Those Frustrating Flathead Catfish!

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by john catfish young, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    After a record setting year for P.B./Flatheads last year....I have spent the last year trying to land another good one from the same spots as I fished with such good success....but to no avail! I've been skunked so many times in the last year, that I have lost count. But it is somewhere around 25-30 skunkins'.....without a single flathead over 10 lbs.

    So, last tuesday.....I decided to re-visit some older spots that I used to fish with some success. As I pulled my vehichle down by the lake and hopped out to bait up....the bottom fell out of the sky and the cold rains began to fall down. So I baited up with a skipjack head and cut bait on 2 different rods. I secured them in the rod holders and hopped in the van sitting in my lawn chair and peeking out the back window.

    I had only been there around 10-15 minutes......when my 10' rod doubled over and line began to rip off the big spinning reel. So I hopped down out of the van and got the rod out of the holder and line was still being ripped off my reel. I tightened up on him, hoping the big circle hook would hook him. The fight was on. I pulled and the fish would pull....it felt like a really good one too. When all of a sudden, I felt something that made my heart sink.....the bait and hook had missed its mark and the big fish was gone......I am through with circle hooks forever. I have been fishing them, for nearly a year now hoping that after my most recent back surgery, that I wouldnt have to be doing any strong jerking or hook setting, but rather just let the fish hook himself....but the last 2 good ones I have had an encounter with, I have missed the hook set using circle hooks. I have caught some good fish using circle hooks and I know how to use them....I'm just not going to use them anymore. I like to use big kahles for live baits for flatheads and it looks like I will be switching to J hooks for a while now....to fish my cutbaits for big blues this winter. Maybe I can still jerk and set the hook without damaging my back any further. I'm not sure what kind of cat is was....it took off like a big bluecat, but while the fight lasted, it pulled like a big flathead....so I'll be going after them again tomorrow, this time I will be jerking to set the hook myself:embarassed:
     
  2. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    What kind of circles are you using, John? The Gamakatsu 8.0 Octopus circles DON'T turn loose! Also, remember there won't be any "hopping out of the van" using the J hooks . You'll have to stay glued to your rods. Man, I hate you lost the biggun, but I'll stick to my guns utilizing the 8.0 Gamakatsu octopus circles.

    BB in SC
     

  3. JEFFRODAMIS

    JEFFRODAMIS New Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    State:
    TEXAS
    ive missed a ton of "good fish" ont he circles as well..ill keepusing them on my lighter rods though
     
  4. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    I've had the experiences using circles,I switched back to j hooks totally and will not go back to circles ever. My favorite J-hooks are the true-turn hooks in the proper sizes for the baits being used,and the gammy octopus hooks in their respective sizes,and I am experimenting with the big gammy wide gap finesse hooks,they are doing a good job too. As for not sitting in the van watching your poles thats just not true,I often let catfish hook themselves on j-hooks,especially with the tru-turns,I have not deep hooked a catfish in years doing it this way.
     
  5. Eich

    Eich New Member

    Messages:
    549
    State:
    Mount Joy,
    Sorry to hear that you lost a good one there John, but thank you for sharing your disappointment with us. Sounds like circle hooks are like some other things in life, "Some people swear by them and some people swear at them." I haven't been using circle hooks a real long time and have only caught small fish with them. You've got me wondering though.

    Ray
     
  6. Catmanblues

    Catmanblues New Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    S.E Ohio
    John sometimes we all run into those hookup an loss streaks. Keep fishing you'll get the big hook up soon.
     
  7. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    that sucks ya lost a nice one, when i use circle hooks i get offset octopus circles (8/0 gamma's) being offset they seem to catch the lip better then the inline hooks:wink:
     
  8. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    That's the reason why I never use circle hooks. They suck!:cool2:

    Put on a J and rips some lips.:wink:
     
  9. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Messages:
    5,834
    State:
    Thomaston, Geor
    7/0 & 8/0 true turn the best hook i've ever used.i use to use 8/0 circle hooks with mixed results.i hook up 90% of the time with true turns.good luck whatever you decide on.
     
  10. allflats

    allflats Member

    Messages:
    251
    State:
    Kentucky
    I too am off of circles.Early in the year they seem to do well but i missed many fish because of them.I like to jerk anyway its more fun than just picking up the pole and reeling in.:big_smile:
     
  11. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    It was probably a flattie. Circle are NOT suited for the mouth strructure of a flathead. I can't get this to soak into my buddys head. Circles imo, are a channel and blue hook- and I rarely fish for either. One thing for certain -give me 10 flattie bites with J's and give my partner 10 flattie bites with circles, and I will absolutely smoke my partner (or anyone else using circles) EVERY time.
     
  12. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    That,s why I like big J hooks,Mustad 92671,s in 10/0 especially.They,re strong,got some nice offset,and reasonable.Aint had a flattie swallow one in years.Never did see the big deal about circles.If it aint broke,don,t fix it.And yes,I have given circles an honest try.:wink:.Sorry about the bruiser getting away John.maybe it,s a good thing,save you a lot of heartache with the circles down the line.:sad2:.
     
  13. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    I bought one pak of circles and gave them away??? Heck I think I did anyway. I'll stay with my gamakatsu octopus #7-#10, blues or Flatheads. I've never had one pull free once it stuck.:wink:

    We sit sometimes 50-100yrds from the rods. (slip floats) When they disappear Bro, I just walk to-em, pick the rod up and turn the handle, flip the clicker off and tighten the line until I feel the fish and just set the hook.

    I sure hate hearing about the loss of the big fish John,,makes you want to tear something up, because you sure don't feel like sitting around waiting for another one. :eek:oooh:Yeah Right:smile2::wink: Load-em up sit back is about all you can do..you know it?.:wink:

    You'll get back into them
     
  14. ammo warrior

    ammo warrior Member

    Messages:
    868
    State:
    Columbia, MO
    Dang John, that really sucks about missin the monster. A lot of folks have the same opinion that you do about circles. It's almost instinctive to jerk the rod. Sounds like a good choice to switch back. Just remember, if you jerk more than three times, you are playin with it...:eek:oooh:... LOL
     
  15. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Circle hooks is all I use for flatheads, caught some big fish on them the last few years, I use 8/0 gamma, and have never lost a fish that loaded the rod up.
     
  16. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    im with you too john. seams like the catfishing world has tried to shove circles down our throats for a few years now. i ,like you, tried them with failing results with flatheads. im sure they have their place like drifting blues but not for flatheads. im sure your choice will not let you down. good luck with getting a few hog flats under your belt before winter set in.:wink:
     
  17. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    <One thing for certain -give me 10 flattie bites with J's and give my partner 10 flattie bites with circles, and I will absolutely smoke my partner (or anyone else using circles) EVERY time>

    I'll call you out on that one Mr. B!! Bring on your Js next time you come here. I don't see it happening.

    <Circle hooks is all I use for flatheads, caught some big fish on them the last few years, I use 8/0 gamma, and have never lost a fish that loaded the rod up. >

    I'm with ya flathunter. I think where the problem lies is with huge baits, whether live or dead, that folks use who target flatties. Certainly, if you use large live baits, the 10.0 king kahles might be a better hook choice due to it's longer shank. I mostly fish with smaller cut bait or live, and have ZERO (0) issues with the 8.0 Gamakatsu octopus circles! :wink: I have at the very least a 95% hookup ratio on legitimate takedowns, and nearly a 100% ratio getting them to the boat when hooked.

    Bill in SC
     
  18. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    you're on! :cool2:
     
  19. BubbaCat

    BubbaCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,869
    State:
    Arizona
    game on ! thanks John.
     
  20. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    I'll agree with ya John, don't like the circles at all either. I've lost a BUNCH of fish b/c the bait doubled over the hook. Bait just slides right out. With a J or kahle hook you just set the hook right through the bait and everything. This mess of "gut hooking" fish with J-hooks is just that...mess. You simply don't gut hook any more fish with them than you do any other hook, period.

    Sorry about losing the big fish, if it makes you feel any better I've had about the same kind of luck this year but I haven't even hooked a biggun':confused2: