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Thread: Circle Hooks for sockeye

  1. #1
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    Default Circle Hooks for sockeye

    Couldn't wait to try gama nautilus circle hooks for sockeye. Been using 2/0 and 3/0 and cant seem to hook any fish. Partners are limiting around me with j hooks. I have put the circle hooks away. They do stay sharp and snag few fish. I have not caught one fish with one. Go figure.

  2. #2

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    Haven't been this year, but last year they worked great. Only complaint was the smaller 3/8 were fairly weak and we're done after a couple fish. The 1/0 in the Kenai are much stouter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chinookee2004 View Post
    Couldn't wait to try gama nautilus circle hooks for sockeye. Been using 2/0 and 3/0 and cant seem to hook any fish. Partners are limiting around me with j hooks. I have put the circle hooks away. They do stay sharp and snag few fish. I have not caught one fish with one. Go figure.
    Not sure why you would go to a J hook. The J hooks snag a lot more fish. Not sure why you would want to do that.

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    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowstone View Post
    Not sure why you would go to a J hook. The J hooks snag a lot more fish. Not sure why you would want to do that.
    I used a j hook and out of the 14 fish I had hooked 11 were in the mouth for 2 days of fishing.


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    couldn't get a hook-up with the circle hooks. I hate foul hooking any fish but sure like to eat em. Im just saying don't leave your regular hooks at home when you go.

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    The real problem is ppl feel a bump and bass hook set every time. They dont know the difference from the soft side of fish to a fish pulling hook away with their mouth
    Got to look good even in defeat. IMAGE is everything.

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    I tried the circle hooks on the Klutina this past Saturday and couldn't hook a dam thing. I guess i'm just to used to the J hooks and don't have the feel for those circle hooks yet... I will try it again tho... "fishon"
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    It definitely has a different feel to it. When I switched over a few years ago I found that I just had to wait for more of a pull from the fish then give a slow but firm pull back. A sharp fast hook-set like we are all used to doesn't seem to get the job done as well. I also noticed much more success with a downstream pull to the side instead of an upward pull. Though it takes a little getting used to, the increased hookup/landing ratio and very few fouled fish is worth the effort. Now it is just second nature. That's my experience anyway.

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Laker Hunter View Post
    The real problem is ppl feel a bump and bass hook set every time. They dont know the difference from the soft side of fish to a fish pulling hook away with their mouth
    "Bass Fishermen" can't snag halibut on circle hooks either - they need a jig with a J hook!

    For the record I prefer jigging for bottom fish over circle hooks but have no problem finessing that circle hook into a good hook set.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


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    Use circle hooks back home for catfish just wait for them to swim off with the bait. We just real down and keep pressure on the no real "jerk" for setting the hook as long as their fairly fresh hooks they pretty much set themselves right in the corner of the mouth. We use them mostly for jugs and running limb lines. They're an interesting concept but with faster fish like salmon a regular hook has worked best for me.

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    Circle hook fan myself...gamakatsu nautilus. Had outstanding results on multiple occasions. I definitely noticed a steeper learning curve when teaching my crew last summer, though. I think the best way I heard the "feel" described to me was to imagine what a wet sock might feel like floating downstream and catching your line...kind of a sudden dead weight feel. On one trip to Klutina last summer, I limited out in about 10 casts and knew that I had found a good drift location/weight/depth/current combo. I positioned one of my newbies (16 year old) in my spot and coached him thru everything, but he wasn't detecting any fish. Puzzled, I started watching the line very carefully as it traveled thru the "sweet spot". When I noticed a hesitation I just told him to set (downstream). Sure enough, fish on. Once landed, he had this "Ah-hah!" look on his face and said "So THAT's what I've been feeling for... man, I missed a lot of fish." He was good to go from that point on. Without a doubt, our group had fewer snagged fish than I was used to prior to making the switch. With that being said, I noticed that the "feel" was not as pronounced for my guys. Are there cons alongside all the pros? Perhaps...but I've enjoyed them and will continue to use them. Teaching some folks last summer gave me some "Ah-Hah!" moments of my own and maybe now I'll be a better coach, lol
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    If you are struggling, maybe this will help with your technique.

    This is not simply hucking your goods out there and letting the current take over. It's all about line control and getting your goods to drift downstream with the leader remaining perpendicular to the current and as close to the bottom as possible.

    Discipline yourself to use the LEAST amount of weight to get the job done. Using a heavy weight is a poor excuse for easily hitting bottom to compensate for sloppy line control.

    Cast so the weight hits the water on a vertical drop, following with the rod tip to control the line on a semi-taut freefall rather than just letting a heap of slack land on the water to be swept away by the current in a big downstream bow.

    If it's all timed right, the weight hits bottom just as the rod tip touches the water.

    Now follow downriver with the rod tip low to the water, leading the rod tip in a gentle arc toward the bank as the goods drift down river. Remember you aren't just sitting there letting the current do its thing against a stationary rod tip. LEAD WITH THE TIP! This keeps your goods moving downriver PERPENDICULAR to the current.

    If you feel any hesitation, speed up and lead a bit faster toward the bank. (Sometimes there is no hesitation… fish just stops the drift, shakes its head, and it's off to the races.) If the rod continues to load from the weight of a fish… SET HARD…. low to the water, on your downstream side toward the bank. This sets up the most ergonomic and advantageous hookset. As the rod comes to a full load, the first vector applied to the fish directs its snout toward the bank. Remember, whichever way the snout points, the rest of the fish is sure to follow. I've often had the fish immediately beach itself on the first run after setting the hook! One third of the way to a limit in 3 seconds flat!

    If you are prone to employ the more traditional vertical hookset, understand that the first vector applied to the fish will lift its snout. The immediate consequence typically results in the fish catapulting itself out of the water and cartwheeling out into the main current. You are at a decided disadvantage in terms of controlling that fish. It's got the immediate initial upper hand when it can use that heavy current to its advantage.

    If you want that fish on your stringer, keep the rod tip low to the water… in fact, even IN the water sometimes. Keep constant pressure low and to the side, always leading the tip toward the bank in a direction OPPOSITE the one the fish is swimming. This will shorten the battle by an order of magnitude and you'll soon be sliding your prize up the bank.

    In contrast, if you seek the thrill of aerial acrobatics and getting your a-$-$ whooped by the toughest salmon swimming in AK waters, by all means raise that rod tip and have a hoot! Grandpa may have taught you to keep your tip up, but it ain't gonna land you many fish.

    BANK ON IT!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Below is the exact technique taught to me by a upper Kenai guide last year. Once it clicked we started putting a lot more fish on the bank. It worked just as well with Russian river flies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    keep the rod tip low to the water… in fact, even IN the water sometimes. Keep constant pressure low and to the side, always leading the tip toward the bank in a direction OPPOSITE the one the fish is swimming.
    There's nothing wrong with keeping the rod tip low to the water instead of tip up. BUT......if you want to fight a fish to the side you better make sure that you turn that rod the way it's designed to bend. Meaning.....rods aren't made to bend sideways and a lot of people find that out the hard way when they hear that unmistakable....SNAP...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fin Chaser View Post
    It definitely has a different feel to it. When I switched over a few yea.rs ago I found that I just had to wait for more of a pull from the fish then give a slow but firm pull back. A sharp fast hook-set like we are all used to doesn't seem to get the job done as well. I also noticed much more success with a downstream pull to the side instead of an upward pull. Though it takes a little getting used to, the increased hookup/landing ratio and very few fouled fish is worth the effort. Now it is just second nature. That's my experience anyway.

    Scott
    Definitely good to go with the circle hooks. I fished the Kenai two years ago and didn't foul hook a single fish.

  16. #16
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    BTW Doc.....don't know if it's just my computer or not, but it says your circle hook pics have been deleted on photobucket....??? http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-sockeye/page5
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  17. #17
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Yeah I did a bit of re-organizing so that I could more easily weed thru that massive collection of pics in my Bucket. That broke a lot of the original links. This forum does NOT allow editing beyond 20 minutes, so the ones you indicated are no longer visible here. The technical pics, however, are still intact in that reference thread.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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  18. #18
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Oh ok.....I see I missed them further down the page.....post #96.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    If you are struggling, maybe this will help with your technique.

    This is not simply hucking your goods out there and letting the current take over. It's all about line control and getting your goods to drift downstream with the leader remaining perpendicular to the current and as close to the bottom as possible.

    Discipline yourself to use the LEAST amount of weight to get the job done. Using a heavy weight is a poor excuse for easily hitting bottom to compensate for sloppy line control.

    Cast so the weight hits the water on a vertical drop, following with the rod tip to control the line on a semi-taut freefall rather than just letting a heap of slack land on the water to be swept away by the current in a big downstream bow.

    If it's all timed right, the weight hits bottom just as the rod tip touches the water.

    Now follow downriver with the rod tip low to the water, leading the rod tip in a gentle arc toward the bank as the goods drift down river. Remember you aren't just sitting there letting the current do its thing against a stationary rod tip. LEAD WITH THE TIP! This keeps your goods moving downriver PERPENDICULAR to the current.

    If you feel any hesitation, speed up and lead a bit faster toward the bank. (Sometimes there is no hesitation… fish just stops the drift, shakes its head, and it's off to the races.) If the rod continues to load from the weight of a fish… SET HARD…. low to the water, on your downstream side toward the bank. This sets up the most ergonomic and advantageous hookset. As the rod comes to a full load, the first vector applied to the fish directs its snout toward the bank. Remember, whichever way the snout points, the rest of the fish is sure to follow. I've often had the fish immediately beach itself on the first run after setting the hook! One third of the way to a limit in 3 seconds flat!

    If you are prone to employ the more traditional vertical hookset, understand that the first vector applied to the fish will lift its snout. The immediate consequence typically results in the fish catapulting itself out of the water and cartwheeling out into the main current. You are at a decided disadvantage in terms of controlling that fish. It's got the immediate initial upper hand when it can use that heavy current to its advantage.

    If you want that fish on your stringer, keep the rod tip low to the water… in fact, even IN the water sometimes. Keep constant pressure low and to the side, always leading the tip toward the bank in a direction OPPOSITE the one the fish is swimming. This will shorten the battle by an order of magnitude and you'll soon be sliding your prize up the bank.

    In contrast, if you seek the thrill of aerial acrobatics and getting your a-$-$ whooped by the toughest salmon swimming in AK waters, by all means raise that rod tip and have a hoot! Grandpa may have taught you to keep your tip up, but it ain't gonna land you many fish.

    BANK ON IT!
    Great advice Doc. Keeping it low and using the current to help fight the fish works great.

  20. #20
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    Not to put down the use of circle hooks (whatever it takes to get the job done while inflicting no damage) but in the last 5 days, 3 trips to the Russian, c&r of over 100 reds on top of keeping my and my proxy's limit, 2 fish total were snagged and both of those came when I had to wait with my hook on the bottom while the novice beside me was untangling his line from mine. I only use the Russian River flies and fish with the knowledge that the "Kenai Twitch" is an unnessessary thing! And as far as the angle of the rod tip - up, down, sideways as long as you keep proper tension you won't loose your fish. I personally prefer tip up. I only put the tip towards the bank when I'm sliding my fish up out of the water. Of course this all works for me, find what works for you and let the bears be the only ones tearing the bodies of the wonderful resource.

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