Need tips for setting the hook on a catfish

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by xposedguts, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. xposedguts

    xposedguts New Member

    Messages:
    146
    State:
    Illinois
    Please remind me, when setting the hook should i try to do it when i get nibbles or see my pole moving a little or wait till the fish runs with it? If the fish runs with it will it feel like its pulling on my pole? I seems im always jumping the gun and looseing the fish. Also im pretty sure i hooked a few then i hear em jump out of the water and there gone....
     
  2. ozzy

    ozzy New Member

    Messages:
    3,936
    State:
    Lost Wages
    Cats will run with it. Little jerks and such are usually baitfish.
     

  3. xposedguts

    xposedguts New Member

    Messages:
    146
    State:
    Illinois
    k, i was usin dead/cut sunfish so it wasnt the bait...something was interested in the bait but never ran with it, i think because i jumped the gun on trying to set the hook or something
     
  4. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    here is rule i use. first wiggle, they are tasting. (time for smoke, pour coffee or get fresh beer.) second wiggle usually stronger so now paying attention so go to pole. third time, usually strong run. course this is with flatheads where i live and i use circle hooks. if fishing for channels, i never touch pole until bent double. if fishing flatties, do the proceeding sayings. wait till third run if i can..
    gary
     
  5. xposedguts

    xposedguts New Member

    Messages:
    146
    State:
    Illinois
    thanks for the info, so i should wait till my pole bends some? Does this mean its running with the bait and then should i set the hook?
     
  6. Bacardipr05

    Bacardipr05 New Member

    Messages:
    1,424
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    I pretty much feel the same way tofish. I don't usually get "excited" until the second flinch of the rod. Third wiggle(flinch) rod is in hand and I am setting the hook..... I don't use circles real up some slack and set that hook...lol......
     
  7. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Dan what type of hook are you useing? Circle, Kahle, or J Hook.
     
  8. xposedguts

    xposedguts New Member

    Messages:
    146
    State:
    Illinois
    like a normal J hook i guess you would call it. By the way are circle hooks the same as treble hooks?
     
  9. jerryb

    jerryb New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    Ohio
    Naw, circles are a "self-setting" hook... if you so a search here in the forums, there's a lot of info on using them - including what you're rod should look like before you worry about picking it up... :0a26:
     
  10. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    Kind of sounds to me if the fish are jumping out of the water thier not cats.Sounds something like the good ol GAR will do.they'll spit out the hook on you.If you like sitting the hook yourself don't use circle hooks. Get you some Kahale Hooks .think you just might like them better than the J Hook.
     
  11. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    the way i was taught is when you see you have a bite and your line gets slack and drops back get ready cause hes gettin ready to make a run for it.
     
  12. CatFishingFinatic

    CatFishingFinatic New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    Iowa
    Sometimes a catfish won't nibble... they will just grab it and go. Sometimes with a slow steady pull, sometimes with a slam. With my pole in hand I wait till I feel a steady pull, I let him pull it all the way around in front of me with a steady pull, no slacking up, then I pull to set the hook. I don't pull up on the rod. Channel cats will break the water if they are in shallow water. I pull sideways... and reel the pole to where I want to position my body to stand up or reposition my body. Don't give them any slack. If you do, they will go into a rolling spin and get off. Keep the line tight and the pole bent. This is the way I do it... some might agree with me and some may not. I have lost very few cats. Patience is one of the biggest keys to catching catfish, both in waiting for the bite and setting the hook. Just remember if you pull to soon you can pull the bait right out of their mouth. Oh I should also note, I am talking about river fishing moving water, fishing in still water, lakes and ponds is different. Good luck and happy fishing.
     
  13. xposedguts

    xposedguts New Member

    Messages:
    146
    State:
    Illinois
    great info thanks
     
  14. LandsCats

    LandsCats New Member

    Messages:
    58
    State:
    North Dakota
    I myself never do the same thing each time out. If someone tells you to set the same way each time out they are wrong. Catfish feed different throught the summer. In our area they feed heavy in the spring and tapper off during the summer. Once water temps start hitting around 45 to 50 derg. you can set the hook as soon as you grab the rod. They are grabbing the bait and running no nibble just grab and run. During the summer I switch to circle hooks and the hook up rate continues to be high. You just have to try different things at different times and see what works best for you type of fishing.

    Good luck.
     
  15. catman37

    catman37 New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    ohio
    switch to circle hooks and you wont have to worry about when to set the hook anymore..just wait til the fish almost drags your poll into the water and then pick it up and reel it in.
     
  16. impak209

    impak209 New Member

    Messages:
    105
    State:
    Toledo, Ohio, U
    I would agree to trying circles to prevent losing fish by not setting the hook,(just remember not to try and set it when using circles!)
    just as long as some point down the line you make it a point to learn how to set the hook with other hooks. My daughter got the hang of it by catching bluegills becuase they would hit so frequently that missing a set was'nt of any consequence.
     
  17. xposedguts

    xposedguts New Member

    Messages:
    146
    State:
    Illinois
    cool ill grab some circle hooks, do they make em in lots of sizes?-
     
  18. plukr54

    plukr54 New Member

    Messages:
    69
    State:
    indiana
    I like kahle hooks, little more room for your bait, course I very seldom come across a big flathead or blue in my parts. I love to set the hook!
     
  19. xposedguts

    xposedguts New Member

    Messages:
    146
    State:
    Illinois
    Well I picked up some circle hooks, I got Ultra Point Mustad Demon Circle Catfish 5/0 hooks to try out. Now if the fish pulls these will they set themselves then i just reel her in when it feels like it has been set?
     
  20. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Dan, I am assuming you are bank fishing. With either a J-hook, or a circle the fish still has to move off with the bait before you can (set the J-hook, OR hold the rod and let the fish load it up and hook itself.) If you are bank fishing and aren't using some type of rod holder that keeps your pole from being pulled into the water, just use the J's and a clicker. When a catfish taps your bait pick up the rod and tilt the tip toward the bait to give the line a little slack, a bow. Then wait till the fish takes out all the slack and gives a good tug on your rod, This is when you set the hook. He has the bait in his mouth and is moving away to find something else to eat. If you miss the fish after all that then it wasn't a cat over 1lb, or maybe a cat at all. I have caught 1lb channels on 10/0 Gammakatsu Otopus hooks. So if you are using a 5/o hook and the fish can't swallow that, he wasn't big enough to mess with anyway.