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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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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


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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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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Sunset Lodge
      Hello from the NW Angle!

      Minnesota fishing has been most productive in 20-24 feet of water.  Guests are bringing home their limits of Walleye and Sauger with the occasional Perch and Northern mixed in. Fish have been most active early and late in the day and the bite has been terrific. The use of electronics continues to be very beneficial with fish taking jigging spoons, jigg’n raps or rattle baits.  Snowmobile ttrails on the Minnesota side continue to be maintained and are in great shape. We are still making ice, with most spots at over 30 inches. 

      North and East of us in Canada, big Crappies are coming in on light tackle setups out of 30 feet. If you are looking for walleye, they are everywhere!

      Until next week, 

      Sunset Lodge
    • JBMasterAngler
      On the Bayfield side of the bay, the target depth is typically 10 to 40 ft. The basswood island area is where they go after lakers. There’s a plowed road that goes out there. As of last week the ice was about 20 inches in that area, might be thicker now. Check out the Bayfield webcam, you can see what kind of activity is going on.
    • Jarrid Houston
      Wanderer, stop in at the River Rock bait shop in Ashland and they will get you pointed in the right direction.  They are always pretty cool about that.  Fishing near Ashland off of 2nd landing can be good.  Don't need nothing more than regular walleye gear, and some tip-ups and really there is no rhyme or reason where a guy should set up shop. Its a pretty wide open water and the fish that live there are always on the move. For us, most often, the sit and wait pays off.  It has been slower as of late, but still some fish..  Good luck, JH
    • cat44
      Anybody know if there is a pressure ridge/ice heave out in front of the Warroad Access? I know ice conditions will change throughout the coming weeks. Looking forward to getting after some pike.  The last few years there has been a pressure ridge there, last year it went from Springsteel over to Swift. And we've been up there plenty of times when there hasn't been one at all. Just curious to find out what conditions are like in that bay. Thanks!
    • Hoyt4
      Most likely our last trip up this year unless we go up for crappies but i'm running out of weekends. We had another great trip this weekend the fish are so fat this year more than I remember in the past.  Got my old man out for a good walleye bite he had a blast and caught a ton of fish. One day they just attached the bait as it was coming down they would come up and smash. Next day you put in the bottom and not even see the lure on the vex bring up a tad and they would smack it. Fun and a lot of snow hitting yesterday when we left.
    • PRO-V
    • SaintPaulPaul
      Switch to regular Budweiser and they seem to just jump out of the hole. No, seriously the way I improved my landing success through the ice was to go to small treble hooks. One small one on a 6' leader, a weight and Colorado blade above the leader seems to work for me. If you are on the flag right away, you don't risk gut-hooking them. I also recycle my Power Pro musky line and put it on tip ups. Also, I should add that I always  have a jaw-spreader and 8" forceps for quick and easy hook removal.
    • Iowabrewcrew
      Funny...seems like when the Emerald run slowed down up there 4-5 years ago, the fishing followed suit!
    • anyfishwilldo
      they only ran for a couple days.  They have them on the canadian side but its illegal to transport live bait across the border
    • JerkinLips
      Cliff - much more than the 4-6" they were predicting.  It was a tired drive back to Blaine late Saturday night, but would have been a much tougher drive back Sunday.
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