Need your opinions...

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by mikeozo, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. mikeozo

    mikeozo New Member

    I was hoping you guys could give me some advice.

    Basically, I am fishing 65# Powerpro on a cabelas salt striker reel with the bait feeders. I am basically using a carolina rig with 6/0 gamma cirlcle octos hooks.

    I have had decent hook up ratio and but have lost some fish just 5 or 10 seconds after hook up.

    I am not fishing from a boat. I am fishing off of a dock about 20' off the shore in 10-15' water. I have some rod holders rigged up on my docks also.

    I am not fishing in the Mon river in Western PA but a smaller body of water called 10 mile creek, which feeds into the mon river. Width of the body of water ranges from 150' to 300'.

    I am basically asking how would you handle a fish when you do get a bite. When he starts to run with long do you wait? How do you set the hook?

    My dad is using smaller gear and using mono line but using the same hooks as me. He has lost several and I cant figure out why cause I am watching what he does and its basically the same thing i am doing.

    We have been using primarily blue gils over the past few weeks in the 3"-6" range.

    I just am trying to improve my hook ups as well as prevent losing a big fish.

    I have caught a couple flattys over 20 pounds and I know there are some 30 plus pounders. Just don't wanna lose him when he finally decides to bite.
  2. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    I don't like circles for flatheads for THAT reason. imo their mouth structure is not suited to them. But if you prefer them, maybe using a bigger one will help... like say 10/o... And make sure you're using them properly.

  3. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    South Carolina
    Don't know the specific hooks you are using, but I fish mostly 4/0 and 5/0 kahles in good sized sunfish.

    Assuming the rod holders on your dock are secure, my best advice would be to leave the reels engaged and don't touch the rod until the fish have bent the rod over double. Most rod holders do a far better job of hooking fish that most people do. Unless you are using really big baits (like 1 pound carp, etc) flatheads will suck the whole thing in and do a great job of hooking themselves.

    Couple of things to watch for - are you hooking the bait too deep so the hook bend is filled and the point is not exposed enough? Are your hooks sized to the bait? The hook should be small enough so the bait can swim with it, but big enough so the hook bend and point still have a good bite to catch in the cat.
  4. indycatman

    indycatman New Member

    Greenwood, Indi
    welcome to the boc mike--i also do not use circle hooks i use J 10/0 gamaos but with circle the hooks will set them self when the fish run--teamcatfish has double action hooks 8/0 try them
  5. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Two things in your post stand out. The first is:

    And the second is:

    With circles you don't wait and you don't set. You say you have rod holders on the dock. Just let the rod load up in the holder and I mean really load up.

    As the other guys have said, be sure the hook size is suitable for the bait you are using. Circles need to have plenty of point and gap exposed to do their thing...W
  6. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    I completely agree here, their mouths and the way that they feed are not condusive to circle hooks. I think that if you switch to octopus or kahle style hooks your strike to catch ratio will greatly improve. :wink: GOOD LUCK!
  7. lendog

    lendog New Member

    berks, PA
    bump up your hooks to 8/0 off-set gamma octopus circles, this is all i use, i also use a baitrunner reel (shimano and saltstriker), the other nite i was gettin alot of runs and as soon as i would disengage my clicker they would drop the bait, which alot of times this is just smaller channel cats just teasin the baits, if ya hook your baits in the tail also running a trailer hook in the baits lower lip will solve this problem of smaller cats only grabin half the bait, while my clicker is runnin i pickup my rod then disengage my clicker and let the flatty load up on the pole, once i feel that he's on i then give a good yank to get the hook deep. alot of times the smaller catty's just mess with the baits but when its a bigger fish they usually just grab and go with the baits. hope this helps :wink:
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  8. Johnny B

    Johnny B New Member

    First use at least a 8/0 and when the fish takes the bait wait for the rod to load up and then start reeling with a steady pull while reeling. The bait has to EXPOSE the hook and barb so if you are using good size bait I would go with a 10/0 or bigger. DONT SET THE HOOK. Just wait till he's got the rod bent then reel and pull in the same fasion and keep tension on the line. Good luck.
  9. shortbus

    shortbus New Member


    I agree with DRPEPPER and Hock Paul. A circle hook has more tendency to turn back into the bait or get a scale stuck on the point. Flatheads will also pickup a bait and not move at all. That is when you need a hook you can set yourself. I use 8/0-10/0 kahle hooks. Wait till the fish pulls down hard on the rod then set or just leave it in your holders and let it set itself.
  10. RPnKC

    RPnKC New Member

  11. brandonbtbt

    brandonbtbt New Member

    Cambridge, OH
    if your only gear is a spinning reel then i would continue to use circle hooks but dont set the hook yourself.... let the rod holder and flexibility of the rod do the work for you...... when you see your rod bending just simply pick it up and reel in..... (with circle hooks of course)

    i personally like casting reels with bait clickers on them with 8/0 - 10/0 gamakatsu octopus hooks... i love the feeling of yanking on that rod and hooking up with a big one
  12. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Active Member

    On that size bait I would use 8/0 king kahle hooks. They have consistently outperformed circles for me with big live bait.

    I use circles for smaller, soft unscaled live bait like chubs at times, and for cut-bait fairly often but I like the king kahle's big gap for the big mouth of a big flat
  13. buckethead

    buckethead New Member

    I think I have to agree with the rest of the guys on here, the Kahle Hook is hard to beat, especialy for live bait of that size you are talking about, you may want to try a double hook rig, I use them on larger bait,
    they are pretty easy to make, with a little practice, just need to learn how to tie a Snell Knot, you could use a Circle up front and a Kahle in back, he would have a tough time getting away then ((LOL))
  14. tcba1987

    tcba1987 New Member

    Dennison, Ohio
    i was having the same problem when i used the Gammie Circle Hooks............i switched to the Mustad Demon Circle Hooks in the 7/0 size AND started letting the fish really load up the rod (i mean to the point where the rod is doubled over) and i rarely miss a fish now .............i hope this helps you out !!!