, you will most likely pick up another hit. It works most of the time - especially on smallies.
I'll DEFINITELY keep that in mind, John. Usually, I don't reel in right away after I lose a fish (have to take a moment to accept the bitter truth), but I don't let the bait drop back down, either.

I can see this being a very precious piece of information. :yes:

Thanks for the idea.

Great responses, everyone!

Tight Lines...
 
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