Contemplating ditching circles

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by zap, May 27, 2008.

  1. zap


    The year before last I pretty much switched to all circles for catfishing. However, my faith is being tested.

    Went out for a few hours (first catfishing trip of the year) Friday evening. We had to leave by midnight to meet company coming in from out of state, but in that time my boy and I put four decent channels on the string -biggest was about six pounds or so. We only lost about three fish we had on.

    Last night we went out again and left about 11p. But last night, things didn't go so well. Plenty of fish action, but NOTHING on the stringer! I think we had about six good fish on, only to have the hook come out.

    One in particular bit while we were looking in the tackle box for something. We heard thrashing and splashing and turned around to see one of my rods bent double in the holder. As soon as I lifted the rod the fish was free. Likewise, I had a good fish on for maybe a minute or so then poof...he was gone. I think we tried more than a dozen times to hook fish that ran, and more opportunities where we could feel fish on the lines that didn't run.

    I'm seriously considering going back to my trusty tru turns here. Anyone have any comments or opinions? Anyone go through this themselves??
  2. Ðe§perado™

    Ðe§perado™ Catfisherman/Bowfisherman

    I had that problem and went to a larger size circle and my catch rate went up.

  3. What size circle are you usin and what kinda bait?When I go after channels with cut bait I'll use a 6/0 circle.I use strictly Octopus J hooks with live bait
  4. Do U think it mat have been gar or turtles?
  5. I'm with truck. If I get 3 or 4 bites that the circle hook will not hook up on, in my experience, it means the gar have moved in. I fought not using circles for a long time, but would not give them up for nothing less than an octopus for live bait.
  6. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    excellent advice. That's what works for me. So much so that I mostly use 8/0 all the time.

    Also, if your bait is too big for the hook, this could cause foul hook-ups. You have to keep the area between the point of the hok and the shaft clear.

    I also still miss a hook-up when I forget not to and try to set the hook. I still do this after using circles for almost 5 years.
  7. There are days when Ill go 10/10 on landing a hooked fish and other days when Ill go 2/10 and even days where Ill hook a lot but loose a lot, it seems to run in cycles and I mostly attribute this to how hard the takes are, when they are clobbering the bait and darn near breaking rods on the bite, those are almost a gauranteed landed fish, but when they peck and nibble on it the success goes down, like all species, they have very aggressive days and other days where they are just messing around with the baits, sometimes hit it once or twice real good and never come back. It kills me but I still hold the rod in my hand sometimes on the little "peckers" that may or may not be turtles. If its questionable, more then likely, its a turtle or a litle fish.

    Im like everyone else, like the Gama Oct Circles in a 6/0 for channels and a Gama Oct J hook in a 6/0 or 8/0 for flatties and live bait. I use Gama 8/0 circles when fishing for Blues

  8. tcba1987

    tcba1987 Tuscarawas River Angler

    i had the same thing happen to me at a club tournament over the weekend.............i had 5 fish "on" fish that i landed a nice 5 lbs channel and the other 4 fish i had "hooked" for quite awhile before the hook just pulled loose...........i was using smaller Gamakatsu inline circles (3/0) i guess maybe i should try up sizing my hooks to the 6/0 size !!! i cant wait to see if it helps or not !!!
  9. zap


    I use fresh (when I can catch it) or fresh frozen cut shad. I have been catching shad in the 6-10" range, so am cutting them back to belly into 1/2" chunks, and hooking them typically in the belly 'point' to avoid hampering the hookset.

    I typically have been using Mustad or Gamakatsu circles from 6/0 - 8/0
  10. zap


    Fishing at Charles Mill. I"m sure there are gar there, though I have never seen or caught one. We have caught a few turtles there, but turtles don't run and they don't splash and jump when you hook one.
  11. Doctor

    Doctor CJ Cat Attack Pack

    We have been having a lot of no hook-ups this year but we don't worry about it, two things we have noted gar are making a comeback on the river, the last couple of years we haven't hooked many up, but we are seeing more this year than the past years, we have had a lot of fish take a rod down only to let go right at the boat and they have been drum, they have a very hard mouth and a circle will not bury down in it unless it is in the corner.

    I look the bait over real well if it comes back, turtles will leave a V mark on the bait where they bite, on the river an eel will sit and nibble at the bait till all you have only bones and ribs hanging out. A gar leaves a thousand little holes in the bait where they snap at it, and there take downs are quick little bursts, make the rods jump in the rod holders. The rods that get eased down then come up then back down slow are almost always a juvenile Flathead. Larry's partner Randy pulls the bait toward the boat just a tad and they will jump all over it, good trick to get them to bust it.

    Circles are good hooks but there are times where they will turn back into the bait and you will miss a fish to prevent this from happening make sure that you put the hook point threw a bone so it will not rotate as an example with Skipjack and Shad heads bring the hook threw the eye and pop it out the top of the skull it will not rotate, on the body sections bring it threw the backbone and out the top, granted there are times when they pick it up and mouth it where the point will be shifted around but if they bust it hard your almost going to have a hook-up each time.

    The constant weather changes are really effecting the bite this year seems to be good weather till the weekend then a cold front comes in and changes everything and on the river the water levels are going from high to higher then the corps drops the river 10 foot in a 24 hour period which again makes for tough fishing.

    I myself have been fishing with circles since 1999 and I don't use anything else we don't downsize 8/0 Gamkatsu's snelled for everything on the river.

    When I fish CJ I use a bobber and again the fish are aggressive but I have seen the small fish just hold on to the bait and never have the hook in there mouth, and I'm not sure but I think those pesky walleye and perch like to play with the baits also since CJ is full of them