Punching Mats for Big Bass: When Should You Set the Hook?

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We’ve become big fans of Dr. Jimmy Liao’s Fish Code Studios YouTube channel. He takes scientific looks at many of the common issues that baffle bass anglers. He’s also a talented bass angler, so his videos are quite relatable and easily applied in real-life scenarios.

Dr. Liao recently released an excellent video that helps settle a common conundrum when punching matted vegetation: Do you set the hook quickly or should you wait a few seconds? Some anglers believe the bass will spit the bait as soon as it feels a heavy tungsten weight in its mouth, while others think it’s best to give the bass a bit more time to take the bait. Dr. Liao explains what makes a bass bite a punching rig and also records the amount of time a bass holds a 1 1/2-ounce tungsten in its mouth. The results might surprise you!