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New member here but long time cat fisherman. I've been having trouble the past few years with getting hook ups on flat heads. I use circle hooks and hook the shad right in front of the eyes in the hard clear area. The other night I had almost a dozen takes and not one fish. I've tried setting the hook with circle hooks (I know your not technically supposed to but I haven't noticed it making a huge difference in blues and channels) and not setting the hook with the same results. Also the shad tend to foul hook them selves in the head resulting in the hook point being buried and missed fish. I fish from the bank and have to make long casts to the areas I fish so hooking the shad behind the dorsal fin usually results in lost baits. Any advice is appreciated.
I use 4/0 double action team catfish for everything it’s like a hybrid of a j hook and circle you can set the hook and no hit hooking
 

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Circle versus Jay is dependent on the rod you are using. A stiff, fast action rod (like a musky rod) is NOT a circle hook rod.

Beyond that, I use the 1/0 per 1" of bait rule....8" bait needs an 8/0 hook. Bigger than 8", I use a tandem hook rig. One in the nose/mouth/eyes and one near the tail.

I use circles and J hooks. Depends on the rod being used but the size of hook to size of bait is a rule I always use regardless of the type of hook. For Jay hooks, I use Gamakatsu octopus 5/0 to 8/0 or big river hooks 5/0 to 8/0. I also use Gama octopus circles 5/0 to 8/0.

For nightcrawlers and small chunks of cut bait....I use eagle claws usually in the 2/0 to 4/0 size range
 
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