I'm either going with circles or not. Several times last year I would have a cirlce on one and regular on the other. I'd find myself trying to set the regular the way you're supposed to set a circle. Didn't lose the fish......I just kept forgeting what I was doing. I have yet to lose one on a cirlce, even when barely hooked.
Man, i say this....
I know you guys hear me talking way too much about tackle, brands , ect...its all in what YOU are comfortable with and like to use.
Gamagatsu hooks are great hooks(but they arent cheap) and they are the ones i prefer over all for my fishing..from sizes ranging from small #6-12/0 depending on what im fishing for.
Another hook im taking a liking too for smaler sizes, #6-#2 is the VMC tripple grip & Matzuo circle hooks.
Ive heard lots of guys say that "the fish dont care how much you spend on tackle"...that is very true, but i myself prefer to use the best equipment i can buy! I know it wont let me down when that fish of a lifetime hits, i personally perform much better with quailty tackle in my hands(casts easier, more accurate, handles big fish on light lines better,I can use it for a wider range of species, ect.)
It would be the same if i hunted all the time instead of fished..yea you can kill a deer with a cheap gun and cheap ammo..but for an experienced hunter with quality equipment in his hands is a better hunter..same as my point about tackle..i know i's still catch a ton of fish if i used junk...but QUALITY in the right hands sure makes for a more enjoyable and better trip, to me atleast...
I personaly dont like circles for bigger fish(ie carp, cats.)
I have and still do (depending on the time of year) use circles for other species though..when they are hitting hard and fast..i'll use the circles..but i prefer to set the hook using regular style hooks most of all.
I have a bunch of those dang Gama 8/0 circles..i just dont like them..have had hooks pull out of cats many times while using them..plus for an angler who has always set the hook HARD..its hard to think about NOT setting the hook..instead of just letting my own instincs take over like normal and slam it home...i like things being a natural reaction and THINK about fighting and playing the fish...i dont want to have to think from the time the clicker takes off saying to my self.."dont swing..dont swing"..forget that..."hit him hard and turn him"
Also i think those 8/0 circles are to thin for my type of fishing..they bend out way too easy for me.
I even have a handful of those Mustad Demon circles in 13/0..the opening between the point and the shank is way too small for the baits i use....
I'm with FM on this one. I remember being a younger kid and using whatever I could rig up. For the LONGEST time I was using a shimano FX spincast combo. I can't tell you how many times I tore into that reel just trying to get one more trip out of it. I still have it and I believe it still works. I got it for christmas of 90 I think?
There's NOTHING worse while fishing than have equipment failure. Same as keeping fresh line.
I also remember trying to ice out cat fish with one of those $8 shakespeare spincast reels.
Scott catches much large fish than I do, and sometimes I think I'm putting my equipment to the test. I believe a lot of it has to do with how often you fish. You could go get a master baitcasting reel and use it a dozen times and it will work just fine......use it a dozen times a week and you'll run into problems.
I still have my original wading out fit..its a Shimano TX 1000 and i had it on a 5ft Bill Lewis rattle trap rod..the reel is dead..drag washers are so paper thin it would hold a setting anymore..just loosens up during a fight..lol
I started getting more and more knowlege the more time i spent in the water...i stated to get into bigger and bigger smallies..i started to loose more and more fsh too...after that i steped up and bought better, than better tackle..and havent looked back..i now have 7 fish ohio award smalies from small creeks...i land so many from 17-19" it isnt funny(atleast to my wading buddys it isnt )
Theres some of my tackle that med. dollar stuff for sure that i use..but thats the stuff i use here and there...the stuff i use every single week(sometimes 2-3 times a week) is my quality gear..i know it, know its capabilitys of what it can handle..and i trust them 100%..never a second guess!
I can go out with my buddys for a day of wading and take a cheap puch button reel and catch a lot of fish thats for sure..but after using it and using it..it will fail..those reels are throw aways and after a season of buying a dozen of them..i could have saved time and bought a nice quailty spinning reel and been way more vesaitle(sp?) and fished way more baits with it.
For my cattin..thier is no room for junk..you'll be handed your butt very quick..and i dont like loosing fish and let them beat me!
I typically use Eagle Claw hooks for cats. I'm still trying out the circle hooks. I like the fact that the fish aren't gut hooked since I release everything, but I won't use them for with livebait. My hookup rate isn't always the best with them, either, though I go through spells when I don't miss a fish.
Gamakatsu 8/0 circles work for me. I guess if I was ripping 10-25# cats out of snag holes with 80# test on 11' & 12' rods I'd use 12/0 & 13/0 4X hooks too *LOL* I certainly get my fairshare of dinks too. But when the big one comes along, I want to be ready. That's not a slam against small fish....I like all of them, you have to catch what's there, can't catch fish that aren't there.
I landed a 62# bluecat, and at least 3 or 4 more flatheads over 30# this year on them, and a mess of fish in the mid 20# range and also alot in the high teens.
Circles are not for everyone. Thank goodness. If everyone used them, there would be alot of big fish caught instead of just lost fish stories !! They were developed for saltwater fish & to hook them in the corners of their mouths for safe release. Flatheads are notorious for swallowing the baits, most catters let the fish run to give them time to "take the bait" I didn't gut hook one fish this year. I had one last week get it in his throat at Marion ,SC, but I removed it with my 10" bent needlenose pliers no problem.
I've fished with Robby too, for me, his hooks are too small, but he got alot of fish over 40# & 50# this year and a 66# flathead to boot. Those were on Kale hooks.
I watched a guy land a 34# flathead on a 6' rod with 12# test and a #2 hook.......yes.....#2- not a 2/0. From the bank, with an 8" skipjack for bait. Took him at least a half hour. I never thought he was going to land it. Taught me a lesson. One, obviously, keep a good stock of hooks on hand so you don't use a #2 hook !!. The skill of the angler has more to do with catching quality fish than just the hooks. I run the gauntlet on hooks & keep them with me while fishing, have switched around some too. The 8/0 circles out produce all of them for my fishing.
I guess use what you want, listen to everyone's advise and experiance, see what they catch, see what you catch, then decide what do you want to catch. Use what works for you in your area & for your style of fishing. Paylakes, streams, small rivers, bank fishing, large rivers, livebait, cutbait, boat fishing, size of bait used, size of fish targeted, all have to be factored in. I've dropped down to 5/0 hooks on occasion when all the fish are running 3-10 lbs. Best hook is the one that produces the fish you want to catch.
Question I keep hearing of you guys gut hooking cats with regular hooks..I have caught hundreds of Flatheads, and I cant remember the last time I gut hooked one????? they are always hooked in the mouth????
Guess some guys are just letting those cats run so long they swallow it?
Guess they need a lesson in fishing rivers like we fish huh?If you let a flathead run, he'll already be in the snag before you set the hook.
Jim this is like beating a dead horse.."I guess if I was ripping 10-25# cats out of snag holes with 80# test on 11' & 12' rods I'd use 12/0 & 13/0 4X hooks too *LOL*"
Truth be know if YOU were fishing really heavy cover for flatheads with baits up to 12" at times you'd find them small hooks will loose fish , got to match the size of the hook to the size of the bait!...and my areas are not ones that you'd want to run light lines either..also i only run long rods in the Ohio r. using lighter lines! 80lb braid and big baits are only used during certain times of the year when thats what they prefer!
On the scioto its shoter heavy rods, like the classic cat you now use...Hey Jack i guess until some see exactly the spots i fish they'll never understand?
What ever works for you is what you need to do. I use alot of different techniques & systems. I just like to be adaptable, depending on size of fish, baits, etc. Just like I said in my post. When I fish smaller spots with smaller fish, I change tactics too.
Circles work great for alot of people, maybe not good for your spot. That's great, maybe your hooks won't work so good in my spot. I use 8-9" live skipjacks when possible for bait. If you look at that picture of the hooks, you'll see the octopus & the offshore hooks there too. I like them, only they seem to find the bottom too easy & it's an instant snag. I've never heard of anyone breaking an 8/O Gamakatsu circle other than FM. It's been brought up by several at various gatherings who've read that. Must have been a defective batch of hooks, or it was caught in a rock or something, not a fish. We catch alot fish on circles in the high 30's and low 40# range and up. Also on all the 20# and under fish too. Use what works. Doesn't matter to me.
Jacko, if you can get permission to fish the river sometime, we'll use both.
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