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Thread: How to properly bait a circle hook

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Conyers GA
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    How to properly bait a circle hook

    Like put in my last post i had a rough time using circle hooks during my Daytona beach trip,and from the great advice i have gotten from here i realized that i did not bait the circle hook like i should have.

    Dose anyone have pictures or anything that will show me what is the proper way to bait a circle hook?I would greatly appreciate any advice.I was using frozen shrimp at the time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    not sure what others will say - but I make sure that the point of the hook is well exposed once through the bait. Circle hooks depend on the tip catching the corner of the fish's mouth and turning. Because of the shape (curve) of the hook, it seems too easy to bury the point in the bait (since it points back at the bait). If that point can't grab, it isn't gonna set itself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Norfolk Va.
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    5,568
    Great advice Joe. I would not do anything different thread the bait on as you would for a J hook

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Smelrose, Florida
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    160
    He is exactly correct.

    Remember that the whole idea of using circle hooks is so the rig sets the hook for you. There isn't a huge application of force driving the hook home. Like Billy BassMaster setting the hook. This is more of a finesse' type of deal. The fish pulling against the sinker, then the rod, then the reel and line does the job for you.

    Sharp hooks, that are of the right size, along with a sinker that exerts the necessary amount of force is required to get reliable hookups.

    Now if you gob on a hunk of bait that covers the hook point, you might get your fish, but you will miss more than you need to. This because the bait shields the point and doesn't allow it to pierce the fish's fleshy mouth parts. The fish can take the bait in and have it pop back out, over and over and over again. The point must first stick....in order to penetrate.

    If your gob of bait chokes the hook, and is too large to accomidate this penetration, the point might pierce, but never get deep enough to gain control. It will pop free. The hook must penetrate past the barb and down into the bend to ensure a good hook up. Once to the bend, it is all over for the fish.

    I leave the point, the barb, and that whole side exposed when baiting up. It doesn't seem to scare the little fishes. They see the shank anyways. Try to keep your baits on the shank side of the bend, leaving the other side barren. Best to avoid the barb side of the hook if possible.

    Also, if your bait slides up the bend upon splashdown, and you don't realize, you may have problems.

    Also, if the shell of your shrimp moves and gets pierced onto the point, that too will shield the point and prevent penetration. This can also happen with scales from baitfish. After baiting up, check to see you haven't got a scale skewered on there.

    If you get alot of jiggles, but half the time there isn't a fish, you need to make some changes. Heavier sinker, smaller hook, sharper hook, flexier pole, mono instead of braid, whatever. Once you get a combination that works, keep track of it. Some rods seem to catch more fish than others....and that isn't because of rod dynamics.

    Trust me. There is a percentage associated with this stuff. Don't ever be afraid to try a different hook. Yes people have their favorites, but I have had some cheap hooks work better than the expensive ones. Depends on the rig, sinker, location, species, bait, rod, spike, etc, etc. If you are suffering from phantom fish, strikes but no hook ups, that doesn't mean they are little bait stealers. Might be good sized devils that just aren't getting hooked up all the way.

    Currently....I have been playing around with "Wide Gap Circle Hooks 2/0 " from BassPro Shop. I bend the eye inwards ( opposite of what you would think ) and snell them. Then I attach them to an Earl Brinn rig with delicate little brightly colored beads.....a sand flea if available, or clam or crab. A five ounce grip type sinker seals the deal better than a three ounce pyramid. I want the hook to get buried on the intial phases of the strike. With pompanyo, this isn't hard because they freak out.

    Maybe other people have noticed some of this and will share their findings. Sorry you had a rough time down here Matt. Maybe next time, a different bait might serve you well. Frozen shrimp is a last resort bait for me. I usually have some, but it gets put out last.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    buena, nj
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    good advice from all.
    i use a larger circle than a j hook....at least 1-2 sizes bigger and smaller pieces of bait.
    seems to work well for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Conyers GA
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    That is some awesome advice,i think i have the big issue where my bait probably slides around when i throw it out and alot of time i sling the bait completely off lol.i will have to try the other baits.

    Do you get your sand fleas and crabs?

  7. #7
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    Mar 2004
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    Cape May,NJ Via Hilo HI
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe l. View Post
    not sure what others will say - but I make sure that the point of the hook is well exposed once through the bait. Circle hooks depend on the tip catching the corner of the fish's mouth and turning. Because of the shape (curve) of the hook, it seems too easy to bury the point in the bait (since it points back at the bait). If that point can't grab, it isn't gonna set itself.
    Exactly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    VA, NC
    Posts
    655
    even though this pic is with a j-hook it also shows the right way to bait a circle hook. both the hook point and the part of the shank that the hook point is directed at must be free of bait.

    http://cdn.stripersonline.com/8/8f/5...attach7928.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Conyers GA
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    Thanks guys for all of the great advice,i just wasn't gonna be satisfied until i got the hang of the circles

  10. #10
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    Jun 2011
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    Conyers GA
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    Thanks for that pick man....if i can keep it the bait from moving around alot i will be set.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Newton, NC
    Posts
    736
    I wish I would have read this thread last week. I surf and pier fished at Wrightsville Beach and on Topsail Island (Surf City pier) with circle hooks for the first time and really had issues with being robbed by fish. I used rather small hooks and felt plenty of bites. Didn't set the hook but didn't catch many fish. Had a few pomps, a few spots, a few whiting and a ribbonfish or two.

    I did bury the barb in the peeled shrimp and I bet I missed many a fish because of that.
    Yerby Ray
    Newton, NC

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit on a beach and drink beer all day.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    norfolk
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    1,108
    Speaking of which, has anyone seen any "bait holder" circle hooks? I love using the bait holder J hooks. They work great for me.

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