Foul hooking

Northantslad

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During one of the sessions over xmas, i was experiencing significant opposite tow, coming off a dam wall, it wasn't its fault though...... :)

So, heavier rig and laying on around 5 inches was as far as i was prepared to go in a sacrifice of presentation and sensitivity, but with a bit of holding the rig against the tow, we were ok.

Confirmed i thought when i hooked into a better fish...a skimmer of probably two pound....in the tail that subsequently pulled out.

At the time i thought, well over depth lead to that, but on reflection does it?

Bearing in mind in the tail (i had checked, double checked and marked depth) too....

Are you more likely to foul hook when overdepth or dead depth? As i now think the last 5 inch or so of a rig on the bottom is out of the way and less likely to be wafted up, than one just on bottom?

Shotting wise, no change needed and my last dropper became an inch from the bottom when laying on, as opposed to the usual 5 to 6inch off when dead depth.
 

Silverfisher

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I haven't noticed much of a difference on depth really, I think it's more just a volume of fish in the swim thing. The more fish around hook the more likely ones going to get it in the backside! Or elsewhere of course.
 

Zerkalo

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Not sure. I have foul hooked fish, Bream included, on the cage feeder though so maybe food for thought.
 

squimp

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Back in the day, I did a lot of float fishing for tench.

Everybody used to fish the ‘lift’ method on that water (Hatfield Forest lake). A small bit of peacock quill and around an AAA worth of shot a couple of inches from the hook. Obviously the bait (usually stewed wheat or maggots) was hard on the bottom. It worked okay, but quite a few of the fish were foul hooked either under the mouth or in the pecs. A good session would be a dozen or so tench to 4lb.

Eventually I started fishing with the bait off the bottom (1/2 to 1” off) under a simple float rig. I actually used a pole float as it was short range stuff. The difference was amazing - much more positive bites and much less foul hooking. I had 27 in a morning (twice) fishing this way.

I subsequently used the same off bottom presentation on numerous other tench waters. On one memorable day I caught 5 good fish from a Lea valley pit ‘trotting’ with a small stick float as the tow was so strong (the pit was part of the flood relief system so used to ‘flow’ on occasions). But the key point was the off bottom presentation.

My take on it at the time (as an impressionable 18 year old) was that the fish were able to feed in a more horizontal plane when the bait was slightly off the bottom and that this reduced the likelihood of foulhooking. I’d seen all the pictures in Fred J Taylor’s books about tench standing on their heads to bottom feed !

Conjecture maybe; but the change in presentation did reduce the incidence of foul hooking. And I’m sounding like a match angler again !
 

Silverfisher

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My take on it at the time (as an impressionable 18 year old) was that the fish were able to feed in a more horizontal plane when the bait was slightly off the bottom and that this reduced the likelihood of foulhooking. I’d seen all the pictures in Fred J Taylor’s books about tench standing on their heads to bottom feed !
That does make sense, good thinking 👍🏻
 

JLK

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The fish has caught your line while swimming past and has hooked itself in the tail.
Don't think there is anything else to add tbh. Just one of those things.
 

Northantslad

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Thanks all so far, think the feed aspect could apply here, as i had on indications coming, fed heavier and number of fish in the swim/active around the bait must surely have a bearing on it. In terms of seeing if there is any link between depth fishing at and foul hooking, i am thinking and based on some of the the above, there just may be that link. Get what you mean JLK, and yes that is what happened, just wondering if there is that link, and then i can know why. If is just one of those things, then yes i can forget it and know at least i wasn't increasing the chances of it happening in what i did.
 

dave brittain 1

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Foul hookers are caused by fish swimming into the line or anglers casting over their backs. Depth isn't something I would be looking at because that is determined by how you present you bait, the main cause of foul hooking is generally down to a combination of having too many fish in your peg combined with how you are feeding and how the fish are reacting to that feed. However you can still foul hook fish when you are doing nothing wrong and if it was a one off lost fish, I'd simply put it down to being one of those things, part and parcel of fishing.

If a bait is towing on a still water you have two options, one is to use a heavier bait and the other is to put more depth on to counteract the flow and slow the movement down so that the bait is presented in a natural manner. Note I would think nothing of adding a small spread of No 8 shot particularly if I was on the waggler and dragging them along the bottom well over depth, i.e. it's 5 ft deep, my rig is set 6ft deep and the 3 No 8's are spread 1 inch apart at 10, 11 and 12 ins above the hook. The three No 8's would act as a brake counteracting the tow effect. Because the line is under constant tension from the tow the rig is balanced and retains it's sensitivity very much like the tow acting on a light quiver tip. On rivers particularly for big roach in the middle of winter it's not unusual to catch several feet over depth.

If the problem is down to having too many fishing in your swim, you can cut back on your feed, change your feeding pattern, change the bait you are feeding or change where you are feeding. For people fishing commercials this can often be one of the hardest things to work out and on some days even very experienced anglers have issues.
 
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