I lose a lot of fish 10 to 15 feet from the edge of the water when I'm using plugs, whether its a top water plug or swimmer. I'm improving my hook-up ratio but I'm not landing many of them. Any help would be appreciated.
I probably waste more time than most people playing with the fish just enjoying the fight longer than I probably should. I will have to try keeping the rod tip down and see if that helps. I have started sharpening the hooks a few years ago but I still lose fish.
Its really just all part of plugging. Unlike a jig they really whack the plugs and often get hooked outside the mouth and usually get hooked in two places. when the Fish bends back and forth in a U shape it creates fulcrum points and all the energy goes to the two spots its hooked.
I am a fan of get the fish to the boat and out of the water as fast a posible within the limits of equipment. The shorter the fight the better chance of survival for the throw backs and does not build up as much lactic acid in the meat.
There is a difference in loose drag and light drag, stripers don't run far. You can gain line with a light drag. When the fish starts to slow after his run give pressure to the side while cranking. Most fish are lost on plugs within 12ft of the boat because of tight drag and no line to stretch.
If you are using a really stiff rod and power pro with a tight drag you are pulling the hooks. On the boat I use glass rods with hard baits...from the banks a light loomis surf series. Use VMCs or Gamis. Above advice is all good.