Don't hide the hook!

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by john catfish young, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    Many of you may have read the following article in the 2008 In-fisherman Catfish insider magazine. For those of you who haven't here it is. What is your thoughts?
    Qoute: It isn't that catfish aren't intelligent. Indeed, science suggests that they're among the most intelligent fish of those we usually write about, way smarter, in many ways, than pike and walleyes, notibly smarter than bass and trout, and just about on an even plane with carp. But catfish without experience with hooks, which is most catfish, billions of them, haven't a clue what a hook is. Admittedly, catfish that are caught and released probably learn to associate hooks with danger, but even that takes time.
    So no sense to hide a hook in order to fool a catfish, even though it seems logical to a lot of catfish anglers. The entire process isn't just a waste of time, its one of the main reasons anglers don't get a good hook-set. Everything has exceptions, of course, but in most cases leave the hook point exposed, so that when you set, the hook point immediately and easily moves forward into catfish hide.
    But, a skeptical angler questions, won't the fish feel the hook when it picks up the bait? Yes, maybe, but so what? It still won't know what a hook is and isn't going to care, given everything else it's perfectly comfortable grabbing and swallowing. Cats pick up crayfish that bite and scratch. They eat spiny bullheads like so much popcorn. And when they suck food off the bottom, they often inhale a good bit of debris- sticks and pebbles- right along with the good stuff, sometimes rejecting the junk, but other times swallowing it all without flinching. Getting rid of that stuff might be a different story, but then I don't know, I've never asked a catfish.
    On this same tack, many anglers also tend to use smaller hooks than they should, thinking fish won't see or it's easier to hide a smaller hook. In general, though, use the largest hook you can get away with, given the type of bait your using. Larger hooks offer more gap, which generally means a better set.
    It is particularly important to use larger hooks with live bait. The smaller the hook, the smaller the gap and the more likely the hook will set back into the bait, making it impossible to get a hook set. Even when larger hooks set back into the bait, they still often have enough gap to break free and find flesh.

    I thought this would be a good article for discussion......what are your thoughts? Personally I agree with the article!!!!!!:big_smile:
     
  2. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,286
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    I never "hide" my hook ever:tounge_out: Put some skips' on them dudes & we will see who can resist the tootsie-roll center of the tootsie pop!!!!:dribble:
     

  3. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    I totally agree with your article. Larger hooks and exposed tips. Thanks.
     
  4. Boomer

    Boomer New Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I agree with the article to some extent. If you are targeting big fish I would use larger hooks, but when I am just freezer fishing I fish with 1/0 to 3/0 hooks. I usually use a smaller bait. Not only does it save me on bait, but I can catch the 2-3 lbers. I never hide the hook, it make the set a whole lot harder.

    Maybe I should use one of those red hooks, ha ha
     
  5. fuman80

    fuman80 New Member

    Messages:
    51
    State:
    Ohio
    i agree completely. especially on the big hooks. Catfish have big wide mouths, the hook will fit even on a small cat. i use 8/0 gamakatsu octopus circles
     
  6. whisker maniac

    whisker maniac New Member

    Messages:
    2,712
    State:
    arkansas
    I agree with the article. I used to bury my hook afraid of the fish feeling the hook as it took it in. I no longer do this and am still catching fish with quicker hook sets.
     
  7. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,690
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    the big hook theroy is perfectly worded and spoke just rite with one exception and thats waleye.waleye are finiky any way and useing big hooks seem to turn them off.by the same token when im waleye fishing i use larger baits to keep the little fish off.so hook size mat work just the opisite to.if you use a small hook with big baits the hook may be to small to get hooked into the bait.dont get me wrong im still useing big hooks with big baits for cats but on other species im not so sure.
     
  8. lilgriz

    lilgriz New Member

    Messages:
    436
    State:
    Aurora, KY
    I would have to agree 100%. The hook's point should not be "hid" in the bait. This senario happened just last night. Dad had a good run on some live bluegill. The bulegill was big and Dad usually uses 10/0 King Khales, but last night he was useing 8/0 or 9/0, but still useing the same size bait that he would use with the 10/0. And he just kept missing them. I believe it was because there was not enough of the hook exposed to set into the flats mouth. I'll be the first to tell you......if Dad misses a fish, something ain't right!
     
  9. Ghosth

    Ghosth New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    North Dakota
    I've caught channel cats that had cockleburrs in their stomache. Anything that will eat a cockleburr isn't fussy about the touch of a hook point.
     
  10. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I have found rocks and shells in their stomach as well.:eek:oooh:
     
  11. FLATHEAD STEVE

    FLATHEAD STEVE New Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    State:
    DESMOINES IOWA
    I agree with you. The IN-FISHERMAN cast are 90% of the time going for trophy catfish, I have read this wonderful artical along with many others and I believe they are talking about big fish
     
  12. brucemacgee19

    brucemacgee19 New Member

    Messages:
    51
    State:
    nc
    I like to also make sure the hook point and barb are showing so with the circles it's a no brainer....... and for cats nothing smaller than a 7/0
     
  13. hunted

    hunted New Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    State:
    washington court house,oh
    i use gamakatsu circles,so i use 4/0 to 5/0 for channels,and 9/0 for flats.
    as for hiding the point,nah,only exception is if im fishing with nightcrawlers.
     
  14. Cheez

    Cheez New Member

    Messages:
    522
    State:
    Trion,GA
    I agree 100% as well. When I use skipjack or other cutbait all I do is hook through the skin. The only fish that I miss are the ones that can't get the 8/0 Gama or the 7/0 Daichi circles into their mouths.
     
  15. Cattoo

    Cattoo New Member

    Messages:
    603
    State:
    caneyville,ky.
    guys, you also have to take into account the fact that catfish, by nature, are mostly scent feeders. i know, cats will sight feed often, but alot if not most of the time cats are caught in water too deep or too staind for them to see anyway. and they will eat almost anything including rocks if it has a scent they desire. think about all the big cats you have seen that were caught on jugs or trotlines. a hook or line for that matter, means nothing to a hungry cat.
     
  16. germanmudfish

    germanmudfish New Member

    Messages:
    492
    State:
    Gray, GA
    I have seen trotlines with nothing but tin foil on a hook catch spring time catfish. Exposed hooks all the way.
     
  17. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    The only time I hide a hook is when I'm fishing fresh fallen tree top with lots small limbs . It helps keep from getting snagged up if a fish hasn't taken the bait.:wink::cool2:
     
  18. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I see where that might help some.......Thanks:big_smile:
     
  19. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I agree also, the hook is not going to give it away!! I never hide mine and I got some big ole hooks