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Gurth  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, February 28, 2017 10:15:57 PM(UTC)
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Went to a honey hole on a river that I know of today after work. I believed the trout would be active coz it felt like other days when they have been.

Set up Black Zebra PMs and took a light-medium action rod with 10# braided. First several casts yielded nothing which was somehow surprising after the success of 2 days ago at this same spot.

Then I hooked what must have been the biggest brown trout that I've ever gotten. Have never felt a trout as strong as this one. It was almost violent.

Pulled to set the hook and never lost the bend in my rod, but after about 30 seconds of fight where he went across the pool one direction and then all the way back, he was gone - spit the hook.

Ugh...

So my question for you who have more experience with the big fellas (and gals)...

I'm getting into bigger fish (16+) more often as I learn better spots and understand their lies better. I've had a rash of bigger fish getting off my hooks lately - two 16-18-ishers on Sunday right at my net/feet and the big guy today who I didn't even lift enough to see.

Do bigger trout spit the hooks more often than littler ones? Am I just not setting it well enough?

The 14 and belows rarely if ever get off although when they do it's usually in the net or over the bank.


On the plus side, the big guy will be in the honey hole till they disperse in a month or two, so I'll get another crack at him. I hope.

Edited by user Tuesday, February 28, 2017 10:21:50 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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NBrevitz  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 1:18:15 AM(UTC)
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I'm not a monster Brown expert by any means, but there could be several factors at play. If you're rocking a rod much shorter than 6 feet, you're going to lose a lot of leverage on those bigger fish, line will wrap around them easier, etc. I always sharpen my hooks up at least every couple hours, check on that. A dull hook will only make a wider, shallower hole in the lip, hook can slip out much easier than a narrow, clean punch through. As for braid, I know a lot of you guys like it, but I find that I overset and rip the bait out of their mouths with braid. No stretch, so no forgiveness. Add in the longer fights with stronger fish, and you might be making too big of a gap for the hook to fall through with the slightest slack. I know that many Canadian guides will insist their clients use mono when trolling for lakers, so the hook sticks and doesn't rip through the soft mouth on the hookset.

Edited by user Wednesday, March 1, 2017 1:19:15 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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rschmidt  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 6:11:35 AM(UTC)
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No expert! I can say that I only use an UL rod, 5'6" Ugly Stick. It has good back bone and prevents overset. At this time of year, even hooking into a big one will likely be a less aggressive lip or mouth hook, compounding overset and losses. Also as trout get bigger the mouth is larger and they have greater momentum and strength to spit a hook. I would also add that most stock spinners in 1/8th to 1/4 oz. size have too large of a hook IMHO. I use size 12 hooks and each gets hit with a file in the vise to razor sharp before assembly. If you hook a large fish in the lip, or above/beyond the jaw it's likely to get off. My last thought is it's called fishing not catching. Larger fish are inherently more difficult to land. I had a monster bite from out under a tree. I watched it strike 5 feet from me and just as I set she turned, ran, and hook came free. Happy Fishing! R
Gurth  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 8:17:31 AM(UTC)
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NBrevitz wrote:
I'm not a monster Brown expert by any means, but there could be several factors at play. If you're rocking a rod much shorter than 6 feet, you're going to lose a lot of leverage on those bigger fish, line will wrap around them easier, etc. I always sharpen my hooks up at least every couple hours, check on that. A dull hook will only make a wider, shallower hole in the lip, hook can slip out much easier than a narrow, clean punch through. As for braid, I know a lot of you guys like it, but I find that I overset and rip the bait out of their mouths with braid. No stretch, so no forgiveness. Add in the longer fights with stronger fish, and you might be making too big of a gap for the hook to fall through with the slightest slack. I know that many Canadian guides will insist their clients use mono when trolling for lakers, so the hook sticks and doesn't rip through the soft mouth on the hookset.



Some good stuff in here for me to ponder.

I'm new to braided and I hadn't thought about the lack of forgiveness. I'm happy to not be losing lures and that the line didn't snap, but yesterday's fish felt odd and I think it's because of this issue. Was like I was fighting a (moving) rock on a steel cable. Couldn't "feel" it other than that it was a strong fighter.

That said, the two 16-18s that I lost on Sunday were on 6# mono on a UL rod.

Maybe I'm just not good at this. Laugh
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William Schlafer  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 8:23:41 AM(UTC)
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I've lost a few really big Trout in my time. Still waiting to get Mr. 20-incher in the net.

Catching Trout with light gear is fun, but you must be prepared for that moment when the big boy comes calling. I used to fish with very light leaders (5X-6X) because someone told me I'd catch more fish that way. After a number of break offs I switched to 3X-4X leaders and never looked back. You'll need a rod with sufficient strength to turn a strong fish. 4W or 5W will do the job but is still be delicate enough to cast small dries.

Large Trout got big by being smarter than their smaller cousins. When hooked, they will dash to the nearest undercut bank, pile of rocks or tree debris. You must have a rod that will allow you to steer them away from those obstacles. The second you let your leader touch a rock or tree branch, it will end with a pop, limp fly line and plenty of cursing.

A guide once gave me a great tip regarding fighting bigger fish. Don't pull them to the surface right away and let them start thrashing around. They'll throw the hook for sure. Instead, let them pull and charge into the deeper water. Wait for them to exhaust themselves before attempting to steer them to the surface and the net. Put yourself in a good position to net the fish cleanly. Lots of big Trout are lost when the leader touches the net frame.


-Bill
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Gurth  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 8:26:36 AM(UTC)
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rschmidt wrote:
No expert! I can say that I only use an UL rod, 5'6" Ugly Stick. It has good back bone and prevents overset. At this time of year, even hooking into a big one will likely be a less aggressive lip or mouth hook, compounding overset and losses. Also as trout get bigger the mouth is larger and they have greater momentum and strength to spit a hook. I would also add that most stock spinners in 1/8th to 1/4 oz. size have too large of a hook IMHO. I use size 12 hooks and each gets hit with a file in the vise to razor sharp before assembly. If you hook a large fish in the lip, or above/beyond the jaw it's likely to get off. My last thought is it's called fishing not catching. Larger fish are inherently more difficult to land. I had a monster bite from out under a tree. I watched it strike 5 feet from me and just as I set she turned, ran, and hook came free. Happy Fishing! R



Ha ha. Trust me, I live by that mantra.


I was using that exact rod yesterday although technically it says on it that it's "light" action.

That's actually a step up from the 4'8" Ugly UL that I usually use along with a couple off brand 5' ULs.

This particular spot is a one and done in that I park, fish it and leave as there is nothing else around to bother with.

I'm thinking of taking my 7'6" 12# test lake setup next time as I won't be stuck lugging it around all day.

I don't expect to land every fish, just want to get better at it to maximize my opportunities.
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ChadS  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 8:27:59 AM(UTC)
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I was wondering how much the no stretch in braid is exacerbated by infinite anti reverse? I just bought a reel without IAR to try this year.
rschmidt  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 8:53:16 AM(UTC)
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I have used all line types and prefer Power Pro braid. The way I spin fish, I almost always cast upstream. Given that you are retrieving with the current, there is some inherent slack when a hit occurs. In general I do think that braid requires a purposeful set specifically for larger fish.

R
Gurth  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 8:54:58 AM(UTC)
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William Schlafer wrote:


A guide once gave me a great tip regarding fighting bigger fish. Don't pull them to the surface right away and let them start thrashing around. They'll throw the hook for sure. Instead, let them pull and charge into the deeper water. Wait for them to exhaust themselves before attempting to steer them to the surface and the net. Put yourself in a good position to net the fish cleanly. Lots of big Trout are lost when the leader touches the net frame.


-Bill



Another thing to ponder as I replay yesterday's fight.

No doubt I was in too much of a rush and didn't let it play out enough.
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trapper  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, March 1, 2017 9:01:41 AM(UTC)
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Hip to the strip

Strip set, not trout set.
When hardware chucking, strip sets of rod tip moving three feet is about right.
Peen the rod to the

cork- enjoy the fight.

Strip sets with a fly rod involves aggressive pull of the fly line with multiple sets for toothy critters.
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