Hook size

Robbie888

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Could someone point me in the right direction please, whilst fishing the pole over the weekend I struggled to hit a lot of bites, I was using a 16 hook and the bait was sweet corn or 6mm pellets. I tried leaving plenty of the hook showing, let the float bury for a little longer but nothing seemed to work. I could hit maybe 1 in 5 bites. Its been a while since I fished the pole (maybe 15 years or so) but I've always used to use a 16 hook with corn no problem. Thanks for your help.
 

Anglingman

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Hi Rob

if it makes you feel better i had the same on size 16 and corn the same this weekend and i fish 1 or 2 times a week in matches on the pole.:)

My issue was 3 fold......
  • line bites from fish at mid depth (they would not feed shallow at all)
  • Fish not feeding confidently
  • small silvers attacking the bait
For me it was just one of those days and banded hard pellet helped a bit but i think the fish may have had other things on their minds.....
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Hook size does not really have much to do with hitting bites IMHO. Hook size for me is more about matching the hook to bait and line. So for Winter I will use a B611 18 to 0.10 to enable me to fish 2mm pellet and cornskin with confidence. But I would have no issue putting a 4/6mil expander on or a whole grain of corn. My Summer hooklengths for the B611 would be 0.13 to a 16 when I am not using skins or 2mm pellet. To me that just feels balanced.

On the subject of hook size, it does help mentioning the brand/model. A B611 16 is a totally different size to a B911 16, it is nearer the B911 18.

Missed "bites" as Anglingman has said is probably due to other factors as he mentions. First thing I would try is having more bristle showing. This actually goes against my normal advice to dot the float as low as possible. But on these occasions having a lot of bristle showing means you should only see the float disappear with a proper bite as against a liner or small fish ragging the bait.

Changing the size of bait can also help. With corn try cutting a grain in half or using a skin. If on pellet then either change up or down in size. I recall one match where I was missing bites on meat until I cut the meat even smaller and then I started to catch 6lb+ fish. Why those fish played with a larger cube I don't know.

If all that fails then I may change depth and go as much as nine inches overdepth. Or if you are already over by an inch or two then try getting as close to dead depth as possible.
 

Paul22

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Could someone point me in the right direction please, whilst fishing the pole over the weekend I struggled to hit a lot of bites, I was using a 16 hook and the bait was sweet corn or 6mm pellets. I tried leaving plenty of the hook showing, let the float bury for a little longer but nothing seemed to work. I could hit maybe 1 in 5 bites. Its been a while since I fished the pole (maybe 15 years or so) but I've always used to use a 16 hook with corn no problem. Thanks for your help.
I’d guess at line bites pal a size 16 should be fine with corn or 6mm Pellets.
You’ve probably fed too much and there were too many fish in your peg......
At this time of the year fish for one fish at a time
In other words feed a small amount through a kinder pot and fish over it until you hook a fish then feed again.
If your float keep moving or bolting under just lift it 6 inch gently and lower it back in......
Another thing to try is paste sometimes they will take paste when you were otherwise struggling to hook anything.
Also try coming 6 inch of the bottom this on occasion works well.
I often try fishing past the feed or to one side this may pick up an odd fish.
Definitely experiment with feeding patterns sometimes less is more 👍
 

fredradac

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Even after 60 odd years angling I keep telling myself that my gear is spot on so getting no bites / missing bites must be down to external factors eg no fish within half a mile! However the reality is that a bit of experimenting with depth, shotting pattern, length of hooklength, size of hook etc etc can make all the difference.
 

ukzero1

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It could also be a matter of the fish thinking that your last shot could be a tasty bit of Hemp, I've had it before.
 

Corn Master

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Sounds like liners but you might argue this

Otherwise you may have done better fishing something banded or played around with hooking the bait slightly
 

sjmclean

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Hook size does not really have much to do with hitting bites IMHO. Hook size for me is more about matching the hook to bait and line. So for Winter I will use a B611 18 to 0.10 to enable me to fish 2mm pellet and cornskin with confidence. But I would have no issue putting a 4/6mil expander on or a whole grain of corn. My Summer hooklengths for the B611 would be 0.13 to a 16 when I am not using skins or 2mm pellet. To me that just feels balanced.

On the subject of hook size, it does help mentioning the brand/model. A B611 16 is a totally different size to a B911 16, it is nearer the B911 18.

Missed "bites" as Anglingman has said is probably due to other factors as he mentions. First thing I would try is having more bristle showing. This actually goes against my normal advice to dot the float as low as possible. But on these occasions having a lot of bristle showing means you should only see the float disappear with a proper bite as against a liner or small fish ragging the bait.

Changing the size of bait can also help. With corn try cutting a grain in half or using a skin. If on pellet then either change up or down in size. I recall one match where I was missing bites on meat until I cut the meat even smaller and then I started to catch 6lb+ fish. Why those fish played with a larger cube I don't know.

If all that fails then I may change depth and go as much as nine inches overdepth. Or if you are already over by an inch or two then try getting as close to dead depth as possible.
What makes you use a B611 instead of a b911?
 

jononcb

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I don't think you were doing too much wrong by using a 16 hook for corn.
It's a fair match for fishing a largish bottom bait like corn.
Sounds like a lot could of been false line bites though.

Hook size can make a difference though for some types of fishing.

I won my club match with 173lb on Sunday but it needed a few tweaks to get it right.

First 3 hours it was lovely and sunny and carp were cruising about shallow but were proving hard to catch/mug on banded pellet on a 16 hook, dibber float 6 to 12 inch deep.
Had a rethink and made a fresh rig up with same float and 0.16 line but a much smaller 18 hook and much longer 3ft line length between float and pole tip.
Tried this with 2 red maggots and all shot under the float to give a very slow natural fall of hookbait and it was like flicking a switch, hooked a fish virtually every 2 or 3 minutes. Never fed a thing either but just swung the rig out to intercept the cruising carp.
Plus a good pair of polaroids helps too.

All the other anglers on my side of the lake fished baits on the bottom and suffered missed bites and foulhookers and 99lb was the next best weight.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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What makes you use a B611 instead of a b911?
B611 is a lighter hook and I prefer spades in smaller sizes. I use the B911 with thicker lines as I don't trust a spade once the line gets above 0.13. Just looks out of balance to me.
 

Fred Davis

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Normally when missing bites the golden rule is to shallow up try shallowing up an inch at a time until you start hooking them in the mouth, Two very well known anglers have both done this and one particular thames legend won or was in the top ten of the LAA thames championship year after year, In fact it was only a few years ago that we heard how he achieved such success with his massive dace catches from the thames, In fact one year I drew next to him and we were catching dace missing a lot of bites but were fish for fish until he changed a few things I couldn't actually see what he had done but from there on he doubled my catch rate, he won the individual thames championships, I won the section of 60 gold medal by default and my team won the Laa thames championships, when asked by one of my mates years later why he was so successful when fishing for dace on the thames he replied majority of anglers were only hitting one out of five bites he found by altering his depth an inch at a time he could find the optimum depth and increase the catch rate, the second angler was another great angler we were fishing a two day event at the Glebe I had drawn a good peg on ugly's to just win day one on that lake but my weight was a low 70lb, anyway I after the draw for the second day it transpired this angler had drawn the same peg I had on ugly's and asked how I had won the lake so I told him that I eventually managed to catch on corn after a grim start, anyway I heard he had won with a massive 200lb plus weight so went round to congratulate him with Barry (the Beast) Gannon as he had won the two day event,
when we chatted I asked him how he had caught he said he had tried corn but couldn't get it to work, various other baits were tried until he eventually got a few bags of casters out of his bag, he had the fish going but kept missing bites when fishing on the deck so shallowed up an inch at a time until everyone was hooked in the gob, Barry smiled and said to me now that's a proper commercial angler who knows what he is doing. Trying this tactic is now common knowledge but it wasn't all those years ago
when these two superstars obviously had an edge or two ;-)
 

Dave Spence

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I agree with Neil that hook size is not a major factor in missed bites, I have used tares on a size 22 and still hit the bites with no problem. I am not advocating using small hooks exclusively and, as Neil mentioned, it is more about matching the hook to the bait.

One thing to consider, and this has happened to me too many times to be coincidence, is which side of the hook the line is lying. It needs to be coming of the front of the shank (the bend side), many times I have started missing bites and on inspection noticed that the line had slipped round to the back of the hook; span it round to the front and started hitting bites again. Hope this helps(y)
 

sjmclean

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B611 is a lighter hook and I prefer spades in smaller sizes. I use the B911 with thicker lines as I don't trust a spade once the line gets above 0.13. Just looks out of balance to me.
Cheers, interesting. I use spades all the way to 0.23 with no issues. Most hooks these days are using slighlty bigger spades to deal with this.
 

Paul22

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I have a Andy Findlay dvd on corn fishing and he prefers to use a small hook for corn fishing size 18 or 20 his theory being if you hook corn on a bigger hook when you strike at a false bite the hook pulls through the corn exposing the hook and making presentation poor......he just hooks the corn in the corner with a small hook and reckons he doesn’t get that problem and hooks every proper bite....... he also states he thinks small hooks stick in the fish just as good as big hooks.
I’m not saying this is correct but it’s another point of view from a top class angler.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Cheers, interesting. I use spades all the way to 0.23 with no issues. Most hooks these days are using slighlty bigger spades to deal with this.
I guess its just one of those confidence things that I cannot really explain other than it feels right to me.
 

Ken the Pacman

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You have to try and decide why you are missing bites in the first place and gradually alter things to try and up the bite to fish conversion, sometimes its liners, feeding and shallowing up can help with this sometimes you have too many fish competing so you deal with feeding first,cut it back and let them settle down a bit or come very shallow and you rarely miss bites off Carp but F1s can be tricky as can Ide and I find Barbel awkward to catch shallow.
If its a problem with finiky fish go down a hook size then to a lighter hook and thinner line to sort out more positive bites.
Sometimes banding or what you are really doing,hair rigging a bait will instantly improve the bite to fish ratio.
Sorry its not a precise answer but there is very rarely a single reason you miss bites more a combination of things and its up to you to sort out the approach on the day to beat the issues....that for me is what Angling is about not the simple action of just catching fish.
 
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