Live bait for Flathead Catfish...Where to put the hook, and why.

Discussion in 'Fishing Bait Review' started by Widemouth, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Widemouth

    Widemouth New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Arizona
    I use offset circle hooks, and I like to "nose hook" my live bait. There's a thin but strong ridge on the top of the baitfish's "snout" that I pass the hook under. The reason that I think this works well, is that the circle hook basically screws itself up into the side of the flathead's lip when the line moves to the side of its mouth, as the fish takes the bait and moves away from the slip sinker. Since I'm placing my hook towards the top of the baitfish's head, I figure I've got a better chance of hooking the catfish's upper lip, or the upper part of his inner mouth. With that in mind, I'm careful about which way I put the hook in, right to left, or left to right, since one way will result in the hook's offset placing the hook's tip nearer to the top of the flathead's mouth, while the other way puts the hook's tip closer to the center of the baitfish's head. I find that when I do it this way, I get a lot of hook ups with the hook in the side of the flathead's upper lip.
     
  2. SGTREDNECK

    SGTREDNECK New Member

    Messages:
    1,522
    State:
    Tennessee
    I like to hook them in the tail with a khale hook. I get pretty good hook ratio this way. Another way i hook them are through the back, with a kahle hook. Either one exposes the hook enough to get good hook up's. Good luck
     

  3. Widemouth

    Widemouth New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Arizona
    I like Khale hooks as long as they're offset Khale's, (actually prefer them, when I'm fishing with just one pole). That way I'm right there to set the hook. I usually fish with two poles though, and need the hook to set itself. about half the time. I've tried hooking baitfish in the tail plenty of times with some luck, but am interested in this "back hooking" you refer to. Where, in the back, do you place the hook without killing or seriously stunning the fish?
     
  4. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    When I fish for flatheads I use bullheads and black perch (green sunfish). If I am using a floater I hook both shallow behind the dorsal fin with any type hook. If I am fish where there is current I hook the bullheads thru the bottom lip and the perch thru the eyes.

    Welcome to the BOC
     
  5. Widemouth

    Widemouth New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Arizona
    I get mostly gills with my cast net. There's usually some current to contend with where I fish, so hooking them somewhere up front makes sence, (creates a more natural presentation in the current after they've been on too long, and have died). I was always told that hooking live baitfish through the eyes would kill the baitfish, but that was probably bad info, since it seems to be working for you. I hook up frozen shad that way all the time, (and it works real well for me, because you can cast them a country mile without loosing them); but I've never tried hooking live baitfish that way. I'll have to give that a try. I wonder if that might work better with some species of baitfish than others?
     
  6. Cliffcat

    Cliffcat New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Missouri
    Dale:

    Kudos to you. Very logical process and nicely explained. I also 'nose hook' more often than any other method. Even for crappie or whitebass fishing I will nose hook often. An excellent advantage of this method is that the bait fish will rarely come off the hook. When I have to cast a long ways, nose hooking the bait allows me to cast the distance with no fear that the bait will come off. The area of the nose is very tough and holds better than any other location. Many hook the bait thru the eyes, but I find that the hook can back out too easily for my use. Hooked thru the nose, the hook won't back out and stays put very well. Dale, thanks again for sharing this great idea.

    Ralph
     
  7. Catmanblues

    Catmanblues New Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    S.E Ohio
    Through the upper lip keeps them lively or towards the back an they'll stay alive a while also.
     
  8. Widemouth

    Widemouth New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Arizona
    I netted a bucketful of gills the other night and tried hooking them through the eyes, along the back, and my usual nose hooking routine. I was targeting flatheads but got two nice channel cats hooking them through the eyes. I couldn't tell you for sure if the gills were still alive when the channel cats took em, but I can tell you that those gills never saw the catfish coming!
     
  9. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    I catch a lot of nice channels on live gills:wink:
     
  10. TJD

    TJD New Member

    Messages:
    258
    State:
    Missouri
    I am new to this great place. I really like catfish and the people who chase them. Thanks for the good ideas.

    Dirtdobber, I did not know that any one else liked to use bullheads and green sun fish. I also like to hook thru the mouth and nose when I fish in water with current. When you catch the bullheads for bait do you clip the sharp end off of the spines? It is much safer when I reach into the bait bucket.
     
  11. Mr. Foster

    Mr. Foster New Member

    Messages:
    1,352
    State:
    Kansas
    I will second that, real nice Channels, such as the one in my avatar.
     
  12. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    I don't cut the fins. You just have to be careful when you pick them up. I use a bait net to get them out of my bait tank. I usually get stuck a time or two every time I fish with them:eek:oooh:. It only hurts until you get a big fish:smile2: Welcome to the BOC
     
  13. lazer20

    lazer20 New Member

    Messages:
    50
    State:
    WV
    I always use a size guide to determine where I place my hook. If im using a large lively Baitfish (redhorse sucker, bullheads, bluegill, brim) I will place the hook just below the dorsal or anal fin. I dont think this affects the large baitfish as much. When using smaller bait (small shad, creek chubs, minows, gold fish) I like to hook them through the eyes or up through bottom of the jaw and into the nose. Almost always prefer circle hooks for large baits and bait holder or octopus hooks for smaller bait. I like for the bait to break away from the hook once they start running with it.

    GETSOME
     
  14. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    I hook them in the tail in current and in the back when under a bobber in a lake. The snout works will in a lake as well. I just prefer the flathead to see their face. It seems to trigger more bites.
     
  15. catfishslayer330

    catfishslayer330 New Member

    Messages:
    8
    State:
    Centertown, Mis
    so far i've only used perch but i hook them just behind the head and before the spines not too deep and the perch big or small seem to live for awhile i've even had one live for three hours