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papabear

circle hooks

12 posts in this topic

Hopefuly someone can help me. I just began using circle hooks this summer and am having a tough time hooking fish. I had four big bites last night and couldnt hook one, did hook one that just barely tapped the line. I am just sweeping the rod tip back instead of setting the hook. What am I doing wrong?

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What are you fishing for?

What type of line are you using?

What type of rod are you using?

I use them for channel catfish and sturgeon and they do a pretty good job. Like you said, a sweeping hookset is important. Also, I think monofilament line works much better as does a rod with a slower action. Another thing to watch is that you might need to upsize your hooks. Make sure that the gap of the hook is not filled with bait. You need the gap wide open for it to do it's trick. I like the offset hooks better than straight ones. Gamakatsu circles are probably my favorite.

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When I use circle hooks, I just slowly start reeling in after feeding a bit of line. I use these in the spring for big northerns, and have good success using this method. Maybe try that and see if it works for you..

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I can sympathize papabear.

I have the same problem with the smaller ones like the walleye size. I've tried varying the length of the take before setting. Reeling only, sweep set (pull) and I miss more than I catch.

The other thing is, some of the ones that I did catch were throat hooked anyway. I pass over them in the tackle box now and go back to a regular Gammy.

I think you'll read responses like the first ones. They're good for bigger game but I think there's a point where they get too small to do what they're designed for. JMO.

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The ole girl seems to have it down!She would lose so many fish by no hook set, I got circles now she does'nt miss!! she just lifts the rod and starts reeling.I hav tongue.gife'nt started using them YET I still do the set.

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Circles are tricky to get used to, so far my experience with them is with big baits/big fish. NO hookset, just point and reel. Bridleing the baits (tying to the hook with an inch of play) helps big time, as it lets the hook swing into the jaw for a solid hookup. Hookups are very solid, and make for great releases. Offset circles might as well be j-hooks, it defeats the purpose completly.

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Right now the top post on the catfish section of the forum relates to circle hooks. Check out those posts for some good tips on circle hooks with catfish.

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I think you are correct about the big bait/big fish logic. I only use circle hooks when I'm using cut bait for larger catfish, and you have to make sure the fish hooked them selves before reeling in. I believe if your one of the people that holds your rod don't use circle hooks because you will miss more, but if your bank fishing in a rod holder or using a rod holder in the boat then would use them.

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Thanks for all the advice. I started using them with my daughter but we may just go back to normal J hooks. It wont hurt for her to learn the art of the hook set anyway.

Theyare proving more frustrating than I bargained for.

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I usually put the rod with a circle hook in a rod holder and when my rod gets a good bend in it, I pick it up and start reeling. Works for me.

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I started using them to help my kids when they were to young to set a hook. Understanding how the hook works helps. When the hook is totally inside the fish the point is turned away from any tissue. It is at the moment the eye clears the mouth that the hook starts turning and the point hooks the fish. It's at that point you pull to hard the hook just slips out.

My experience is that you slowly start reeling. Keep reeling when you feel the fish. Then when you think the has caught give a slight tug or sweep to bury the hook in the corner of the mouth.

I do find that the hooks do end up in the corner of the mouth most times and that they are easier to get out. My kids started with real tiny circle hooks bank fishing and were able to land those teeny bluegills with few gut hooks and many times they would take the hooks out themselves.

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