Hooking Live bait?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Abu65, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. Abu65

    Abu65 Member

    Messages:
    584
    State:
    Kentucky
    Been having some trouble hooking fish on live bait 6 to 8 inch shad and blue gills 4 to 7 inches. The rod will go down hard, or bait clicker will be screaming and I jerk and nothing. What are your methods of hooking your bait, where, what size hooks ect. ? Does anyone use stingers & if so where do you hook the bait at and do you have to keep the line tight between hooks. I thought of using stingers but I didnt know if it would effect the movement of the bait fish?
     
  2. CBH

    CBH New Member

    Messages:
    263
    State:
    WV
    I hook bluegill either throught the back, just below the dorsel fin, or through the tail, just above the anal fin. The back is more solid, and it holds better, but I still lose bait to gar when they grab and run!! They'll scream your clicker, and when you set the hook........nothin'!!
     

  3. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    I use Blue Gill/War Mouth/Goggle Eye quite a bit. I was hooking them through the back end, between the top fin and Tail. I noticed every fish I caught, be it a cat or bass, the bait was head first in their mouth. The last trip out I started hooking them through their lips and out their nose and noticed A) I got alot more hookups and B) they seemed to stay alive longer and MUCH more friskier for much longer.
     
  4. alands94

    alands94 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,706
    State:
    Lebanon, I
    Interesting. I will have to try that next time. I have always hooked bluegill just behind the dorsal fin with varying degrees of success. I have hooked minnows through the eyes and shad through the lips, but only when drift fishing.
     
  5. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    i would highly recomend double hooking all big live baits or you will get awhole lot of reel screaming and setting the hook and nothing happening,a snelled khale up front and a just tied on khale out back will increase your hook up's
     
  6. Crackr

    Crackr New Member

    Messages:
    244
    State:
    Indiana
    I think Tim is dead-on when hooking gills through the lips. I have had gills live for a couple hours in this fashion, and when they die, it's turned to cut bait.
     
  7. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    When I have a screaming run and fail to hook up I always blame it on Gar...Maybe I am missing some also?
     
  8. HRCats

    HRCats New Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    State:
    Ohio
    When i hook big gills through the tail and get those big runs i let em run til they stop then when they take off again is when i set the hook. That period when they stop they are usually swallowing the bait.
     
  9. thegavel

    thegavel New Member

    Messages:
    1,317
    State:
    West Des Moines, Iowa
    with large gills I hook through the lips bottom to the top, or through the back below the dorsal fin.

    Sometimes for bigger baits I run a stinger hook... but I do it a little different... I like to run a circle hook through the lips and a very small hook, the size you would use to catch bait through the tail, I have pulled some monsters in on just the back hook.

    The greatest part of this is that when they hit the small hook, it generally won't phase the fish and they will keep eating, but when/if they give up you still have that little hook to work with!!!

    Just throwing it out there
     
  10. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    I usually free line baits with them hooked through the nostrils... I use 4 inch white perch and bluegils alot and i tend to hook them on a 1 or 1/0 hook put out by eagle claw i want to say its the L194 but i could be wrong.... only one place carries them around me but they are well made hooks and i trust them not to break. I also hook them this way if i'm fishing an area with current so that they don't die on me or get pulled sideways by the current like other methods will do...

    I tend to hook them, if im not freelining them, in the back right behind the dorsal fin or on the underside at the anal fin (any where along there that isn't damaging the spinal cord)... I do this with a bobber, slip rig, splitshotted... I usually switch off depending on the mood of the bait and the fish i'm catching... if they are really aggressive and will hit the bait with in a few minutes i hook it on top... it causes the fish to tilt to ones side and constantly fight to stay up right and since the fish are coming hard and fairly fast i don't have to worry about dead bait... if fish are slower coming and/or the cover is above where i've got the bait and the bait wants to try and swim up to it is usually when i hook then below.... this keeps them up right and alive for the longest time... plus looks most natural when a fish comes to grab it and its fleeing... the hooks i use for this are 5/0 and up (8/0's aren't uncommon for slightly larger baits) gamas.... i need something that won't turn back into the bait to easily and will also be big enough for the fish to take with no problem...


    I'd say go no lower then 3/0 for any type of baitfish.... (i use 1/0 only because it can catch the larger white perch too in the river i fish with them in)... just make sure the hook can't turn easily back into the bait and also that it isn't too big for the bait and just holds the bait on the bottom...

    As for missing strikes you never said if there was any visible marks on the bait, or if the bait was gone, etc... also how stiff are your rods? if they are a little weak if the bait is scared its going to try and run and really look like you've got a good bite if your fishing... had that happen a few times... It happens.... let the fish really load the rod up and hold it down for 10 seconds then pull his butt up...
     
  11. RiverKing

    RiverKing Active Member

    Messages:
    2,232
    State:
    Yellow Spr
    i have had the same problem in recent trips, i thought i may be using to small of a hook, so i got some bigger ones, but last night i still had one come off, maybe i will try hooking a few through the lips and see how that works for me, Thanks for the advise Tim
     
  12. Abu65

    Abu65 Member

    Messages:
    584
    State:
    Kentucky
    I do get the gar bites from time to time, line coming to top, tooth marks ect. But alot of times I either dont get the bait back or part of it is scaled. Almost forgot I use Moyer rods in either the medium or x-heavy depending on sinker size due to current speed. Thanks for all the info so far. Abu65
     
  13. Drawout

    Drawout Active Member

    Messages:
    1,179
    State:
    Paris.Texas
    Through the lips is a good place.
     
  14. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    sounds like you have small cats trying to eat a bait that they can barely fit in their mouth... if your using circle hooks this means that its really hard for them to get space enough for the hook to work... Try a smaller bait and see if your hook up ratio doesn't improve... also you may want to try some of the other hooking spots i suggested in an earlier post...

    If its gar like somepeople have said it could be, then try tying some frayed string on the hook along with the bait to tangle in their teeth...

    Other possibilities are they are ba$$ biting and they just grab the fish and hold it or suck on it till you set the hook... i've played with a little 1 lb ba$$ once with a 3 inch bluegil and way too small a hook and he scaled the bait pretty well... ( 10 feet at most from the dock in fairly clear water... could watch him take it and run... kind of funny actually...)