Hook Setting Angles For Flathead Catfish!!!

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by catfishrollo, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I hear many talk about low hook rates when fishing for flathead catfish. Alot has to do with your approach, angle, and how you are setting the hook compared to what the fish is doing. I fish bait clicker and J-style hooks, what I try to do is place the rod tip at the angle of the run. I have had better luck letting the fish straighten my arms once locking the reel down in full tention to set at the direction at a parallel positon to the line being peeled. Most of the time I hook them in that meaty section on the sides, or in the top of the mouth which we know is as hard! It has been a high hook up ratio for me fishing J-hooks. No need to set the hook hard, hooks nowdays are sharp enough to penetrate very easily at an adequate distance. I have seen different styles of hook sets of fishermen over the years, some as good, and some very poor! I think its very important if free-line fishing to have a good stance and hooking style to keep a high hook up ratio! My buddy fishes free-line and circles the same way. He lets the rod load clear down and loads with the line direction. .. Hope this helps some having problems.. Alot could do with how baits are being presented and hooked also! Next time you are having issues with hookups, try to pay attention to how and what you are doing to set the hook, or do what I have ask your fishing partner to pay attention to how you are setting during the action! We often get caught in the moment, and a by stander can be the best to tell ya what he thinks of your actions!!!!:wink: Goodluck..... rollo
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  2. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Great trip Rollo. Good information for sure. Thanks for sharing.
     

  3. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    OH,, Great,,,,, Jason,,, Now,, MORE to think about ,, :crazy::wink:
    When my hair is standing straight up.:big_smile::smile2:

    Thanks for the reminder!!
     
  4. luckey wade

    luckey wade New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    ohio
    Thanks that is one thing i belive is a down fall for me. I lost two monster cats this year using 2# small mounths an if the hook set was a good one . Then i would have boated these fish .
     
  5. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I think one of the most overlooked parts of this particular problem is not the technique of the hook set, rather the hooking of the bait. You want your hook in the very edge of your cut bait, not the middle to keep the hook from turning back into the hook. Nor do you want the hook to turn back into your live bait. If you pay attention to the little details you won't have to cuss when you miss that biggun and reel in your line only to find your bait completely burying your hooks point.:wink:
     
  6. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Very important Shawn. Good point... But, one that sets at the most poor time will not have much sucess either way. I have seen some that pick a rod up and simply jerk because the clicker was going, and some that picked it up to see their line go limp then tighten to set.. I think there needs to be some confidence in what and how. And alot goes into patterning your habits on how you are trying to catch them, and the process how you are hooking up or not! You are right about bait rigging, but most avid anglers get comfortable with the baits they usually use.. Then question later when having problems. I think its like other sports, ones with a good technique they use often without changing and set with a certain reason and angle, have a higher hook rate usually...rollo
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    A lot of truth in that. I took some friends fishing here a week or two ago and 1 guy would feel a leaf on his line and pick it up.... never caught a fish. How do you teach a guy patience? I told him if he picked up the rod again I was gonna throw him off the boat, but....
     
  8. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Here's my method when setting the hook. If a fish pulls to the left, I pull to the right, and if it pulls to the right I pull to the left, now if it goes under the boat I pull up and if it takes off flying, which I have never seen, I think that I would pull down...........lol :smile2::smile2::smile2::wink:
     
  9. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    I personally think alot of flatheads are missed cause guys forget to let them run,as we know most flatheads will grab a bait and run away with it before stopping to turn the bait and swallow,so if you don't wait till after the initial run then the chances of a good hookup are really low,the hook is most likely not even in the fishes mouth. Hey,I've been guilty of it especially after fishing channels for awhile then switching over to flats get excited and forget to let them make their run. How I like to do it is give them line on the first run,then when they start to move again I lock the reel and follow the fish with the rod tip untill it's just about pointed at the fish and the slack is out of the line,then a short swift snap of the rod to set the hook. The only time I use a huge cross their eyes hookset is when using mono line and the bait is way out there,then it's needed to overcome line stretch and still have enough umf to get the hook buried,and sometimes I will give it two or three good hooksets in a row when the fish is out past 100 yards or so. you'll see surfcaster guys doing the multiple hookset for the same reason.
     
  10. stangcrazy85

    stangcrazy85 New Member

    Messages:
    437
    State:
    PerryTucky
    man guess i never thought about it i quit missing fish when i threw away all my circles ?? using king kahles and i love em next time the clicker is screaming i'll try it
     
  11. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    A lot of these type questions come in the summer with all of the casual traffic that comes here. It's pretty quiet now but a lot of noobs show up in August asking how to catch the big one without trying too hard. Sometimes you get in a place with 5# channels hitting big bait and there isn't a way to know their problem or solve it.
     
  12. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    For me and my fish, I have to respectfully disagree. Maybe it has to do with the size bait I use or the waters I fish in or something, but I believe that this is a fallacy. With standard size sunfish for bait, I believe that the flatheads suck the entire fish into their mouth on the initial strike. I fish with the rods in holders with the reels engaged and the fish hook themselves. If the bait were still in their jaws, then I would be missing a lot of hooksets, as the bait would pull free as they swam off on that initial run, but the fish hook themselves virtually every time.
     
  13. CaptainBrad

    CaptainBrad Active Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    North Dakota
    This is an interesting topic that I had to deal with about 8 years ago as I was losing a lot of fish on the hookset. The whole issue arose when I was holding the rod with no clicker. I was sitting in the front of the boat and when a fish would hit I would set the hook by pulling the rod back in a side sweep as to not hit the other people in the boat. The guide at the particular event we were in explained that when the fish run you have to hit up to drive the hook because the side sweep would only set if it was in the side of the mouth. Hooksets went to nearly 100% from there on when holding the rod.

    I took that back home with me where I run some clickers and let the fish run. What I figured out is to rig the rod holder in the boat as parallel to the water as I can with the tip pointed right at the line so when the fish takes it there is no resistance from the rod that would be there if it were at a 30 or 45 degree angle. When the fish runs I slide the rod out of the holder still pointing at the line, then with one quick hit I lock the bail and set straight up.

    This sounds like a lot to think about but I would say since figuring it out I hook up to almost all the fish that bite.
     
  14. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    90% of missed hooks up for me is not because of bad hook sets, it's because they are mostly really small fish that have the balls to attack my very large fish.

    To be honest, it's rare that I miss a hookset on a big fish.:cool2:
     
  15. bw69r

    bw69r Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,816
    State:
    West Newton, PA
    have had a problem in the past with actually hooking up but maybe 30 seconds to a minute in the fish comes off. lost alot of big heavy fish that way. was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on why or what i am doing wrong if anything.
     
  16. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Brian, referring back to the loanwizard's post... Some could have to do with how you are hooking baits, and how you are hooking them for what style. For example... Years back, I used to use all Kahle hooks and hooked most of my big gills under the dorsel with it towards the front of the dorsel. I lost many good fish one season with the same problem. As the flathead would take that bait head first to swallow I assume the hook way getting turned enough, allowing it to be hooked back in the mid-section of the bait! I moved the hook placement after a few bad nights of similar results to start getting a better hook/ ratio... It can be something simple as that, or a combination of a few things in my opinion. I always try still today to remember and think on each bait on where and how it is hooked for that reason.....rollo
     
  17. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Messages:
    5,834
    State:
    Thomaston, Geor
    this may work on some waters,but the waters i fish on if the fish runs more than a few feet there's no need for a hook set because he.ll have you rapped in logs.most of the rivers i fish i can't even use my clickers.i also think its more to do with angle of the hook set.a good over hand snatch directly away from the fish.
     
  18. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    Ditto!:wink:
     
  19. pabloracer4748

    pabloracer4748 New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Kansas
    I guess I have never really had a lot of problems with hook ups. The fish I do lose I assume they were probably gar. Ive fished with a lot of people that mistake a gar for a flathead. Gar love goldfish and cutbait and a big one will run like hell until it magically unhooks itself.
     
  20. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    On the hook turning back into the bait problem:

    Starting years back I had this problem recur several times one trip when fishing live menhaden for big red drum. The standard hooking method around here for good sized menhaden is to go crosswise through the little clear triangle right in front of the eye. When the hook laid back along the fish (either from the fish swimming forward or from the reds taking the bait headfirst?) it was very easy for the hook point to end up buried in the bait. I started going in the menhaden's mouth and out the top of their nose. Their mouth is narrow enough that the hook is not able to turnor move and so it stays right where it belongs and can't turn back into the bait.

    When I started fishing live sunfish for flatheads I just automatically started hooking the baits the same way. A brim's mouth is a bit more round, but it is still very hard for the hook to fold over to the side, which is what leads to the point getting buried in the bait. Seems to me that any time a live bait is hooked crosswise through the fish, the hook can fold back and lay along the fish which makes it easy for the hook to bury.

    Notice that in both cases I talked about hooking baits in the nose. I've mentioned this before, but it's worth saying again. Any time I'm fishing in any current with a live fish for bait, the bait is hooked in the nose. That presents them in the natural orientation, facing into the current, which keeps them alive and healthy longer. If the bait is hooked anywhere in the rear, eventually it will get tired, turn backwards in the current and drown. If I fish a live bait under a float in still water, then the hook goes in the bait's back, then the bait is hung in the natural orientation... Some people like to hook a bait in an unnatural position so that it forces the bait to struggle to stay upright and attract more attention to itself. That sounds great, except I don't have the confidence that the flathead will find it before it gets tired and keels over. I'd rather just do what I can to keep the bait healthy as long as possible.