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On recent trip to NC for vacation, I tried circle hooks for the first time. I've read numerous posts in this forum about their use and was quite interested in seeing how well they would work.

Frankly, I was disappointed with the results. I'll qualify that by also saying perhaps being a first time user, led to my disappointment.

I thought I had read that you do not "set"the hook. Upon sensing a hit, the proper method was to begin reeling. Was I supposed to lift the rod before beginning to reel?

I missed a lot of good bites when I'd simply begin reeling. Anything I should have done differently? All advice is welcomed!!

IB
 

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Hello IB, welcome to this forum. I tried it and it worked for me. We'll, personally I let the fish commits to the hook. I don't even set it and the fish is on, I'll just reel it in. Now, I'm not an expert in using circle hooks, but the reason why you lost the fish is you did'nt have the right sized hooks? I've never fished in NC before so I don't know what kind of fish you're targeting. I'm sure someone else will give you a better answer.
 

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Well, I recently just started using circle hooks, because I gut-hooked too many small fish. But the circle hooks seem to work fine for me. Just lift your pole keep the line tight and reel it in.:p
 

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TunaFish, what brand circle hooks do you use? Often times, people say they use certain size hooks but forget that hook size varies from brand to brand. I too just started to use circle hooks but didn't get many bites so I don't know how good they are yet. I still give it a good tug once a fish is on. Is that wrong to do?
 

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Wrong Way, sorry but I don't remember. All I remember it's a red package I got from Walmart. But, as a practice, I don't even tug it. All I do is keep my tip straight up and reel it in smoothly. Often times when I get the fish in the hook (circle or J) is right at the tip of the fish's lip. If I set the hook or give it a tug, there's no way I'll have my fine slimy friend home for dinner. So, setting the hook and tug is a no no for me.
 

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Circle hooks work great for certain species. I found the most success that I have had with circle hooks are with live-lining and with cut bait for rocks, blues, trout and croakers. I have not had too much success with them for light biting species such as spot. Obviously the key is to let them take the bait and run with it. By the time you notice your rod bending, the fish should already be hooked. Just leave your rod in the holder and let the fish do the work. Hope this helps.
-Anthony
 

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circle hooks

Have patience with circle hooks. they will save you alot of down time from having to stop fishing while the bite is on while you are digging a hook out of a croakers or rockfish's mouth. I can testify that during a croaker blitz not once did they swallow my hook. they set in the corner of the mouth and the fish pretty much set themselves.:cool:
 

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I've used Circle hooks for about 5 years now. For me they work great and catch 95% of fish that take the bait. The trick is let the fish take the bait, he'll let you know when he needs help getting off the hook. Once the fish is on and you start reeling DON'T STOP! If the fish swims at you and gets slack in the line he's gone. The hardest thing for me to learn was not to set the hook and just let him take it. Give it another try or two, you'll get the hang of it....Goodluck & tightlines
 

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I can second HAT80s comments on not giving any slack when using circle hooks. I'm on business down in the Jax, FL area and lost at least 4 or 5 when I let them get slack in the line but, I kept the pressure up and managed to reel in a nice fat sook :D . She was all dressed up with nail polish and all. Had to let her go since I'm a married man ;) .

Tight lines.....Kurt
 

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Just like everyone else. Let the hooks work on their own. Circle hooks and wide gap hooks both have great hook setting technology. be patient with the hooks and you will catch more. They (circle hooks) are mandatory on my boat when chumming for rock and blues - yes we got away from steel leader hooks -.
 
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