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Smallmouth Bass – Use Smaller Hooks??

  • Bob P
    Participant
    Shoreview MN
    Posts: 108
    #2132323

    Today I went smallmouth fishing on a tributary of the Mississippi. Using a Senko I got 4 fish. Surprising and disappointing to me, two drew blood from the gills. One was just a small nick but the other was pretty bad. I’m not late with the hookset. Using the same setup for largemouths, I rarely draw blood, maybe one fish a season. I typically use a 3/0 hook. So will using a smaller hook for smallmouths result in a lower chance of drawing blood?

    FryDog62
    Participant
    Posts: 3319
    #2132332

    I use smaller than that – either #1 or #2 but use a VMC Neko hook. It has a longer shank and I almost always hook them in the roof of the mouth. Can’t think of the last time I either lost a fish or hooked them in higher mortality areas like the gills or tongue.

    mahtofire14
    Participant
    Mahtomedi, MN
    Posts: 7226
    #2132337

    I don’t normally texas rig for smallies. I normally use a ned rig or dropshot which has smaller hooks. Also use jigs but downsize those as well as tubes. They just eat them better.

    Bob P
    Participant
    Shoreview MN
    Posts: 108
    #2132339

    I’m fishing totally unweighted and the water depth is maybe 3 feet. I could downsize to a 1/0 and still Texas Rig, or I could try an even smaller hook and throw wacky. Maybe I was just unlucky today with hooking.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7965
    #2132348

    I generally downsize when I switch from largies to brown bass too. Although as Frydog mentioned, I’m still using the same style of hooks. For a wacky rig, I only use neko hooks now too. 95% of the fish are hooked in the roof of the mouth.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 6974
    #2132380

    I don’t think the hook size is that much of a factor. Fishing weightless often leads to far more deeper hooked fish in my opinion. For whatever reason fish just seem to take a weighless rigged worm deeper than other techniques. I think there is often a slightly longer bite detection time on weightless baits. If you are not already using a brightly colored line I’d give that a try. Watch the line closely for a slight twitch or movement rather than wait to feel the weight of the fish to set the hook. Like you said it may have just been one of those unlucky days. The fish may have just been really aggressive that day. Don’t beat yourself up over it. No one like to deep hook fish, but if you fish often enough it will happen.

    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4300
    #2132406

    Thumper just saved me some typing-totally agree, those weightless rigs really get sucked down deep.

    Bob P
    Participant
    Shoreview MN
    Posts: 108
    #2132855

    Caught 3 more today. Same location. Same setup. No blood.

    R Petersen
    Participant
    Posts: 95
    #2134155

    I find the deep swallowers are in a group of competing fish. They suck the lure quite deep. Or if only the tail hook is in the mouth ? Another 1 or 2 fish will keep trying to grab the rest of the lure. 2 fish on 1 lure happens. 2 big Smallies yank all the way in. Can cause bigger wounds than just 1 fish on a lure.

    chuck100
    Participant
    Platteville,Wi.
    Posts: 1680
    #2134162

    I agree with thumper.I’ve switched to hi-vis line trying to get the bite sooner.

    Charles
    Participant
    Posts: 1380
    #2139490

    Crap I will usually switch down to a #4 even a #6 hook.

    Riverrat
    Participant
    Posts: 73
    #2166534

    I use up to 4/0 hooks on a regular basis for soft plastics around here on the OT. Aggressive smallmouths might be attacking your rig with no intention of eating eat and that’s why they’re getting cut. Bedding bass can be very territorial and will attack almost anything.

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