Circle hooks and Missouri catfish

Discussion in 'MISSOURI LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by Taliesin, May 24, 2006.

  1. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    Is it my imagination or do our local cats tend to play with the bait too much instead of taking it and running with it. Circle hooks depend on the fish to take it hard enough to set the hook, but too many times (especially with channel cats) I haven't had them take it that hard. Channels will play with it and wander with it for a little while, but won't take it hard enough to set the hook. The blues haven't been doing much better since I started fishing for them. They don't peck as long, but rarely do they really take it hard enough. I double checked my baiting to make sure the bait wasn't interfering, and I have been scaling my bait for years anyway.
    Right now I am using circle hooks while the current is running below the dam (my weight is almost always hung up, so I won't be able to set the hook anyway) and kahle hooks while the water is still.

    I also noticed that I have been having better luck while the water isn't running. Everyone I have talked to so far has said that this year has been rather unusual in that the fishing there is better with little to no current instead of with current.
     
  2. Catfish Pursuit

    Catfish Pursuit New Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    State:
    Missouri
    I started using circles a while back and love em. I strictly only use Gamakatsu Octopus Circle hooks, usually size 8's and usually do apply a minimal amount of hook set. The Gamakatsu's are very sharp and in my opinion the thinner or finer wire used to make the hook penetrates easier but is just as strong as the rest. When I have a fish pull the line tight enough that I think he has the bait in his mouth, I just make a slight but firm lift of the rod tip and I almost always have the fish hooked in the side or corner of the mouth. Just my experiences and thoughts. Chris
     

  3. imhotep

    imhotep New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    Rosiclare, Illinois
    the big blues in the ohio almost always hook them self on the circle hooks...i use a 6oz sinker in deep water holes...and just leave the rod in the holder ...locked in so they cant take the rod...best hooks i have found for big blues...with a big blue gill or big shad on them...if the shad are small i use 2...but they might peck on it once but the second time the rod doubles over..then hold on ...the fight begins
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    In my experience on Truman and the upper LOZ, the little blues will fiddle with your bait and never make a good run on it. Every single "big" fish (over about 5 or 6 lbs) that I've caught took the bait and ran with it, and the circle hook does its magic.

    I'm using Gamakatsu Octopus Circle 8/0 and Daiichi Circle Chunk Light 7/0 hooks. The Daiichi's are different than a regular circle hook, and my experience has been that I foul-hook more fish with them than I catch in the mouth - probably 70% of the fish I've caught so far have been small ones hooked just outside the bottom lip. I can't explain that, as many professional guides use the Daiichi circle chunk light hooks exclusively and you can assume the hooks must work for them.
     
  5. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    I think these small fish are what I am running in to. That and channel cats that tend to peck a bait to death. So far I have been lucky enough not to get skunked (been about 3 years for that, knock on wood), but I think I might keep up the effort on the circle hooks even if they only really work on the bigger cats. I'll have to accept that I'll get skunked now and then, but I can ignore the little fish.

    Then again, the little guys are fun to catch too. I have enough circle hooks and khale hooks to keep me for a little while either way.
     
  6. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Been almost a week now, but I still side with Grumpy.
     
  7. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    Haven't been using the circle hooks for a week or so now. I did finally have a fish take off that would have set a circle hook in himself. I was using a nightcrawler on that pole, and would you believe that blue cat was only 8" long? When he hit and run I my pole (smaller pole, but still) was letting line out like it had a torpedo on it. I was out Friday night and all day Sunday, but my biggest fish was about 5#. Too bad it was a drum.
     
  8. jolle

    jolle New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    O'Fallon, MO
    I was on the river the other day with a friend and I was having similar fits with circles and kahle's. The fish were just too small. When switched over to a small standard hook, you could catch them, and some were even smaller than you stated (4"-8"). I couldn't believe how small they were. We caught several around 2# and that was the biggest. I think the spawn is on and the big ones are gonna be out of it for a bit.
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I was using big bait yesterday (8" whole shad, filleted down one side and tail cut off, hooked through the nose with an 8/0 circle hook) and getting a lot of hits but nothing big enough or interested enough to take the whole bait.

    Solved my problem with a treble hook stinger, stuck in the last 1 or 2 inches of the bait and tied to the hook. Caught one blue that was almost 25" and another little one. The bigger blue had the treble hook way down in his mouth, so I think he was engulfing the whole bait but the circle just didn't make contact.
     
  10. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    I think that's part of the problem around here. Even the big boys don't really take the bait whole, but grab part of it, then run long enough to a safe place to finish it off. It brings to mind some things other people have been saying about using whole bluegill and missing the bite but getting the bait back with no scales on it.

    Maybe it's time right now to just go with smaller bait or use more than one hook like you did.
     
  11. worm

    worm New Member

    Messages:
    31
    State:
    missouri
    New to the boc but not cats. I got hooked on circles in iowa 3yrs. ago. We were fishing ni the rocks below 19. We uesd 3 way with lighter test no weights.40 on the rod 20 on the weight. I use Garc.7000 with the reel ingaged and drag backed ALL the way off. When they run with the GOCH (gamakatsu circle hook) We use are thumbs to slow the line and let the fish set the hook. The 20 test is so the weight will break before the line in case of a snag
     
  12. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    i Know What You Mean Curtis.seems He Cats Are Bitting Funny. Thought Maybe It Was Just Me But I Guess Not. Seems Like The Are Just Pecking No Matter What Bait You Use.circle,j Or Catfish Worms With Treble Hooks. Just Peck Peck And No Catch.


    gabe (worm) Welcome To The Boc .greastest Club Going My Opion. Sure Your Gonna Love It. What Part Of Mo Are You From?your Profilejust Says Mo.that Covers A Big Area.
    Sounds Like You've Got A Plan On You Rigging Your Lines.
    again Welcome!!
     
  13. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    I had noticed this phenomenon for the past few years. Just thought I would bring up the subject since I was thinking of starting to use circle hooks (and brought it up here, cause it's our Missouri cats in particular).
     
  14. Hannibal Mike

    Hannibal Mike New Member

    Messages:
    1,454
    State:
    Hannibal, MO
    Perhaps it is the channels that have smaller mouths? I don't know for sure, but they seem to peck more, and perhaps a flat or larger blue gulps and goes. I know what you mean and have experienced the peck peck (around here that is often a drum). I like the circle because I can release more rather than go down his throat for the hook. Try'em all! Hannibal Mike
     
  15. katfishhunter

    katfishhunter New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    illinois
    i have been noticing here in illinois on the river it doesnt matter how big the fish, they have not been taking it hard. I have caught 2# fish that have pecked for 5 min and finally hooked them and I have caught 15# fish that has done the same. The blues that I have caught all have nailed it though. I have noticed more fish caught in less current and cant explain that one. I also use circle hooks and what I do is use a smaller but sturdy hook with chunks of big bait, cut sections of shad, hering, skips or whatever in about 3/4 inch chunks and double thread them. usually the fish will still peck but they get the whole bait eventually and get the hook.
    Maybe this baiting technique will help ya land some more fish using the circles. good luck fishkin. Chris
     
  16. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    The peck peck bite is typical during the spawn. You can catch a few fish less than twenty pounds but the bigs are busy. The funny thing is trotlines excel during the spawn, anyone have any thoughts as to why?
     
  17. MarineCorpsDaddy

    MarineCorpsDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    3
    State:
    California
    Hey, when is spawning season in Missouri? I only spent about 4 months in the state, but had no luck on the trot-lines
     
  18. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    Charlie right now is spawning season. Usually June from about the second week until the 2nd week in July. The moon phase and water temps trigger it and it will last from one full moon till the next(around two weeks I think) but it will take another two weeks for the fish to settle into a summer pattern. See ya on the water!
     
  19. worm

    worm New Member

    Messages:
    31
    State:
    missouri
    MMR my home water is Waverly Mo. about 75 miles east of KC. Home of the blues.