Hook ups?

Discussion in 'Terminal Tackle Review' started by 1gr8bldr, Apr 12, 2020.

  1. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    As I have said before, I took off about 15 years from hardcore fishing for cats. I have fished a few times here recently. I don't recall having so many hits that resulted in non hook ups back then. I'm not sure what's going on. I use what I always used, #8 Gatamasku. I prefer a larger gap, but the 8's come in bulk. I change hooks often. I always check them, after a fish or hookup. But I'm getting 50% hookup. The concept of a circle hook is that it eases out of the mouth and turns on it's way out. The reason we don't jerk it. Either my upgraded rods are slightly stiffer, causing a faster hook pull back, or the fish are hitting rather than taking.... or they have adapted/evolved and now lip the baits rather than engulf them???? I have had some monster drag runs that do not seem possible if just lipped. Sounds like the hook is not doing what it's designed to do, buy coming out of the mouth to forceful. I have played with circle hooks like a kid. They work flawless when.... they exit under slight pull. A bait can, but not often, can manipulate the hook to stop the "turn" in the corner of the mouth. I'm just thinking out loud.... trying to see what I should change up
     
  2. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Marty, you said you are using #8 Gamakatsu hooks. What are you fishing for?

    Are you snelling your hooks?

    And are you hooking the bait too deep. Thus hiding too much of the hook in the bait.
     

  3. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Since you are getting some big runs, you must be free lining with a clicker on. I very seldom use my clicker and have my reel engaged. When the cat runs he hooks himself when the rod loads up.
     
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  4. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    I'm doing the same as I did 20 years ago when hookups were much better. But no, not snelling. 50lb cats are the target. I also hook the same, although deeper than I wish to, having to hook fairly deep to cast the distance I want. But again, the same way that used to work. Have not caught one yet in the few times I have been out. But I've caught lots of them
     
  5. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    20200411_191916.jpg This bait, just got here in it's travel. Given a few more weeks, and it would have mouth marks on it.
     
  6. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    20200412_153507.jpg This is typical. Most all have mouth marks
     
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  7. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    I believe going up in hook size will help. However, as I said, it used to work fine. The current is much faster since our power house no longer controls the water, the dam lowered, our water controlled now by a hydro dam further up. It could be, .... that the fish hit harder, as if it, the bait, can be lost much easier, jerking it from their mouths? This could be solved by a more limber rod tip. Which my rods are that way. I don't want to go lighter.
     
  8. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    So I am sure you are meaning your using an 8/0 Gamakatsu.

    If your using the entire fish for bait them I would think you are hooking too deep and covering up the hook. If your going to use that large of a bait I would use a double hook rig with one hook in the mouth and a second hook in the tail

    Of it were me I would go with cut bait and get three pieces of bait from each fish pictured.
     
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  9. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Best rods for circle hooks have a strong backbone and an active (limber) tip
     
  10. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    I cut the baits in 1/3s. And don't use the tail 1/3
     
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  11. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    20200207_120914.jpg
    A little exaggerated, but this is my rod preference. Good backbone, lots of tip
     
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  12. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Ok, that is what I would do, Since you are fishing a strong current and having to cast hard I would switch to a double rig have the top hook carrying the weight for the cast and have the trail hook, (same size) just thru enough to hold the hook but with the point as exposed as you can get it. Might be worth a try.

    And I always recommend smelling circle hooks. And when using a snell it is easy to tie the extra hook with no breaks in the leader.
     
  13. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    No sure what pic is.
     
  14. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    Light poles, LOL, how I like my rods, a little exaggerated but you get the point. I can't stand a rod that bends near the handle.
     
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  15. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Haha. well I have several brands. Some bend the entire length but are made to do that. Of course more bend ia toward the tip. Others have a stronger base. Both catch fish.
     
  16. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    If I fished slow water, it would not matter as much. The bigger fish actually fight up to the boat, so their not a problem in high current. It's them dang 20 lbers who give out 35 yards below the boat and you have to drag them in like a log
     
  17. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Yah, one river I fish has a strong current while the other larger river has a slow easy current.

    It is tough landing a big fish in heavy current by yourself. I have to work him up beside the boat and then hold the rod with one hand while I try to get a net being him with the other. It often takes 5 to 10 attempt to get a bug cat in the net.
     
  18. Bobbycat

    Bobbycat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    168
    State:
    Texas
    Name:
    Bob
    Although I do not use circle hooks, two snelling J hooks also work well for big baits.
     
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  19. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    Fished friday night, all night. Awful night to be on the water. Strong opposite wind of current. Could not keep boat straight. Tried getting in tight to the bank, LOL, then the trees sounded like they were going to fall on me. Eventually moved to a sharp turn in the river and used the point to block the wind. Anyway, I went up on hook size to 10/0 on circles and 10/0 on reg river hooks. Hookups percent went up. The conventional hooks did fine even though I was not guarding to set the hook, but rather in a camping tent, hunkered down, on a mat on the bottom of the boat, LOL, watching Youtube. I did however miss the one I went for. A tractor run of 30+ yards that pulled out after I turned him. The remaining fish were all small stuff, but surprisingly, the big hooks did well with them. I expect that the big fish, that the hook had hooked into the bait itself. But happy to have increased the bad rate I was getting on hookups
     
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  20. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Active Member

    Messages:
    847
    State:
    collins mo
    Name:
    Jim Wainwright
    Smaller cats in a school, grabbing your bait & running