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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2000, 10:30 PM
fishbyrne fishbyrne is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: si,ny
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Mr. Daignault-

I have done a lot of experimenting as to when & how to set on a fish while bunker-chunking. For a long time, I would set like I was trying to tear the fish's head off. Then for a while I tried going easy on them. Now, I have settled on a short, sharp jab(s) to put the hook where it belongs and I am fairly happy with the results. Naturally, you have to consider each fish's run individually. I wouldn't put the brakes on hard to a fish thats running like a jetski. All things being equal, IF you were baitfishing big chunks and heads, what's your typical set? My buddy has a pair of fifties from the surf & he simply lets the fish come tight & then starts reeling - drives me crazy. One more for you. When you fish bunker heads, where do you put the hook? Most guys I know put it thru the eyes. I have found that to work poorly at best. I figure that when a bass picks up that head, she swallows it lips first. So Joe Bunkerchunker lets the big girl swim for 20 seconds & assumes that he's in like Flynn. The only problem is when he sets up on the fish, the point of the hook is driven right back into the bunker head again. My answer is to push the hook thru the top of the skull. Once thru the bone - not side to side- your hook is then the last thing in the fishes mouth & when you set, you get unobstructed penetration. It works for me but everyone says I'm doing it wrong [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] - I love that. What do you think?

Steve
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Old 02-02-2000, 10:30 PM
fishbyrne fishbyrne is offline
 
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Mr. Daignault-

I have done a lot of experimenting as to when & how to set on a fish while bunker-chunking. For a long time, I would set like I was trying to tear the fish's head off. Then for a while I tried going easy on them. Now, I have settled on a short, sharp jab(s) to put the hook where it belongs and I am fairly happy with the results. Naturally, you have to consider each fish's run individually. I wouldn't put the brakes on hard to a fish thats running like a jetski. All things being equal, IF you were baitfishing big chunks and heads, what's your typical set? My buddy has a pair of fifties from the surf & he simply lets the fish come tight & then starts reeling - drives me crazy. One more for you. When you fish bunker heads, where do you put the hook? Most guys I know put it thru the eyes. I have found that to work poorly at best. I figure that when a bass picks up that head, she swallows it lips first. So Joe Bunkerchunker lets the big girl swim for 20 seconds & assumes that he's in like Flynn. The only problem is when he sets up on the fish, the point of the hook is driven right back into the bunker head again. My answer is to push the hook thru the top of the skull. Once thru the bone - not side to side- your hook is then the last thing in the fishes mouth & when you set, you get unobstructed penetration. It works for me but everyone says I'm doing it wrong [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] - I love that. What do you think?

Steve
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2000, 11:06 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Steven, I think you posted your fishing question in the wrong place. Here at in-your-face we only deal with personalities, old problems from other web-sites, and cute way of embarrassing nice people so they will never come back. I'm out of shape, but I'll wing it asif I were doing fishing.

When to set depends upon how the fish are acting and if you hope to return them. You will lose less fish if gut hooked but they will probably die if you hook them deep. So you set quick. It's dumb, but when a fish is moving off with the bait it is in the mouth so that is where you'll hook it. You don't have to set hard. A lot of people do that but there is no point in it. I agree with you about your buddy with the 50s who just reels. I suppose if there is tension, it is enough. Your on the edge of something that is interesting. You know what has a lot of people asking themselves what they are doing wrong? Small bass. Here is what happens.

You have a take, hard, rod down flat like the Boston girls, them, they got the tow rope. You set, feel something, then it is gone. Fine once. But it keeps happening until you are in the yellow pages under therapist. Usually, and I'm not on the bottom observing what is happening like the crab guys, it is small fish. Small fish were sent to make you believe that you were fishing wrong. Where you put the hook, maybe a little voodoo spawned from small fish. You may be micro-managing your bass fishing like we all do. Lots of questions. I must be home. Good post, nonetheless. Nonetheless is not code.

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Old 02-03-2000, 03:20 PM
 
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Fishbyrne, When I use chunks, for instance the bunker, I don't put the hook through the eye's as it isn't always going to be there after you cast. I put the hook in the dark flesh right before you hit bone/above the gill plate. It works well. Also if you cut the tail off and use a 3 or 4 inch mid-section hooked the same way through the dark section. I've seen people next to me putting the hook only in the belly and when there's a take, the fish seems to pull the bait off. You can rig a small bunker like you would a shiner for freshwater/by the dorsal fin and lob it out there. Hook chunks of pogies the same way-through the top. I could go on forever with baitfishing. Good luck Jon B.
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Old 02-03-2000, 09:08 PM
fishbyrne fishbyrne is offline
 
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Thanks for the reply. Jon, I think you missed my question. I was specifically talking about bunker heads - not chunks. Mr. Daignault - I think you're right about small fish. The part about the Bunker head that got me to thinking, came from a pair of bass one right after the other. They both picked up a head. I set & THOUGHT I was in. These were serious fish. After a couple of minutes of give & take, they spit out the head. When I brought my bait out of the surf, the hook point had been re-inserted in the bunker head. So the fish were never really hooked. The head was just stuck in their throats. That is why I put the hook thru the back of the skull when I'm "using my head" - the hook is the last thing in the fish's mouth. Sorry to beat this to death. One more thing, you have to yell, "heads up!" whenever you throw a head out there.

Steve
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