One of the most frustrating aspects of bass fishing is just figuring out how the fish are reacting to our lures when we can't actually see what's going on down there. Unless you have extremely clear water and perfect conditions for sight fishing, it can be hard to tell just what that tap at the end of your line means.
Was it an aggressive feeding strike? A curiosity nibble? Maybe it was a half-hearted strike in attempt to kill what it though was a dying baitfish. It's hard to determine what the fish's intentions were by feeling alone. Fortunately, as camera technology improves, we are starting to unlock some secrets as to how fish actually approach your variety of lures. In the awesome footage capture in a video from TacticalBassin, we're able to watch as bass react to our favorite jigs and jerkbaits.
Instantly, I'm seeing why I miss so many fish. It's possible my hooks aren't quite sharp enough, but more likely, the fish probably isn't taking the whole bait in its mouth on the first tap. That 5-pounder grabbed the end of the jig's skirt—behind the hook—before inhaling the whole lure. If you set the hook too early, you're ripping the lure out of the fish's mouth, probably ruining any chance at getting it in the boat.
On the other hand, if you set the hook too late, the fish will have already realized it's not food and just reject it. Bass fishing requires riding a very fine line at times on both your presentation and how you react to those strikes. Seeing the larger fish hit the smaller one just for taking the bait also makes us wonder how many little fish have stolen our chances at a big one over the years.
No wonder so many pro anglers spend so much of their time on the finer things like hook replacement and their hook setting form. It's one thing to read about how fish react to lures, but this video gave us a bevy of takeaways as we hit the water this summer.
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