Set the hook?

Discussion in 'VIRGINIA RIVERS TALK' started by freshbaitrules, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. freshbaitrules

    freshbaitrules New Member

    I know this sounds kind of like a dumb question, however I am still pretty new to this pig hunting. When I take friends that havent been before they ask me questions and sometimes simple ones that I really dont have the answers to.
    My buddy this weekend asked one I have heard before and I thought I would ask it to the BOC.
    I would like to preface it with, I have heard that with circle hooks, people say the fish hook themselves.

    So my question to the brain trust is: Do you set the hook?

    If the rod is bent over in the rod holder do you still set the hook?

    If a little pecker is pulling, tugging, yanking; set the hook?

    I have grown up bass fishing and plastic worm fishing is all about setting the hook. Hard habit to break.
  2. mbandjb

    mbandjb New Member

    Central Va
    Hey Jeff,
    I leave the rod in the holder and have the drag set so its kinda tight to pull off by hand.When a fish pulls it down the rod will load up.8 outa 10 time the fish will hook its self in the corner of its month when using otopus circle hooks Then take the rod out and just pull
    back in a sweeping motion.Sometimes you don't even have to use the sweeping motion.


    FATFLATTIE New Member

    ILM, NC
    I've been having some trouble hooking up myself and I think that my problem is grabbing the rod too early before the rod loads up. I much prefer using clickers and J-hooks, but in the river there's just too much current to use the clickers. I guess I need to start fishing kale hooks and see if that helps.
  4. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Verde Valley AZ
    I've switched to Kahles,, The fish can hook himself, or you can..
  5. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    South Caro
    There is NO escape for Mr. Whiskers when he takes a 8.0 Gamakatsu Octopus circle. Just pick up the reel from the holder, and start reeling. NEVER "set" a circle hook. They can be snatched out. I swear to a 90+ percent hookup ratio with all legitimate hits.
    BB in SC
  6. critter68

    critter68 New Member

    Alexandria, Virginia
    I use 8/0 and 10/0 Gamakatsu octopus circle hooks. I can tell you from several years of catching numerous fish up to 60 pounds that you don't have to set a circle hook. At night, I set my drag a little light and turn on the clicker. (This is so I don't have to keep lights on to run the battery down on the boat) Sometimes a fish will pull a little drag and then stop. Don't be too hasty on picking the rod up. Let him take drag for a few seconds before tightening the drag enough to fight the fish. When I fish during the day, or if I am close to heavy cover, I set the drag to fighting tightness and just let the fish load the rod. When he gets hooked, the rod will just stay loaded. At this point just reel the fish in. If you are fishing for flatheads, let the fish load up, pick up the rod, let him pull the rod until it straightens your arms out then give a slow, low sweeping motion. I have had excellent success with these methods. I might even have better success if I changed my hooks once in a while. :wink:
  7. jwfish

    jwfish Member

    columbus ohio
    I will not take a rod out of the holder untill it is fully loaded up and then I will crank the handle a couple of times to make sure the line it tight.Never try to set the hook with a circle hook.
  8. thelastcast

    thelastcast New Member

    i have lost lots of big fish due to 2 things. Setting the circle hooks,(yes,i'm guilty of it too) The rod was loaded, pulling drag, and i snatched it hard, only to pull it clean out the fish's mouth, or to lose it after a 15 second fight. It's like,"what happened"?! :angry: I had that @#*@! fish!! LOL And when using large chunks of bait, or whole "cutters", or a little more patient & make sure the fish has the whole thing. I've seen them pick it up & put it right back down several times before really taking off with it. Im gonna change over from the 3way rig to a Carolina slip rig next trip myself. I'm starting to believe the fish sometimes actually DO feel the weight, and drop it. Most of the guys i know that have lots of citations swear by it.
  9. river1214rat

    river1214rat New Member

    West Point, KY
    I have missed alot of fish this year by reacting too quickly and trying to set the hook. I believe in the circle hooks, but I think I need to either sit on my hands or tie them together so I don't reach for the rod and yank on it. The ole brain (or whatever brain I have left) says yank the crap out of it, and all you do is loose the fish!!! Thanks for this question and the great responses to it.


  10. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Lynchburg, VA
    I use circles and don't set the hook, but your drag has to be set tight enough for the rod to load up good enough for the fish to hook itself. I too do what JWFish does and that is crank the handle a few times to ensure the line is nice and tight before removing the rod from the holder. This method gives a better load up on the rod, and hopefully, a stronger hookset.
  11. 66TBONE

    66TBONE New Member

    I am using the circle hooks on penn clickers. I have 90 percent or better letting the fish hook it'self by leaving the spool locked with the drag just loose enough so as the fish don't break the line or rod. Leaving the spool on click i find they run off line but don't get the hook set and my hookup ratio falls to about 50 percent. So i leave em locked in!
  12. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    I used gamakatsu 5/0 or 6/0 circle hooks for the first time this year. I had the best hookup ratio ever. The little ones got away, the hook was too big for their mouth, but the ones I like to catch pretty much all got hooked in the corner of the mouth and were hooked good. There were a couple that weren't but I let em take it and sometimes I had it in free spool, sometimes I had it locked down. I can't say which is the best way but sometimes they feel resistance and drop the bait, sometimes they don't. The best thing about it is a good hookup percentage and very small percentage of gut hooked fish that would die if released.
  13. DH84

    DH84 New Member

    Eastern NC
    ill throw in another vote for the large gamagatsu circles (7/0-10/0). Now this is coming from someone that has only been catfishing seriously for 2-3 years now, but i have tried the octopus and the kahle.. i really like just seeing the fish loaded up on the rod in the holder and knowing all i got to do is grab it and keep constant pressure and im good with 90% of the fish i get on coming to the boat. Those circles hold great once they are hooked, it takes me some time to unhook them in the boat and more times then not it involves the use of pliers.

    I think hook sharpness plays a role as well and the Gamagatsu's are in my expierience one of the sharpest hook out there.. if i had to pick a 2nd id go with the Matzuos (sp?) they seem to be a great hook as well for sharpness