Why do flathead catfish get gut hooked ?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by LadyValea1, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. LadyValea1

    LadyValea1 New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    Ok, I wasn't fishing for Flatheads...I was fishing for channel cats, using a size 3 circle hook with smoky joe cheese dog on it! the big ole 15 inch flatty ate the cheese dog! and when I reeled it in, the hook was near the bottom of his gullet?
    I could not take it out!! so I cut the line and hope it will come out on its own.
    Is it because the flatheads have such big mouths? or was my hook just to small? thanks
     
  2. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Are you sure it was a flathead and not a bullhead? A bullhead will swallow a hook fast..Most flatheads that are gut hocked come form letting the fish run with the bait to long..I have caught lots of flatheads on circles and never had one gut hooked.
     

  3. Big Merc

    Big Merc New Member

    Messages:
    16
    State:
    St. Louis, Missouri
    I'm buying some circle hooks tomorrow...and heard about "gut hooking"...so I'm interested to hear the answer to this.
     
  4. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    What Flatheadhunter say is in my opinion right on. Personally I "tight-line" & use "J" hooks and have only seen gut hooked Flats two times out of 100 Tabbies. One small Flat took the live bait before it hit the bottom and I thought it was the bait moving all night, LOL.

    .
     
  5. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    I've been using circle hooks for a while now and so far I've never had a fish gut hooked, most of the time its hooked in the corner of the mouth.
     
  6. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    i dont use circle hooks , im to impatient too let the fish hook itself . when the fish hit and the rod tip shakes iv got to pick up the rod and hold it then i let the fish load the bait , and feel for the opertoon moment to set the hook . i use j-hooks and have seldom gut hooked a fish less its a baby and i dont see the initial bite . when that happens the fish gets cleaned . have seen times i couldnt get the hook out so i cut the line and run the hook all the way thru , pull it out backwards.
     
  7. Katphish

    Katphish New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    tennessee
    The fish you gut hooked was probably a bullhead. I hear people thinking that they are baby flatheads all the time. theyre not, they just dont get that big, and they swallow the hook a lot.
     
  8. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Don't know that it matters much as to wether it was a flathead, blue, channel or mud cat. The fish is getting to taste too much of the bait and gets it down to its gullet/stomach before the hook set. Same as bass when worm fishing - you don't set the hook in time the worm is in the stomach. Just gotta get a little more experience and you should realize that at times you do gut hook fish. Can't help it - they were not raised with table manners.
     
  9. nitro

    nitro New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    Dover, TN
    If you set the hook, that is probably the reason. A circle hook should never be set, just reel in with steady pressure, that's what causes the hook to seat in the corner of the mouth. I have never gut hooked a fish of any kind with a circle. Main thing, NEVER set the hook.:smile2:
     
  10. catfishn72

    catfishn72 New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    WhEELING,WEST VIRGINIA
    the fish swallowed the bait before the set.
     
  11. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,172
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Usually it happens when the flathead just stays put when taking the bait and doesnt give any indication of a bite. This happened to me a couple of times when I would reel in to check my bait and a flathead just happenes to be on the end of the line with the meal in his belly.
     
  12. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    Only flats that have swallowed the hook on me have been little guys a couple pounds or less, never a big one. On the other hand , bullheads swallow the bait everytime if you aren't real quick on the hook set.
     
  13. bigtimeblues

    bigtimeblues New Member

    Messages:
    143
    State:
    missouri, macon
    Whether it's a flattie or bullhead isn't as important as what your hook is made of. I never use stainless hooks or other nonrusting hooks for this reason. A carbon hook will break down either from rust or stomach acids even faster. And most of the time the fish will be fine if you have to cut your line. If the fish is hooked deep and you don't plan on keeping him for the frying pan then cut the line as far down as you can and turn him back to catch again some other day.
     
  14. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Actually, my guess would be that he had time to swallow it down. What I mean, is that flatheads often don't move off (and thus tug and hook themselves in the jaw) after they take a piece of dead or cut bait. A lot of times they just sit there for a while and swallow the bait before you even know they are there. Even a circle hook will gut hook a fish if they have enough time to swallow it.
     
  15. LadyValea1

    LadyValea1 New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    I didn't set the line..being a circle hook. But I'm sure it was a flathead, he was about 18" and looks just like the other flathead pictures..big, Greeny, Big mouth! its all scary looking inside when I looked down its mouth! beady little eyes! kinda cute :embarassed:
     
  16. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    I guess they swallow it and it moves througout their digestive tract before you can set the hook. It can happen with any style hook, but is less likely to happen on a circle hook due to the design.
     
  17. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    This is definitely true! When I use bullhead they just kind of sit there and much on them. Then after anywhere from 1 min - 3 min they just cruise off. In general they get plenty of time to swallow the hook, unless you are fishing super tight line!
     
  18. Catfishnz4me

    Catfishnz4me New Member

    Messages:
    50
    State:
    North Carolina
    i started using circle hooks and havent had a problem since!
     
  19. center12

    center12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,444
    State:
    KS
    Wolfman and JAinSc have it about right from my standpoint. Ol' Flattie hits the bait good then lays there and swallows it..........never moving off to engage the circle. Of course I can't set the hook, I've got a circle on:sad2:. I've gone away from circles for flatheads because of the swallowing issue, like them for drifting and channels in the current though.
     
  20. Winkstr

    Winkstr New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    Missouri
    One thing I have noticed about circle and Khale hooks is that you need to go up 1 to 2 sizes than what you normally use in a "J" hook. I started out using 1/0 to 2/0 in "J" hooks, used the same size in khale and had problems with deep hook set, now using 4/0 to 5/0 Khale and have not had the problems as before. Larger baits I use 8/0 circle hooks and let the rod load up before reeling them in. I agree with most post here that some times they will just lay there and munch.