Big hooks or small hooks for flathead catfish?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by reelking92, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. reelking92

    reelking92 New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    MI
    tonight i plan on going fishing for flatheads specifically. Got bait,net,rods and reels all set up. Then i realized that the 8\0 circle hooks i have might just wear down a bluegill before a flattie could find it and eat it. So should i use smaller circle hooks say 5\0 or should i stick with the 8\0's?
     
  2. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,187
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    I wouldnt use anything less than 7/0 size hooks. Ive done very well with the Gamakatsu 8/0 octopus circle hooks, Daiichi 7/0 circle chunk light hooks and Eagle Claw 10/0 king kahle hooks.
     

  3. schuetz

    schuetz New Member

    Messages:
    19
    State:
    kansas
    i seem to lose more fish with circle hooks than octopus. i thought they were the same for a long time. love my khales too
     
  4. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    if you are using live gills or large chunks of them, stay with the big hooks. i dont use circle hooks but that dont mean they arent the rite hook for you. i just couldnt over come the years of hook setting burned into my brain. lol the main reason for the large hooks is the size of your bait, not the fish targeted. also you need the strength of larger hooks to hold up to the heavy lines used. im assuming your spooled with 20+# stuff.

    tight lines to ya bro.
     
  5. okiefishkiller

    okiefishkiller New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    oklahoma
  6. dewboy24us

    dewboy24us New Member

    Messages:
    339
    State:
    Missouri
    if the hook your using is big enough to go through the bait and still have enough room for hookset, you got the right size hook. would hate to lose out on a fish because you had more bait than hook.
     
  7. Possom

    Possom New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    Wv
    Yeah I learned my lesson last weekend on big bait not enough hook. Had the most runs I have every had but couldnt land any fish. Caught to fish a 3pounder and a 25 pounder that ate hook and all. That is the fish in the pic. I would say go with 8/0 and bigger. The fish in pic is my pb. This is the first yr I have Really hit the River hard.
     
  8. walleye086

    walleye086 New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    PA
    3/0 Gammy. Never had a problem.
     
  9. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    For flats I would ditch the circle hooks and get regular Gammakatsu Octopus " J " hooks in 8 or 10/o. I only use the 10's and have no problem with gills holding them up. Just start using slightly larger baits. When you do get a run, don't let the fish run with the bait. As soon as you can, engage the reel then let the fish "load up" on the rod. When I say load up, I mean let him put a bend in the rod till you think he may break your rod, then set the hook hard. When a flat eats your bait he engulfs it, all the way to the back of his throat where they have these sandpaper pads on the roof and the bottom of their mouths. They can crush these pads together and kill and hold their prey. When you let him load up he will close his mouth because he can feel the baitfish slipping out. Most times when you let them load up you will feel a head shake when the bait starts slipping, that is a good time to set the hook too. Which ever comes first.
     
  10. r_p_narramore

    r_p_narramore New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    East KY
    If the big hook wears your bait out , rebait or try bigger bait. The bigger bluegill seem to stay lively longer.
     
  11. F1shermun

    F1shermun New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Ft. Gibson, OK
    It is really important to match your hook size and your bait. It helps to consider the size of the cats you are fishing for. really big hooks will limit your catch to really big cats. I know that where I fish the cats are 15# and smaller, so i use chunk bait on 4/0-6/0 gammys with an 18" leader.
     
  12. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken


    Well This say's it all IMO, But I cannot wait that long to set the hook, I lower my rod tip and as soon as my line straightens out and I fill a little pressure pulling on the rod. Thats when I set the hook. Gammakatsu Octopus " J " hooks in 7 or 10/o.


    and yep again ROLL 24.:big_smile:
     
  13. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,

    I have caught many a 3-4 lb cat on a 10/0 King Kahle, and an 8/0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle. Yes, you will not catch bait size cats, but you are well equipped to tie into a PB instead of thinking you are snagged.
     
  14. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Congratulations. You are asking the right question!

    One of the reasons I don't like circle hooks with lie baits is that they are much bigger and heavier than other hooks for the same gap. It is important to match the sze of your hook to your bait. As everyone says, too small of a hook and you might not get good hookups. Too large of a hook, and it will kill the bait in short order. The other thing a lotof people don't think about is balancing the hooks to the rist of your tackle. You acn land big fish on small hooks with the right tackle. Fltfishermen land large trout on size 28 hooks. Heck, I can't even see a size 28 hook without a magnifying glass. They can land good fish on those tiny hooks because their rods are soft and they are using light tippets. With heavier tackle, they would pull out or straighten the hooks. You can land big catfish on moderate hooks, if your tackle is not super heavy so that you pull so hard you straighten or pull the hooks out. Obviously, that requires that you have enough room so the fish can run around a bit without getting into a bunch of snags.

    Even with a large sunfish, I never go above a 5/0 kahle hook. Any bigger and the hook would be so big and heavy it would wear the bait out and kill it. With my hooks, the bait stays alive until it gets eaten. I've had the same bait on for hours before, and it was still kicking. I fish with 15 and 20 pound mono, though. If you are going with heavier tackle and have to really lean on the fish, you might want to look into some of the saltwater hook styles. Not just a big stainless o'shaughnessy, they aren't all that strong (stainless is soft - but that's a whole other debate). There are plenty of small strong hooks made, though. Heck, they catch 250 pound yellowfin tuna on sardines! I guarantee they are not rigging those sardines on 8/0 circle hooks!
     
  15. redwiskers

    redwiskers New Member

    Messages:
    129
    State:
    iowa
    I keep everything from 4/0 to 10/0 gamma octopus J hooks in my tackle box.This lets me match my bait to the best size hook.
     
  16. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Wow, maybe them southern sunfish aren't very hardy.... :roll_eyes: Up here in Ohio I hang a 6 inch gill on a 10/0 Kahle and cast it out 3-4 times (I'm ADD :eek:oooh:) and at the end of 8 hours it's still frisky. In fact, my rule is, if it made it all night without getting killed.... it's earned its freedom!

    The reason I use large hooks, is that i have smaller hooks for channels. I can't count how many times that hook has caught in the flest part of the mouth... where the barbel attaches. If I lose an 8 lb channel because it pulls out... that's life.... If it happens on a 40 lb flathead... it's a tragedy :angry:
     
  17. GETHOOKED

    GETHOOKED New Member

    Messages:
    548
    State:
    Arizona, Scott
    well I just wanted to add that this weekend I caught three flatheads that were 5-8 lbs and all were caught on live gills on 9/0 kahle hooks. THey had them EASILY down the throat. So hook size is a NONE factor for flatheads!!
     
  18. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    This morning I caught around 6 flatties from 1-5 lbs and I had one 15-20+ lb'er almost to the bank and all I had with me was 2/0 j-hooks. Probably the reason I lost the big one at the bank...Too small hook. I usually use 7/0-10/0 khale hooks. Oh well,it happens...:roll_eyes::crazy::confused2::big_smile::lol:
     
  19. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    As far as sunfish hardiness goes - it may well be a southern thing, our water is pushing 90 degrees right now, and that can stress a fish. Also, I tend to move the boat every 30 minutes to 1 hour, if I'm not getting bit - and then the baits obviously get brought in and cast again. Even if the big hook doesn't kill the fish, though, I figure they will move around a lot more and look more attractive to a flathead if they can swim with the hook.

    My fishing partner has landed a couple of 50 pound flatheads on 2/0 and 3/0 kahles. I tend to go a bit bigger with mostly 4/0 and 5/0, unless the bait's awful small.
     
  20. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Don't misunderstand me. My post was a bit tongue in cheek. The real answer to the question is that there is no right or wrong answer. We all fish how we are comfortable. We all, as a rule of human nature, rationalize our choices. I will say that there is a big difference in tackle needs when comparing lake fishing to river fishing. I was just taking an opportunity to rib one of my southern brethren lol!

    Signed,

    An Ohio Yankee in Paul's Catfish Court!