Strange lake fishing action yesterday

Kirk Singleton

Capt Kirk
I was lake fishing yesterday in a smaller stocked lake. I was getting the most action on a small (1 1/2”) leach. In fact it was red hot, with constant strikes on countless fish. BUT the fish were getting unbuttoned. They would hammer the fly the rod would bend deep, the fish would fight, shake their head, often times jump and about 20 seconds-ish, they would get off. This happened with probably 8 out of 10 fish, all morning long. The hook was a new umpqua and super sharp. The tail of the fly was short but all that I can imagine is that they were short hitting it in the tail and then letting go?
any thoughts on what is up? I am thinking that I could add a small stinger hook to see it that gets them.
Has anybody experienced anything like this? Thanks in advance!
 

Shad

Active Member
I lose a lot of fish on mini leeches (and just about anything else fished under an indicator, especially in stillwater). I think it's a combination of the vertical presentations (orienting the hook point awkwardly and creating a big bend in the line between you and the fish) and not having any current to help you hook them before they can spit it.

Of course, lest we forget, some days are better than others. We rarely know why, but we've all experienced how fish just plain bite "better" (hook themselves) some days, while just barely nipping at stuff (or shutting down altogether) on others....
 

Kirk Singleton

Capt Kirk
I lose a lot of fish on mini leeches (and just about anything else fished under an indicator, especially in stillwater). I think it's a combination of the vertical presentations (orienting the hook point awkwardly and creating a big bend in the line between you and the fish) and not having any current to help you hook them before they can spit it.

Of course, lest we forget, some days are better than others. We rarely know why, but we've all experienced how fish just plain bite "better" (hook themselves) some days, while just barely nipping at stuff (or shutting down altogether) on others....
I was actually trolling. the bite was slow until I kicked it up to 1.4mph. Actually the faster that I went, the more hits I got!
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Premium
My thought: fish inherently attack bigger meals from the front. For stocker fish, even a 1-1/2" micro leech is a bigger meal. When they strike from the front, im guessing a decent portion of time you're hooking the outside of their mouth, which if they turn the right way and the fly is running back thru their mouth a head shake would easily lose the fly. A stinger would only result in hooking more eyeballs.
 

Shad

Active Member
I was actually trolling. the bite was slow until I kicked it up to 1.4mph. Actually the faster that I went, the more hits I got!
Yeah... trolling is usually a good bet for solid hookups, but not always (as you have seen). Probably just the numbers playing out. You'll probably go 8 for 8 next time out.
 

Merle

Active Member
I’ve had many similar days on the local stocked lakes. I used to use a float tube, a floating line, longer leader and little black sparkly nymph, trolled maybe 6” -12” below the surface.

If the lake was recently planted I would easily get a hundred “tap tap taps” for every 50 actual hookups, and then ones that did hook up seemed to run right towards me, so I would strip furiously while flippering backwards as fast as possible to keep the line tight. And then maybe lost half of those. But it was non stop action regardless.

One thing that does help (in my experience) with leeches is to use small dumbbell eyes so the hook rides “point up”. I think hooking them in the top of the mouth makes a big difference in the hook holding even when some slack gets in the line.

Andy
 

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