Fishing Tips

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


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!