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Went out Monday trolling and could not hook up a fish. We had 5 hard planer line hits and could not get any to stick.. We were trolling east and west at 2.7 to 3 mph as indicated on gps. Am I trolling the correct speed? What can I do to turn these bites into catches? Any info would be most appreciated.
 

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Three things to think about - how much force is needed to trip your lines from the planer boards. If the tension is too light, the hook won't be set when the line goes slack. Another possiblity is whether your hooks are sharp - I always find that my rigs, as purchased, have pretty dull hooks. If the hook point won't stick to the top of my fingernail, it's too dull for me. Are you using stinger hooks? Not everyone uses them, but they help if you are getting short bites. Hopefully next trip you get five straight hook-ups.
 

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What type of lures are u running? Is the hook permently fixed to the lead head? or is it the slider kind where the line goes through the head and the hook moves freely behind the head? What size shad are u using? and are u running Stinger Hooks? Do the baits look like they are swimming well when u let them out? All these things could effect your hook ups. Just try changing couple things and see if your hook ups improve. Then theres always the luck factor...:thumbup:
 

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I am by no expert at this, in fact still a rookie. The one thing that I see in your question that bothers me is the fact that you were using "GPS" speed. I found when I did this at first I was having a few issues, once I put a paddle wheel on and was using actual speed over water and not speed over ground I did much better! When using the gps speed you dont take into account for water movement, boat going with or against the current! Just a thought.
 

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I had 3 short strikes Tuesday and another guy at the cleaning station mentioned he had a bunch. I don"t know why they didn't come tight. My hooks are sharp and I use paddle wheel speed. The strikes were hard enough to break my rubber bands. I just write them off as short strikes.
 

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Without a paddle wheel, drop a spoon over, get it in the water and down just in sight and observe the action. The desired action for me is a rhythmic back and forth sway. I use my wire lines as a speed indicator. If they are > 90 degrees the boat is going to fast.. Alter direction to counter act tide/wind if the spoon action is off. Good luck.
 

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I am by no expert at this, in fact still a rookie. The one thing that I see in your question that bothers me is the fact that you were using "GPS" speed. I found when I did this at first I was having a few issues, once I put a paddle wheel on and was using actual speed over water and not speed over ground I did much better! When using the gps speed you dont take into account for water movement, boat going with or against the current! Just a thought.
Are you sure about this. I kinda thought it was just the opposite. The satellite should be picking up your real speed including any impact from currents positive or negative. I always used the GPS vs the paddle wheel which never seemed to give me an accurate speed.
 

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We have had the same problem at times, make sure you are running trailer hooks. You may also want to bump your speed up just a hair, it has made all the difference for us several times when they are striking short.
 

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Are you sure about this. I kinda thought it was just the opposite. The satellite should be picking up your real speed including any impact from currents positive or negative. I always used the GPS vs the paddle wheel which never seemed to give me an accurate speed.
Jim........paddlespeed (speed over water) is what you want to use. You do however have to synchrinize the speed of the paddlewheel (see manual). If you have not done this, that would explain why your paddle wheel (water speed) does not seem correct.

3 dogs............most times (not always), but most times the reason for multiple short strikes is either small fish or that your speed is a little slow. Try bumping up your gps speed to 3.5 and I bet you will start hooking up. A paddlewheel is a great investment if your equipment is adaptable to add in the future. Any easy trick is to tie a short leader with a parachute and a 9 inch shad so that it is right next to the boat just under the water (1 foot+/-) so you can see it while you are navigating. Real easy to see if the shad tail is moving too slow. Good luck..................Mark
 

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Jim- The paddle wheel gives speed over water(sow). If going against current, gps speed(sol) will be slower than sow. If going with the current, sol will be faster than sow. If going cross current, sow and sol should be about the same..............
 

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Are u sure there strikes..? what sized rubber bands are u using? i had the same problem a few yrs back come to find out the power prow was cutting the bands , now i use scotty clips way better than bands...

As for the gps and paddle whell speed i use the gps and sometimes seems i am going to fast or too slow depending on the current tide flow.. once u have been doing it for awhile u can feel if u are going to fast or too slow.. sometime my gps will be reading .08 mph and i catch fish sometimes it read 4.0 and i still catch fish but it dosn't feel like i am going that fast.. the paddle wheel generally read about .3 slower than gps....

Drag em deep ,drag them high , drag them fast drag them slow if there hungry they will bite
 

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While Speed is important and the above points valid - the reason you likely had issues is the DEBRIS IN THE WATER. On Monday we had dozens of "short strikes."

They were not all smart striped bass, they were likely sticks, boards roots , trash, sticks, brooms and barrels. Its a mess out there, particularly on Monday by Bloody Point.
 

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IMHO...you should use both paddle wheel & GPS speeds indicators but it really depends on what type of trolling you are doing as to which is most useful.

in the spring the fish are generally suspended in the water column and are being moved by the current as they swim.
for this type of fishing it is very important to know how fast you are moving through the water and hence how fast you are moving past the fish.
both you and the fish are being affected by the speed of the current so you need to know your speed in relation to that current so your paddle wheel is best here.

in fall fish are more lilely to be relating to structure so your speed over ground becomes much more important.
now the fish may be holding on a ledge that is not moving with the current so you need to determine your speed as it relates to the ledge.
now you are being affected by the current but the structure isn't so you need to know how fast you are moving across the ledge so your GPS showing speed over ground is best.
 

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Many reasons why you could be getting hits but not solid hook ups.

Best guesses - boards not pulling hard - allows the fish to pull the lure back but not get hooked.

Light drags - same effect. Instead of the boat setting the hook - fish holds lure then spits it out.

Small Rock that hit the front of the lure - then let go. Bigger Rock tend to swallow or inhale the lure. Often get hooked as the spit it out.

As others advised - dull hooks or going too slow.

You did not indicate if you use braid or mono. IMHO - braid really helps hook more fish. Mono can stretch.

It's all part of trolling. Some days you get 10 hits and all are hooked - other days you get 10 hits and only get 2-3 to the boat.
 

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It's the clips ! This is the prime reason to use clips rather than rubber bands. With clips you can adjust the tension to the size of the fish. Big fish- put the line further back in the clip. Smaller fish- move the line out. There is a lot of slack in the line between the the rod and the clip. If the clip is too loose the fish doesn't get hooked. By the time the line gets out to the rod the fish is gone. You cannot adjust rubber bands, they are what they are, some break some don't, that's why they are old school. And they don't give a solid hookup.
Sharp hooks are also important, check them all and file as necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you for all the tips. We use stinger hooks with 9" shads. We have both mono and power pro lineand use scotty clips that we clip at the "black line" on the outside of the clips. Also my clips are not at the tightest setting. I will try going faster, sharpen the hooks and tighten up my scotty clips by putting line all the way in. I really appreciate the help. It was extremely frustrating not hooking up at all.
 
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