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hankpete

circle hooks

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I am still trying to bring my tackle box up to date for my upcoming walleye expedition and am wondering if anyone had or knows of experiences using circle hooks on walleyes.The South Carolina DNR has done studies on several different fish & circle hooks did reduce the % of gut hooking.Since there is the slot rule in effect on Vermilion walleyes & some small walleyes are caught it would be interesting to know if circle hooks could improve the mortality rate of caught & released walleyes.

Hank Petersen

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Hey hank - I use circle hooks on my spinner rigs, lindy's, and slip bobbers. ABout the only time I don't use 'em is when I'm jigging, casting, or trolling... I'd say bring 'em. I know it's not scientific data, but I personally feel that I am able to release more fish, and more healthy fish with the circles than with other styles. One thing I learned, though, is that you want them to sit flat, with no offset for the point. They seem to hook corners of the mouth more often, while the ones with offsets tend to hook other places in the mouth.

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Slick

What size circle hooks have you been using on walleyes? Your feelings about releasing fish from circle hooks agrees with mine when fishing in S.C.,especially with flounder. After the first tap it is generally necessary to let them take the bait for awhile prior to setting the hook. The circle hooks do result in more lip hhookups instead of hooks in the gut

Hank

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Depends on the bait size, speed that I'm using, and overall presentation size, Hank. cool.gif

I stick with a little smaller size for the spinners if I'm using crawlers, maybe a #6 or so. Often, if I'm using half or full crawlers on a spinner rig, I'll go with a smaller hook on the back, with the next size up on the front of the harness. Different colors too. blush.gif

#4 for minnows, and depending on the leech size, I'll go back & forth. Usually those two sizes, though, more than any others.

I kind of took my sizing from some lessons I got when I was serving in NC and learning to really target bass. Different sizes based on speed and size of presentation kind of thing. Keeping that in mind, you shouldn't have any troubles. Just remember that a walleye will much prefer a #6 to a 2/0 hook.... seem to fit in their mouths better for some reason. grin.gif

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