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Hillbilly voodoo

Short strikes on Topwater

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Ok those who followed the surface paddler thread have seen the lure I designed over the winter. Well it works but seems to have a fair amount of short strikes. It was developed for pike/musky(No musky yet but my lure tester out East has been skunked in general ) and has been catching pike. The lure comes in around 6inches long and 1 1/2 wide so it’s got some size to it

I am not normally a top water fishermen or builder so not accustom to solving the issue of short strikes on top water. Getting the fish to respond to the action is not an issue but they are missing or taking the rear hook only. Personally I think a down sized version will solve this but curious on what tricks others have

from the reports of bass taking interest in the design I think a smaller option would be a positive addition ether way. 
 

So Topwater gurus what are your tricks to combat short strikes?

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Don't fish for pike or musky...

Bass short strikes typically you haven't dialed in the retrieve speed/cadence/action of the bait.  You have to start tweaking it some.  At times it might be the color but usually the least important.

 

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Typically, I see short strikes as an indication that you're close to what they want, but not quite there. When I'm running into this, my two moves are generally to change color, or speed up my retrieve. But on the water, I don't usually have the option to redesign a lure like you're talking about. 

To me, short strikes are a day to day thing, but you seem to be experiencing it across multiple fishing trips, so I'm thinking maybe the action needs to be either amplified or toned down a bit. You might consider moving your ballast forward or rearward in the bait just a tiny bit and see if that makes a difference.

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It has only had a few days of testing and it seems pike 30inch plus are not having an issue. Sounds like maybe some further testing and some colour/size/retrieve variations. 
 

Thanks for the replies not a big top water guy so the advice is helpful 

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31 minutes ago, ravenlures said:

Maybe it just needs a rattle so it can be gobbled up.

Wayne

The rear prop gives off a rattling sound I can hear from about 10feet but an internal rattle would be a different tone

It throws water like crazy and makes a great wake. Personally my opinion is it might need to be toned down rather than ramped up. My tester out east is thinking a dressed hook to give the fish a target to help. He figures for musky it’s probably good as is but his group has had a horrible season with the conditions and have been skunked so far

I might need to find a new musky fishermen to do some testing lol. He has been hammering every other species though

I definitely see some real promise in the design but needs some tweaking to get it just right 

 

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Maybe take the prop off and just with a rattle, but the feather is a good idea, or a grub with a stinger hook.

Wayne

 

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13 minutes ago, ravenlures said:

Maybe take the prop off and just with a rattle, but the feather is a good idea, or a grub with a stinger hook.

Wayne

 

I have also seen some top waters use what looks like shrink wrap to hold the rear hook straight back. Do you have any experience with this?

definitely plan to try the dressed hook being the easiest adjustment

.I may just have to build a bunch of variants to see how it goes 

Edited by Hillbilly voodoo

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Keeping the bait moving forward a bit should increase your hookups.

When a bait is just sitting on the water and not moving forward, you will get your worst hookup ratios.

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10 minutes ago, seakarp said:

Keeping the bait moving forward a bit should increase your hookups.

When a bait is just sitting on the water and not moving forward, you will get your worst hookup ratios.

I know that has not been the problem when I have fished it personally but thanks for the input 

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Short strikes and rear hooks are usually from being to quick to set the hook, generally wait for the extra weight then set!

Not watching what exactly is happening we are all guessing.

My .02 

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3 hours ago, azsouth said:

Short strikes and rear hooks are usually from being to quick to set the hook, generally wait for the extra weight then set!

Not watching what exactly is happening we are all guessing.

My .02 

No doubt it maybe fishermen error lol

I will try to pay attention to delaying the hook set because honestly I have just been reacting and don’t know if I am striking do to feel or sight

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3 hours ago, mark poulson said:

I think short strikes/blow ups with no hook up is small fish.  Big fish commit, and pull it under.

I have not noticed any issues with the larger pike so it could vary well be the size of fish vs the size of lure

I have a request to make a smaller version just for the fact bass are showing interest in the size I have made. So a smaller version is in the works 

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Sounds like a fun project!  I second the delayed hookset idea, as I've seen myself pull a lure straight out of a fish's mouth by setting too soon.  Many of my fish this year have been bass on a popper, but a smaller one, about 2 1/2 inches.  I find I can be WAY too reliant on seeing my lures, but that's just a personal weakness.

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When I started making my own topwaters I did without really adding sound.  I had some trips where I had decent hook sets.  Other trips not as great. Was that due to no added sound?  The ones I make now are loud and I’ve noticed a small difference with higher hook sets.  

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1 minute ago, turtlela said:

When I started making my own topwaters I did without really adding sound.  I had some trips where I had decent hook sets.  Other trips not as great. Was that due to no added sound?  The ones I make now are loud and I’ve noticed a small difference with higher hook sets.  

Wish I knew how to post videos to give an example of what this lure does. There is lots of noise from the prop rattling and the way it throws water. Think jitter bug or crawler on steroids 

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In my humble experience fishing a homemade wake bait these past two years is that pike are blind when it comes to a top water strike haha. I had a small pike come completely out of the water but missed the bait by about a foot and a half.... I think the little jack pikes are just too enthusiastic when it comes to anything top water and completely misjudge the strike. As for big bass and musky, the don't seem to have a problem sucking it down. Lost my PB bass twice now due to my own stupid mistakes but both fish had solid hookups on the front hook. Most of the fish I have landed were a headshot except the few 20in pike.

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I fish for pike with weedless rubber frogs this time of year, they aren't noisy or make any great fuss on the top water and they don't seem to suffer with the  short strike but they are notoriously bad for hookup due to design,  strike reaction is key or lack of it with the frogs I always wait a couple of seconds .

Anyway back to my point about the frogs not  really making much fuss on the top of the water,  I wonder if the problem with your lure is its making a little too much disturbance on the water  resulting in  the fish not hitting the target? 

Atb

Kanny 

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That is a very wide grill at the front. I am probably out of my depth here, but I can imagine a very wide wake pattern. I am thinking that it is possible that the fish are missing wide. Just a thought.

Can you insert the image on this post for reference.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman
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13 hours ago, Vodkaman said:

That is a very wide grill at the front. I am probably out of my depth here, but I can imagine a very wide wake pattern. I am thinking that it is possible that the fish are missing wide. Just a thought.

Can you insert the image on this post for reference.

Dave

Only pic I have on hand. For those who have not seen the design it’s the black and blue lure

the misses seem to be behind the lure to my eyes anyway. If I am in a good area to fish it on my days off I will try it again 

Maybe it’s like LHL posted small pike are just dumb lol. Had no issues with larger pike

FEF01A58-6E3B-4284-9EEB-7D82556850BB.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Hillbilly voodoo said:

I can’t figure out how to upload the clip from my phone onto the forum or I would Dave

My smartphone is definitely smarter then me when it comes to technology lol

You must upload to YouTube, then paste the link into TU.

Dave

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22 hours ago, Vodkaman said:

You must upload to YouTube, then paste the link into TU.

Dave

That is going to involve a lot of swearing to possibly figure out. Definitely something that won’t be attempting till I have caught up on sleep in maybe a few days 

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