Best way to hook live bait?

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by stinkbaitguy, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. stinkbaitguy

    stinkbaitguy New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    south carolina
    Ive just started using live bait,I was on wateree last weekend and got some great hits.I just couldnt hook anything!Am i hooking my bait wrong?Im hooking them under the dorsal fin.
     
  2. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    Rock Hill,S.C.
    i always hook mine through the nostrils,what size and type of hook are you using?that could be more of the problem other than placement of the hook
     

  3. Foxhound

    Foxhound New Member

    Messages:
    403
    State:
    Georgia
    Scott
    I use a lot of live bait and usually hook mine under the front end of the dorsal fin. I drop the hook through only about 1/2 inch from the back to make sure the bait stays alive as long as possible. I like to use full grown bream when I can get them and size 07 octopus circle hooks. This set up works good for me and the hook does all the work.......just let the rod load up......99% of the time the fish will hook itself. oh yeah.........sometimes I modify the tail fin on the larger bream so they dont get overly active (snip about two thirds of the tail fin off)
     
  4. stinkbaitguy

    stinkbaitguy New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    south carolina
    I use size 4 circle hooks,I dont know what the deal is !!!!Dont know how i was missing so many.
     
  5. jsthumb

    jsthumb New Member

    Messages:
    90
    State:
    South Carolina
    Hey Scot. I dont know how long you have been using circle hooks, but you CANNOT set a hook like you would with a standard J hook. Let the fish do all the work. Wait until you have no doubt that the fish has swallowed bait, hook and all and is swimming away from you before you even pickup the rod. Then pickup the rod and start reeling in (I will typically give it a little tug once the line is tight to make sure the point is set deep but dont jerk it too hard).
    The other thing that could be the problem is that depending on the size of that bait fish your hook could be a little to small. You want to make sure that the point of the hook is clear of the bait (sometimes the bait will shift in the way of the point). I typically use atleast 5/0 but prefer 7/0 Circle hooks so that I know I can put a pretty goood sized piece of bait on it and not have to worry about the point not being exposed. Dont worry about the larger 7/0 hooks you can still pickup up smaller fish with them.
    The last thing is sometimes the catfish will pickup the bait in its mouth and try to swim off before it has swallowed the bait. If this happens it will apppear to load up on the rod and as soon as you start reeling in it will pull out of its mouth. If the fish didnt swallow the hook then the chance of hooking it is very slim. It happens from time to time and there is nothing you can do to prevent this one except be patient and wait on the next one to swallow it.
    Sounds like you did pretty well overall. Hope this helps and Good luck next time.
     
  6. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,446
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Scott,
    All the above is good advice especially from Jason. My first thought was that a size 4 hook is way too small. Do you mean 4 or 4/0?
    If you are using a circle hook it is really important that the hook is not "full of bait", even more so than with a J hook.
    If you are using big baits you need a big hook. If you are fishing straight down from a boat or using a float rig just nick them in front of the dorsal fin.
    If you are fishing from shore with the bait on the bottom then through the nose is good especially in current as it keeps the bait head on to the flow.
    If the water is still or slow or your bait is on the small side try hooking them in from below, just behind the vent. It allows them to move around and stay right way up. A big hook in the back of a smaller bait will make them lay on their side. Good luck and let us know how you get on...W
     
  7. stinkbaitguy

    stinkbaitguy New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    south carolina
    I guess my problem is im worried about using a hook that is to big,I fish from the bank so im worried about not being able to land the smaller fish!lol,I will for sure try a larger hook ,thanks for the advice!:big_smile: