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Lately I've been throwing a lot more topwaters trying to catch bigger fish. Unless they're feeding aggressively I cant seem to hook up consistantly. I wait a second before setting the hook, but it doesn't always work. Could these be an irritation strike just slapping at it? If so what should I try, switching over to soft plastics or just keep annoying them with the top? It amazes me how a fish can hit a top with those treble hooks and not get hooked. Thanks, Matt
 

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Do you know who I think I am???
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I am having a good day if I catch 1 out of 3 blow-ups. On average I would say 1 out of 5.

If they hit it and take it set the hook immediately... if you get a blow-up and miss let it sit for a second or two and twitch it a couple of times real slow, if you get another blow-up continue to reel in a little faster and pause about 10 feet away. Usually on that pause the fish will nail it and take the hook!

Since, I have been doing this I will almost always catch the fish messing with it. However, sometimes they just blow-up once and never come back.
 

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the first thing I do when I open a lure is change the hooks to Mustad or Gamakatsu.. I blew my mind to see the difference it made! You catch alot of fish just outside the mouth, forehead, belly, you name it, you will notice the difference just touchin your lures,LOL lot more pokes and hung up clothes... I like to use the Sure Set on the back hook, with the long curve facing back!!

Good Luck
Justin Timberleg
:brew:
 

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Microskiff Mafia
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When you get a blow up quickly reel down until you feel the weight of the fish to set the hook. If you never feel the fish then wait until your lure reappears then walk it really fast then let it sit for as long as you can stand. I'd say about half the time they'll come back. It also depends on if they hit it while your working it or hitting it while its sitting. A lot of the times if they hit it while its moving they'll miss. I like to work it a few seconds then pause for 10-15s maybe even longer before I start working it again. I've found my hook up ratio is a lot better when they hit it while its stationary. If they're slapping at it, usually will happen later in the day, then it will be harder to hook up but not impossible. But you may want to switch to a below suface walker like a corky or suspending mirrolure. I used the mirodine XL this weekend and was really impressed. Soft plastics will work as well. I also use single gamakatsu live bait hooks on all my tw's and they work great especially when wading. It seems like they're harder for the trout to throw too, but I don't know if its helped my hook up ratio. Hope this helps you out.
 

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when a trout misses you are experiencing "get outta my area" slaps or a young fish with eyes bigger than his stomach. If a decent sized trout wants to eat your topwater it doesn't miss, or rarely misses.
 

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topwaters!!!

If you are experiencing blowups and aren't hooking the fish SWITCH!!! Someone above said the magic statement earlier, no matter the size if a trout wants your bait they will not miss it, remember they do that **** for a living. Next time you start getting blowups and missing the fish either downsize, upsize, try slowing your retrieve, work it faster or for heavensake switch to a slow sinking bait. I know how fun it is catching fish on topwaters and I wish you could catch fish on them all day every day, but sometimes they just don't want it up there and it's your job to figure out how they want it or what they want to start bringing fish to hand cause it is a proven fact you can't eat a blowup!!! The way i go about using topwaters is work it as many different ways as possible until you find the magic one anybody can catch them on top when they are in kill mode but when they are just slapping it it is going to take a little more creativity to catch the fish or it might be real simple throw something underwater. After you have given the topwater a worthy shot and no hookups throw a catch 2000 in there and see what happens but make sure you have pliers cause it could get downright dangerous.

MY 02 cents!!!!
 

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Also try changing to retrieve some. Sometimes if I am getting blow-ups and no hook-ups, I will speed it up some or work it harder and let it sit and it seems to make them more aggressive for some reason. Doesn't always work, but it does sometimes. Remember they want it like they want it, not like you want to give it to them. Be flexible, and remember what you were doing when they ate it. Fishing takes concentration, not just sling it out there and crank it back. If your buddy gets a hook-up watch what he is doing and take those clues to shape your retrieve. Is he walking it or small twitches or what. Also watch the bait and try to mimic that. If all elese fails --- slow it down.
 

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the first thing I do when I open a lure is change the hooks to Mustad or Gamakatsu.. I blew my mind to see the difference it made! You catch alot of fish just outside the mouth, forehead, belly, you name it, you will notice the difference just touchin your lures,LOL lot more pokes and hung up clothes... I like to use the Sure Set on the back hook, with the long curve facing back!!

Good Luck
Justin Timberleg
:brew:[/QUOT

X2...
Without fail....I can't get those VME hooks off my topwaters & Corky's fast enough...replace with Mustad triple grips...:idea:
 
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