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Bill, in OkC
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I have had several fish get away because it didn’t hook up properly
I've had the same problem. I was told that my hook was too small.
So, I used 8/0 - 10/0 circle hooks.
Gamagatsu and Eagle Claw. Offset is mainly what I use.
 

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Several things come to mind that can reduce the effectiveness of a circle. I suspect the most common would be not allowing for the rod to "load" before reeling down, in my experience a hook set results in a miss more often than not. A small piece of bait over/on the very point of the hook, scales from live or cut bait are notorious. Not being tied on the leader by the most effective knot, I don't know what the most effective knot is but the most effective I have used is a snell.
I had a little trouble adjusting from J hooks to circles, 40 some years of trying to dislocate the fishes jaw with the hook set was a hard habit to break but once I got over that I have complete confidence in circles and absolutely feel them the best for free drifting. Good Luck.
 

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I use 10//0 Boss Kat (Daiichi) circle hooks. They are offset and very sharp. My advice is similar to the above but I want to add to CRANK the drag down on your reel. Right now on the Tenn river (Wheeler, Wilson, Guntersville) we are fishing lots of current and structure. If you give a big blue the chance, they'll pull you back into the wood or rocks your fishing so a tight drag will help increase your hook up rate and catch rate.
Let the fish load up the road, reel down and then, and not before, take the rod out of the rod holder.
Good luck, hope this helps.
ccat
 

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Chattanooga TN
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Several things come to mind that can reduce the effectiveness of a circle. I suspect the most common would be not allowing for the rod to "load" before reeling down, in my experience a hook set results in a miss more often than not. A small piece of bait over/on the very point of the hook, scales from live or cut bait are notorious. Not being tied on the leader by the most effective knot, I don't know what the most effective knot is but the most effective I have used is a snell.
I had a little trouble adjusting from J hooks to circles, 40 some years of trying to dislocate the fishes jaw with the hook set was a hard habit to break but once I got over that I have complete confidence in circles and absolutely feel them the best for free drifting. Good Luck.
Dead on, it was really hard to keep from setting the hook for me. I used 10/0 Kahle, but like a circle you couldn't set the hook or you will jerk the bait out of its mouth. One thing I could add is two things, don't set the drag so tight it will snap the line before it will feed line out.

Another thing is never let the rod straighten out, if you give that fish slack on the line, chances are it will spit the hook. Coming out of the rod holder is one major way to give it slack. JMHO
 

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Allen, you got a lot of good advise here. For catfish, circle hooks are a great choice.

First thing to do is make sure the hook is sharp. Learn to do the thumb nail test.

second leave as much hook exposed as you can. Just hook the bait enough to keep it on.

third, let the fish load the rod, then before picking it up, reel down.

Tight lines
 

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Steve from Mississippi
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All this is great advice. I had a hard time getting used to them also. We started using them offshore over 25yrs ago. One thing that may help as I have noticed is not to run the hook straight through perpendicular to the bait. Run the hook through at an angle. This reduces the possibility of the hook flopping back into the bait covering the point. That point has to be exposed well to hook up. Since the hook is run through a little more meat this way it also allows a little larger hook in a smaller or thinner bait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Biggest mistake people make with circle hooks is hooking bait to deep you need as much gap as possible
I generally just
Leave rod in rod holder and reel down hard as you can and cant reel no more and then reel down some more. Some fish just don't get hooked good it happens.
A real good youtube guy to watch is Sling N' Baits.
yes I watch his videos and Dave
 

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Ron from Northwest Texas
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Lots of great advice above.After using several brands and sizes of rigs over the years I would add this.............The best hookup rate for me has been with Mustard Demon Circle hooks size 7/0 thru 10/0.To keep that drag tight enough for hook set,minimum line size in mono is 30 lbs but the last few years I have switched to 50 lb braid with 60 lb mono leader.I also deviate from the norm here in using only Daiwa BG spinning reels sizes 4500,5000(my favorite size,I have like 5 5000's) and 6500,best drags of any reels i have ever owned.Reasoning here is I love Bank fishing in the winter with surf rods.........fishing wind blown points with casting reels is a total PITA and getting any distance is next to impossible.Anyway all this has helped me become a more effective bank fisherman.........plus most of this applies to boat fishing as well.Hope something here helps you be a better fisherman as well.
 

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I have had several fish get away because it didn’t hook up properly
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  1. Don't bury the point.
  2. Don't 'set' the hook, a steady pull will cause it to set itself
  3. Use correct size, which is: the gap between the point and shaft should be wide enough that the jawbone of your target fish will pass through it.
  4. For tying, check out the 'egg dropper loop' knot. This is the knot that gammakatsu uses on their pre-rigged hook packs.
  5. Quality hooks. I have often been told by Bass tournament friends of mine that I need a bigger stouter hook because what I'm using will be broken or straightened out, & I have won many 20-dollar bills betting them that they won't straighten that gammakatsu. Hell, I've never even had a gammakatsu go full or rust!!
 

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Allen,
I don’t know enough about hooks to be of any help to you, but I have to say your avatar picture is one of the coolest I’ve seen for a long time! I do know enough to say; “Hang on, Daddy, ‘cause the next few decades go by at warp speed!”
 

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Reasoning here is I love Bank fishing in the winter with surf rods.........fishing wind blown points with casting reels is a total PITA and getting any distance is next to impossible.Anyway all this has helped me become a more effective bank fisherman.........plus most of this applies to boat fishing as well.Hope something here helps you be a better fisherman as well.
Good day sir,
I also do a lot of bank fishing with a surfcasting rod... and I must beg to differ about distance you could get with baitcaster reels. I usually get about 60-70 yards in the calm, and am able to still hit 40-50 yards on windy days.
 
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