Circle Hooks for Flathead catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Gordhawk, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Gordhawk

    Gordhawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,378
    State:
    Iowa
    Do you use circle hooks for Flatheads as well as for channels and blues?
    I don't specifically target Flatheads and rarely ever catch one,so was just wondering if anyone can tell me if they work on Flatheads or not.
     
  2. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    I don't personally use them when I'm targeting large flatheads with live bait. I have a fishing partner that does quite a bit though.. Yes they do work, and have caught a number of very nice fish on em.. Just make sure you use a big enough hook for the bait your using....
     

  3. Gordhawk

    Gordhawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,378
    State:
    Iowa
    I have a friend that caught a 3# Flathead this past weekend using a 8/0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle hook,and he said that that small fish swallowed the hook. Oh,by the way,he was using cut shad when he caught this fish. I guess I didn't know it was possible for a fish to swallow a circle hook. Learn something new everyday!
     
  4. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    you will find those that use traditional(straight) hooks, and those that use(and prefer) circles. of the circles two main classes of circles exist. the light wire sport circles and the heavy duty(tuna) style. while the thicker marine tuna style hooks will hold more weight and come in larger sizes that are more suitable to the size mouths typical of flatties, the sport wire circles are thiner and basicaly set themselfs. If you are in high current areas you might be forced to use the heavy thicker style for added strength, and if you do then they must be allways sharpened to a razor sharp point. this would be repeated every so many hours. I like the thin wire circles as most areas we fish dont realy have that much current i will add(latter)to this post as ive got to run sorry
     
  5. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Iowa
    My experience with circles is that if the point is not exposed they do not work. The idea is for point of hook to be exposed. But hay I could be confused. But I have had great luck baiting them this way. Some one help me out if I have the wrong idea. Thanks
     
  6. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I've caught many flatheads on circle hooks, but when I'm specifically targeting flatheads I'll switch to kahles, or sometimes to a big J hook. The reason for this is that flatheads often won't run with a bait, and there is some advantage in being able to do a hookset.

    As to fish swallowing circle hooks, they will swallow any kind of hook if given the chance. The advantage of circles is that you have a better chance of it pulling out without it snagging and gut hooking the fish than you do with other styles of hooks. I've gut hooked fish with circles, but it happens much less often than it does with a kahle or a J hook.
     
  7. Jroc777

    Jroc777 Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    Evansville, IN
    I fish exclusively with circle hooks. Since switching over I have seen an increase in my hook up ratio. It also seems to be better on the fish because the circle hook will end up in the corner of the mouth 9 times out of 10 reducing the damage done by the hook. Like stated above just make sure you have a big enough hook for the bait you are using.
     
  8. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    I must say mat this is well said. i agree, but i am nevertheless a compleate circle fan. what you need is larger gap circles, and unfortunately i like the light wire design as they self hook, but most light wires arent realy big enough. with channels circles will out hook straight by far as the species allways runs fast and far regardless of water temps, with flats you are right. they willl not always run much. in fact they will often just mouth the bait and sit in one spot, sometimes for hours if not all night. when the conditions get the fish into that neutral of a bite, I have beter things to do with my time. I also would rather not run the risk of gut hooking or mortaly throat hooking a big flathead. VMC(cabelas online) Sport circle in the 5/0 to 6/0 seem to be the biggest light wires i can find. idealy 11/0 size would be perfect.gamus and diacichis are also very good. if you use the large heavy big ones(tuna style) then they have to be razor sharp. the point often will need reshaping with a file, with the goal being to thin/sharpen the point.as to hookups, if the fish are biting actively and moving then the circles will hook them perfectly. usualy in the sweet corner spot, but bigger fish have a flap of skin inside the mouth that for some reason often gets the circle hook. once in a great while you might wrap a gill fillement, and once in a great while you might get a piece of gut that turns in to the circle(but i imagine that these fish release fine as the point isnt tearing around inside ,instead its just wraped) but the important aspect is that by design after they swallow the bait, it will slide out of the stomach and hook in a non-vital spot. have faith, they work
     
  9. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    I've found that they work well for all species of fish if they are used on no clicker rods or with the clicker turned off. Then you just let the fish do the work for you. However, I love the sound of the clicker so on those rods I use J-hooks just b/c it's so hard for me to properly load the rod with a circle, I just want to cross his eyes! I have a buddy though who is much calmer than I am I guess and he, I don't believe, has never caught a flathead on a J-hook. I think it's all personal preference, whatever you have confidence in.
     
  10. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,341
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    I feel one of the points that needs mentioned here when using circle hooks is the rod type! In my opinion circle hooks need to be used with a rod that will load up (fiberglass my preference - ala Ugly Stik). When the rod loads up is when the baited hook is pulled forward into the corner of the Cats mouth. A stiff style rod will not properly achieve this!
     
  11. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    yes. I use circle hooks all the time. Here's a couple of fish caught with Daiichi circle hooks. I use them on MH rods with and without clickers on. I am not sure what other people have meant by excluding Flatheads when referring to catfish that bite aggressively, because I get really aggressive bites from Flatheads as much as I do channels. I never know what I have until I see it.
     
  12. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    while i do agree that the hook seting with circle hooks is somewhat of an art form and different than typical(straight) hooks, and i might also agree that a rod(slower action med to med heavy) that aids in loading up might heighten the effect of hook seting, i would not compleatly think it a necessisty to have such a rod to assure proper hook setting. very heavy rods will set just fine, it would more be a relation to how you have your drag set, and how you load up the rod with pressure/when and how fast you start reeling in. In my mind it is idealy somewhat logrithmic increase of pressure, starting slowly, perhapps a momentary twitch to get the fish moving, but once it starts moving an ever increasing pressure, once it is fully engaged then you can be sure its hooked. I would on this topic mention that longer rods, say in the 10-13 ft range might aid(hooksets) by the quick uptake of slack line and the ability to absorb shock durring the battle.
     
  13. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    Ok. I may be showing some ignorance here but 2 nights ago I missed my first fish after 8 succesfull hooksets on flathead this year. I use what is labeled as "live bait hooks". I have no use for circle hooks as I don't know a place in my hometown that sells them and I don't have a problem with missing fish. Now I fish my "live bait hooks" as most of you seem to say you fish circle hooks. I let the fish do the work. I do make sure I load the rod once I think there on there though if they havn't already done it that is.I do find the flathead bite to be finicky though as some have said in this thread. One time there on and running my drag out the next time there barely thumping harder than my bluegill was thumping. Does anyone else fish these hooks and are they a version of circle hooks? The circle hooks I look up on the internet to see what you guys are talking about are pretty much closed tipped at manufacture kind of intresting.
     
  14. tnkatman

    tnkatman New Member

    Messages:
    846
    State:
    Bluff City, TN
    I caught the fish on my avatar with a 6/0 gama octopus circle hook.
     
  15. kingdawes

    kingdawes New Member

    Messages:
    215
    State:
    kentucky
    In my opinion circles are the way to go. Not because they are more funtional than another hook be it any variety. The reason I choose circle hooks for targeting the bigger fish, is simply conservation. Let me explain. 90% of the time I am not fishing for a meal, so I do not plan to keep the fish that I catch. I have never caught a fish with a circle hook that was not lip hooked. Usually in the corner of the lip. This allows for easy hook removal and return of the fish. I believe that if you know how to use what ever equipment you do use, that is good enough for you. I have had to eat fish that were not on the menu simply because the hook was set in the stomach or other deadly area. So I switched. Circle hooks are good for any application it's all in the way you use them.
     
  16. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    My buddy fishes circles sometimes for flatheads and does OK. I have seen him miss qute a few fish, though, that fail to hook up.

    I am sticking with kahles - 4/0 and 5/0. They work great for me. I leave the rods in the holders with the reels engaged and the fish hook up great ans are hooked in the lip 95% of the time. The thing I like about kahles is that you can fish them either way. You can let the fish hook up and they'll be hooked in the corner of the jaw or lip just like with circle hooks, or you can set the hook yourself (just be certain that you have a tight line to the fish first).

    Funny some people say that flatheads will often bite very light and just sit. I have not found this to be true here. Maybe it's because I'm farther south in warmer water or maybe because I'm fishing rivers? The only time I've had flatheads bite like that is on cut bait in cold water. Maybe only 2 flatheads I've ever caught on live bait bit light and sat there and they were both babies (under 5 pounds).
     
  17. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    Messages:
    819
    State:
    Evansville
    8/0 or larger circle hooks work pretty good they usually hook them right on the lip and at the corner of the mouth. Ive also been having a lot of luck with king kales.
     
  18. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    A circle hook can be swallowed, but it is very rare, in my experience, and happens far less than with conventional 'J' hooks. A hook that has an offset point will cause more mortality than one that is in line with the shank, according to some studies I've read. I've noticed that when one is swallowed, usually the hook is small in comparison to the fish's size, or in the case of cut or live bait, the hook may be too small to properly expose the hook point. The circle hooks need to be sized to leave an adequate amount of the point exposed. Usually this will require a larger hook than might be expected. I almost never use anything smaller than a 7/0 unless fishing with smaller baits for eater size fish. :big_smile: