Big bites but no hookups

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by JHalden, May 24, 2009.

  1. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Hey all I'de like to start by saying I've only caught one catfish. It was last week, a nightcrawler about 7ft under a float during the day. I saw my float start to move away from where it had drifted so I reeled in a lil slack, set, and it was fish on...

    I went out with my dad last night we brought chicken livers and sardines. I started out making the mistake of rigging up a float that doesnt glow so it was pretty hard to use. I had put it in the pole holder while I was riggin up my other rod and my dad shouted as soon as he noticed my rod was just about bent in half. I don't know how long the fish had been trying to take the bait but as soon as i tried to take the rod out of the holder so i could set it seemed like the fish just spit it or something... I took the float off and started using a small egg sinker and a leader. We got a few more hits that night on chicken liver but neither of us could hook up. Tried both 1/0 octopus and 3/0 kahles. It seemed like everytime I was getting bit, as soon as i tried to lift the rod out of the holder the fish stopped biting. Should I maybe try some circle hooks and let the fish hook themselves?

    Any input is greatly appreciated! :0a36:
     
  2. Cathunter Pete

    Cathunter Pete New Member

    Messages:
    352
    State:
    Fayetteville NC
    A secret that I was told by an old timer, which works really well with chicken liver is to use sewing thread. What you do is take about an arms length of thread, put your chicken liver on the hook, and wrap the thread around the chicken liver. The thread prevents the fish the majority of the time from taking the liver on one hit, they usually got to hit it 3 times or so to get the bait off of the hook. When I fish with liver, I buy the freshest possible and keep it on ice when fishing, if not it'll turn into soup. I usually will use a 2/0 or 3/0 J hook when using liver, if you have a baitclicker/runner use it, if not you can tight line it, however I've found that tight lining with liver they tend to hit hard once, and then nibble the rest of the time, not allowing you to get a hook set. If you don't have a baitclicker or runner, loosen your drag to where when the fish hits it'll pull of line from the spool causing no resistance to the fish, then tighten drag, and set the hook. You can also use a piece of a styrofoam cup, a small portion, cut a slit in it, and place it on the line past the end of the rod, leave the line limp, if a fish takes off with your liver, you'll see the styrofoam move out across the water. Tighten the line, and set the hook. Hope this helps! Good luck. :big_smile:
     

  3. alpal16

    alpal16 New Member

    Messages:
    340
    State:
    Philly, PA
    You might want to give some circles a try---I have had a good hook-up ratio with channels on circles. I have found that 3/0-7/0 size works well, usually 3-4/0 with livers or worms and 6-7/0 on cut bait. For me, the rod just loads up and you start reeling. I used to use J-hooks, but had a lot of gut hooked fish and did not like that.

    Maybe set a few rods out, one with circles and one with your J-hooks or kahles and see what works best for you.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    I will definitely give circles a try, I have some in my box just havent used them yet. Oh and about the thread I actually had my bait on after the bites. I was using magic thread, it was difficult to wrap because the liver kept trying to twist around the hook as i tried to wrap the thread. Is sewing thread better for this than magic thread? Thank you for your replies!
     
  5. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    yes give circles a shot, just leave your rods in the holders and let them hook them selfs!.

    Circles is all I use.
     
  6. Cathunter Pete

    Cathunter Pete New Member

    Messages:
    352
    State:
    Fayetteville NC
    I've never heard of magic thread, but have had good success with sewing thread. What the others have said about circle hooks will work too. Good luck to you. One thing I've noticed though with liver is there are many little catfish that will be messing with the liver, I've had little 2 lb cats hit the rod like they were bruisers, never can tell with liver and channels, i've also caught bass of chicken livers as well.
     
  7. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    Hold your pole. Then you wont have to take it out of the holder. Anytime you are missing fish downsizing your bait and hook is always a good option. Then set the hell out of it as soon as they tap it.

    Baby striper hit hard and are masters of stealying bait. Followed by baby channels. A bluegill hook brings those little boogers in though.
     
  8. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Went out today got like 6 or 7 solid bites but could only hook up on one, and it ran me into a snag and i broke my float off! :angry:

    I tried the circles out (about 5/0) and i was using my baitrunner. Not sure if I should have left the runner off for the circle hook but i let the fish run a good 5 or 10 seconds with my bait before reeling, and still no fish! Really frustrating but there must be something I'm not getting. Chicken livers really are a pain in the rear end for me to use, is it ok to put the bait into a spawn sac or is the texture of the liver part of wait makes it as effective as it is?
     
  9. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    You can wrap them up in some mesh and then tie em closed with some string.You,ll have to dip em back in the blood in the container to freshen them up every now and then.I personally don,t like livers because it,s often hard to hook up on them,seems like the little ones like to peck away at them.My best advice would be to switch to a larger size livebait,that will weed out the runts.If your set on using livers,I,d keep the pole in my hands and experiment on letting them run for different amount of times til you find what,s working.Good luck&good fishing!:wink:
     
  10. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    Set the reel up for about 3# of resistance. Wait till they are pullin drag and they should be hooked if they are channels. If you get into some pest fish you can't hook, sometimes you just have to move. I like my poles standing almost vertical so the fish work against the rod.
     
  11. unclebuncle

    unclebuncle New Member

    Messages:
    1,252
    State:
    Humboldt,K
    Try to find some turkey livers its just as good but 10 times as tough and you dont have to tie it on.
     
  12. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    best way to use those chicken livers is to cure them.that way you dont have to worry about tying them with thread or mesh.Get one of those long pans you use to bake cookies on,put some aluminum foil over the top of it.Then take your liver and cut it into bait size pieces and put them on the foil.Then get some garlic powder or minced garlic and cover the liver heavy with it.then take some salt and cover it heavy with the salt and set it out in the sun for a few hours.Repeat on the other side.this will make the liver tougher and make it so it will stay on the hook without any help,plus the cats like the garlic and salt.good luck.
     
  13. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Thank you all for your very helpful replies! I really liked hearing about the turkey livers, cant believe i hadnt heard about and hadnt even thought about em... And thats really interesting about curing the chicken livers I'm definitely going to give that a try. Anyone tried pheasant livers or duck livers?
     
  14. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    There used to be a poultry store in my area when I was younger.They only sold poultry(fresh) and rabbits.You could get turkey livers there[very fresh ones].They were tough as hell and stayed on good.All of them good little specialty shops are gone around here(as far as I can find out).They also sold duck blood and duck livers.You go to your regular supermarkets,they don,t know what the hell your talking about.I,d guess you,d have to find a poultry processor in your area to get some of that stuff now.Chicken livers are even way tougher if you can get them really fresh.The times they are a changing.:sad2: