About using circle hooks for channel catfish

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by whiskerchaser, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. whiskerchaser

    whiskerchaser Member

    New Mexico
    ok guys i need a lil help Im gonna try some circle hooks it really is hard to get any catfish hook cuz they dont sell large hooks nothing above 1/0 withing 50miles of me darn it. not even wal-mart.:confused2: well i thought of ordering some 6/0 gamakatsu octopus circles but can u fish with freespool and baitclicker or is it better to tight line? I just wanna catch some kitties.:sad2:
  2. whiskerchaser

    whiskerchaser Member

    New Mexico

    well i forgot I can buy circles at my baitshop but they are 4/0 and 5/0 but are barbless? thats the problem i always lose the fish when fishing with barbless hooks i asked the owner to order me some with barbs and he said he couldnt i dont know why he said he just cant any way i could modify them to have barbs?

  3. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    You can tightline or free spool with circles. If you get a run free spooling hold your rod tip up above your head and enguage the reel. Let the fish pull the rod down hard then reel him in. I wouldn't use barbless hooks myself. Catfish Connection has good prices and a lot of good tackle. Check them out.
  4. TA2D

    TA2D New Member

    Don't like em, I am too unpatient and get jumpy when the rod starts to bounce, I do like the Eagle Claw Kahles they seem to hook in the corner of the mouth most of the time.



    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Both ways will be effective. I use 8/0 octopus circles in the same fashion you do. I let them run for a short bit and simply engage the reel and use a gentle sweeping motion upward to set the hook. Make sure your hook point is exposed properly and that the hook is good and sharp. Gamakatsu does make a very sharp hook that will perform very well for you. Once you feel that the hook is set do not be shy about givein the line a good tug to insure its in there good. Good luck to ya.
  6. tatersalad

    tatersalad New Member

    Clover, SC
    I use only circles with a tight line, let the rod load up and your done! You can also order hooks online from several suppliers.
  7. LarryW

    LarryW New Member

    Abbeville Louisiana
    I use the Daichii Chuck Lite Circles for chanels they seem to work real good and make for a good hook up. I fish a tight line, let my weight settle then take up the line untill I feel the weight. Hope this helps
  8. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Andrews, SC
    You've already gotten some good advice. What are the laws where you fish? Some places require barbless hooks. As for size of the hook, it depends on what size fish you normally catch. I wouldn't go smaller then 4/0. There is quite a bit of difference between various brands of circles. Gamakatsu and Daichi are both good choices. A catfish has a large mouth for it's size, with thick 'lips', so you need distance between the hook point and the shank, look for a wide gap. I prefer 8/0 or larger in circles, and 6/0 or larger in kahles.
    As mentioned, do not set the hook when a fish gets on. I like to tightline, and wait until the rod is well-loaded before I even pick it up. Then start reeling, and you can give a short jerk as you reel to ensure a good hook-set. If you really like to rear back and cross their eyes, like most of us, the kahle hook is a good choice. It will work just like a circle, but you can also set the hook like you would with a j-hook, if you want to.
    Good luck with your fishing!
  9. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Willow Woo
    I just started using circle hooks in 8/0 size and found that if I set the clicker with the reel engaged then back the drag off until its fairly hard to pull off and when I get a hit the rod will load up enough to hook the fish and the clicker will let you know when to pick it up, then in one motion you can tighten the drag and start reeling.
  10. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Normal, IL
    Patience is key. I almost always tightline circle hooks. You jsut have to let the rod load up and that will put the hook right through the ole cats mouth. The size you need really depends on what size channel your catching.
  11. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    The hardest transition in the world in my opinion is the switch to a circle hook. It is hard to take hooksetting out of the equation. Some never cut it and have to stay with the J style.

    It has taken me a year to fully appreciate it especially with channel cats. You must, whether fishing from shore or boat have sturdy rod holders. Then fish tight line with the drag set so that your line doesn't break and sit back. Believe me, you will know it when the fish is there, as it will be difficult to get out of the rod holder.

    Have fun!
  12. dcaruthers

    dcaruthers New Member


    Although I back my drag off instead of freespooling, you can use freespool, baitclicker, and a semi-tightline approach. After your bait settles, reel the bait up to the weight, tighten your line a bit, engage the clicker, and hit the freespool button. The resistence by the clicker will hold your line fairly tight on most models of Abu's. ​
  13. gberan

    gberan New Member

    Deville louisiana
    I use circle hooks exclusely for all types of catfish. I drift fish with just enough weight to keep the line straight down down and moving with the boat. I drop the line until it hits bottom and crank up 1-11/2 turns, I watch the depthfinder for drop offs. I have boated a 60lb Blue, bunches of 15-40lb blues and channels up to 18lbs. I use cut shad or cut mullet for bait. I have caught big fish on 2/0 circles, probley lost a few too.
  14. Deltalover

    Deltalover New Member

    Tracy Calif
    Lever drag reels are perfect for this type of fishing! I have the Penn320 LD and it works great with circles and you can hear the clicker from a long ways off!
  15. d1d1d

    d1d1d New Member

    Circle hooks are great when the fish is picking-up the
    entire bait in it's mouth. When the fish are finicky
    and just pecking at a still-fished bait, success depends
    upon setting the hook...so circles don't work as well
    other styles.
    When fish are striking at a moving bait or simple trying
    to take your rod away from you, circle hooks are the
    best choice.
    For pan-sized catfish, I find a 1/0 sized hook to
    be good and sometimes drop down to a size 6 for
    some baits. Fishermen after large fish would probably
    go a 6/0 or more.
  16. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    I like tightline are just a little slack in the line when fishing with circle hooks. The circle hook is supposed to do all of the work and it needs for the rod to load up are the line to get tight enough to hook the fish. DO NOT set the hook a smooth motion to a comfortable position and reel it in.
  17. ahoki

    ahoki New Member

    I use 6/0 or 8/0 circles on about 10 of me and my sons 40 jugs. I can catch 6 inchers or 36 inchers, but most of the time the hook did its job. Veryfew rebaits if using cut baits.
  18. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Circle hooks set by the resistance of the hook rolling out of the fishes mouth, therefor you need to have a fairly tight line if you want the hook to set itself. This works great for drifting, trolling, and bottom fishing.

    If you are after immediate satisfaction and are not committed to spending the time to learn and master something new, don't use them.
  19. photocat

    photocat New Member

    HOCO, Maryland
    go with the barbless circles... because of the design of the circles you really don't need a barb they havew a hard time coming undone while fighting the fish...

    as for clicker and freespool or tightline... both work... the clicker will put enough tension on to set the hook usually... and if not just turn the free spool off and let the fish load up the rod further... with the clicker its also slightly less likely that the fish will feel much tension and drop the bait as readily...

    I know people who won't do the freespool with circles and both ways work so just see what works best for you...

    as far as ordering them... see if the stores would be willing to carry them in some larger sizes... I'm sure its more worth while for them esp since its probably just a small addition next time they buy the hooks... if they have good customer service then they will be willing to do it... the only problem is they may wait till they make another order to save on shipping...
  20. Vonroc

    Vonroc New Member

    Central Ohio
    Whiskerchaser, I'm hooked on circles. I run into the same problems you do when it comes to buying a good sized hooks for cats.I found a guy on ebay, I've been buying all my catfish tackle there.25pack of Gamakatsu octopus circles 6/0 to my mail box for under $10.00, 8/0 same price. Always in stock. I mostly tightline with these.