Circle Hooks: The Maimer of CPR?

Discussion in 'Terminal Tackle Review' started by Tulcat, May 9, 2006.

  1. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    Hello All,

    I switched this year to mostly circle hooks on my set lines (jug, trot, limb, bungee), with a sprinkling of Kahales too.

    Anyway, after this last weekend I have finally caught enough cats to form an opinion and notice a few things. Probably 70% of my circle hookups have been exiting through one of the cat's eyes. This was surprising, as I know many CPR catters use nothing but circles. When I discussed this briefly with Chris (Catfishcentral) over the weekend, he said on several occassions he has caught cats with both eyes grown over.

    Is this an issue only seen setlining? Does it have to do with the size of the circle hook vs. size of the cat?

    The kahales are impressive, but do have a tendancy to hang up easier than the circles.
     
  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I have only caught a few fish with circles, but as you noticed, the hook came out the cats eye. These were about 3 to 4 lb blues. I will grant circles will catch fish, but its just my personal opinion... I don't like them. It is like fishing with dynamite... where is the skill and sport?
     

  3. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    I have been using only circles for about 5 years now on my R & R set ups and on my Juggs. Out of literally hundreds of catfish, I do not recall a single one where the hook damaged the eyes.
     
  4. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    how big were the hooks and the cats... usually i don't have a problem w/ them doing that but 3 of the 15+ fish me and partner caught this weekend at the tournament were hooked through the eye as well... they were small (2 or so lb fish) and we were using 6/0-8/0 gama circles... so it was a large hook for a small fish... never really had a problem in the past with it at all... they hook right in the corner of the mouth and these were too the fish were just too small and the hook was too big for them (mind you we weren't going to switch to smaller cause we were in a tournament and trying to catch the biggest we could). they will be ok and survive... remember they are giant tounges not giant eyes...
     
  5. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    I think my precentage of catfish with circle hooks in the eyes is around 50% or better. Now after thinking about it a little more I would say the majority of cats hooked through the eye were ones under 5 pounds. The larger fish have their eye's farther away from their mouth and since a circle hook has a relativly short shank compared to a j hook this may explain this somewhat. I've caught lots of bigger fish over the years up to 20 pounds or so that had either one or both eyes missing. I know it definatly helps to have your eyes but in the catfishes case it doesn't seem to hinder their abilty to still catch. The waters in most Oklahoma lakes and rivers are pretty muddy were eyesight doesn't seem to matter as that good sense of smell.
     
  6. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    I had a mixture of hooks, but the most common I had deployed was a Gama circle 8/0. Most of the cats were in the 2-5 pound range, but since it was such a wet, rainy, fighting the current trip I don't have any more particulars.

    And like others, I was fishing for big cats with big bait, so I almost always use at least a 7/0 hook unless R&R fishing for channels.
     
  7. OBXterraSC

    OBXterraSC New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    NC (Fort Sill, OK right now)
    I don't think I've ever had a circle go through the eye.
     
  8. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I’ve seen it happen a couple of times fishing with rod and reel, but it’s not the “norm”, that’s 2 fish out of maybe 50 on the bigger circles. And Bryan and Chris may be on to something, mine were both smaller fish on a big circle hook. I tend to switch to smaller kahles when I channel cat, which may be a reason I don’t see it so often.
     
  9. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I was using 6/0 (isn't that six-ought. My brain is still asleep). I have a bunch of circles in the tackle box and back pack...that's where they will probably stay.
     
  10. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    I used circles exclusive last year but switched to kahles this year. I can not remember eye hooking a fish but I did have one to swallow the hook. He went from CPR to frying pan!!
     
  11. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    I've Caught A Few On My Juglines That Were Hooked Thru The Eyes Using The Circles & Kahles. As Others Have Mentioned, The Fish Were Small 3LBS & Under And The Hooks Were 7/0.

    I Run My Jugline Hooks At About 1' & 3'(If The Waters That Deep), Below The Surface. When R&R Fishing I'm Usually On THe Bottom & Using The Same Hooks, I'm Yet To Hook A Similar Size Fish Thru The Eyes That Way.

    Could It Have Something To Do With The Fish Taking The Bait From A Suspended Position?:embarassed: Elliot

    I Might Add that The Smaller Fish Are The Only Ones I Keep Anyhow.
     
  12. malaki

    malaki New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Redmon Illinois
    we used true turn catfish hooks for a while and every fish my girlfreinnd caght was hooked thruogh the eye. since we started using cicles we havent had that problem but we only fish rod and reel. but the thing i couldnt figure out was why she was the only one hooking the eyes, i never had that problem.
     
  13. center12

    center12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,444
    State:
    KS
    Tulcat, I've also noticed this on my limbline and trotlined cat's. I agree with trnsmsn, in that they grab the bait and head downward with it. This would force the postion of the hook away from the corner and make it work in the eye cavity area. I've a feeling that the eye cavity area is easier to penetrate than the other area's of the mouth roof so that's where the hook ends up...........of course the hook needs to be big enough or the fish small enough to get the barb in postion. When fishing the bottom, the cat sure ain't moving down with the bait so I've not had any problems there. I believe it's more of a function of the bait postion than it is hook selection..........seen a lot of J's up there also. Have you tried oversizing the bait???
     
  14. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    I'm going to detail some notes next time and see what patterns I can find... Thanks to all so far for their input.
     
  15. hoosier angler

    hoosier angler New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    Arizona
    IMHO. My experiance has been. If you use an 8/0 circle you should be using a bait that a 5 lb fish can't eat. I found this out by hooking small fish with big hooks through the eyes. I would suggest a big hook for a big bait. if you are fishing in an area that is full of 4-5 lb cats use a 4/0 hook. You can use an 8/0 put a big bait on it(like a whole skipjack, shad etc...). this will help with the eye hooking problem. I will always use circles until I think something better comes along.
     
  16. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    The places I fish my set lines the cats range from fiddlers to a potential record, and we always fish big bait trying to weed out the small cats. But it is not uncommon for me to catch a 2-5 pound cat on a nice sized gill, if the small cats happens to visit the line first.

    I could fish smaller hooks, but I would rather catch the big ones and I equip my lines accordingly. But I DO appreciate your input :smile2:
     
  17. brad kilpatrick

    brad kilpatrick New Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    State:
    Kansas City
    Tulcat What size and Brand of circles do You use. I've used mustad 12/0 to 16/0 circles on My set lines for years. I can't recall having the eye hooking probelum ever
     
  18. kccats

    kccats New Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    I have never caught a catfish through the eye with a circle hook.
    But then, I don't trot line, limb line or jug.
    Rod and Reel only.
     
  19. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    For set lines I have about 260 pretied leaders that are a mix of hooks (hooks were obtained over the last year at various times) to include 8/0 Gama circles, 7/0 and 8/0 Eagle Claw Sea Circles, 5/0 through 16/0 Mustad Demon Circles, plus numerous kahles.

    This last trip where I really noticed the issue, we were fighting the rain, flood water, debris, and wind so I didn't really get to log any notes, but as best I can recall the eye hookups were mostly on the 8/0 Gamas (I don't recall any hookups on my Mustad hooks this trip).
     
  20. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Normal, IL
    I don't think I've ever hooked one through the eye with a circle hook. I've probably caught a lot less fish than some of the other people on here, but never hooked one in the eye myself.