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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I missed a whole bunch of hits on the gurgler this evening. I was setting the hook like I normally do, but I was just coming away empty. Over and over. On a few of them I could feel the weight of the fish, but on others I was just getting nothing.

I thought it might have been my weedguard (20lb mason tied in at the front and the back). But I've used that same weedguard before with no issues. Hooks were owner mosquitos.

Is there some kind of trick to getting solid hooksets when using a gurgler?
 

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I missed a whole bunch of hits on the gurgler this evening. I was setting the hook like I normally do, but I was just coming away empty. Over and over. On a few of them I could feel the weight of the fish, but on others I was just getting nothing.

I thought it might have been my weedguard (20lb mason tied in at the front and the back). But I've used that same weedguard before with no issues. Hooks were owner mosquitos.

Is there some kind of trick to getting solid hooksets when using a gurgler?
I've found needs a 1 Mississippi pause before the hookset.
 

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Sometimes a fish will smack the fly (or lure) with his tail to stun it before he tries to eat it. If that is the commotion you are seeing, you will drag the fly out of the fish's sight before he has a chance to come back and eat it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all. Definitely a common trend in these posts.

Gonna try to get back out and try it again. Hopefully the conversation won't be the same as yesterday. I had my daughter on the boat with me. She was just relaxing while I was getting frustrated...
Me: #[email protected]^$#%!!! Did you see that? I missed another one!
Her: LOLOLOLOL!!!
 

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I make a point of telling my anglers that their first strike is usually a miss and if they’ll keep the bug moving - the fish won’t miss the second time...

I know it’s hard but you have to wait until you feel the strike... before reacting... Of course I tend to strike too soon -just same as everyone else.
 

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Do you know what species? Reds are not anatomically built to take off the top. They usually swing and miss a few times before connecting.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you know what species? Reds are not anatomically built to take off the top. They usually swing and miss a few times before connecting.
I don't know for sure the species. I have taken snook at this location before, and that's what I would have expected to be there. But on the other hand, when these things were hitting there wasn't that distinctive snook pop sound.

And @lemaymiami , in order to keep that bug moving when they miss requires at least nerves of steel. Normally my nerves are made of titanium. But apparently when a fish eats a surface fly, my titanium breaks down into jelly. :D
 

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Do you know what species? Reds are not anatomically built to take off the top. They usually swing and miss a few times before connecting.
If they want it they’ll usually eat it even though their mouth is more for feeding in front or below their body. The reason most fish are missed or seem to miss the surface lure or fly us their wake pushes the target out of the way. Let it sit a second then barely twitch it and they’ll usually hammer it. If not, keep casting in that area and they will likely not be able to stand it and the reaction strike instinct takes over.
 

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Rod tip low, wait for a second or two for the fish to get it ints mouth then strip set. I find with reds you really have to wait
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As I think about it, I'm starting to think my hooksets in general kind of suck. Because this is absolutely not the first time I've had this trouble. Sometimes I have trouble even if it's a subsurface fly also. Especially for baby tarpon! I wouldn't be surprised if I get one fish on for every 8 or 10 bites with those guys. I think I miss more strikes than I ought to. I'm going to resolve here and now to really focus on this aspect of my fishing and try to solve this.

@Backcountry 16 I am indeed enjoying it! Every time. The other day, I went out by myself for a quick trip in the evening. As soon as I pulled away from the dock it started pouring down rain. I fished anyway. Got soaked. Didn't catch a thing - not even a bite. Still had a great time. :cool: I'm thankful you sold it to me!
 

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One other thing that will help anyone that misses a lot of strikes... Many that I've seen hold their rod so that the tip is a foot or two off the water... Want to increase your hookups? Simply put the tip of your rod in the water and always pointing directly at the fly... That way if a fish even kisses your fly you have a direct connection with absolutely no slack between your stripping hand and that hook. Fly rods are built for casting - not fish hooking - point the rod directly at the fly, keep the tip of the rod in the water slightly and you remove all the "give" between you and the hook. Your hook-up ratio will soar. This also works with big tarpon....
 

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... is there some kind of trick to getting solid hooksets when using a gurgler?
Yes ... move away from the school of ladyfish :-/
They seem to want to slash top water (lures and flies) and sometimes I’ll miss more than I hook with a wood or foam body popper.
 

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Good points. Also it might be good to check that the gap is wide enough between the material on the shank of the hook and the point. Sometimes the bulky flies end up working against the fish trying to eat them.
 
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