Author Topic: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?  (Read 5172 times)

Offline jacksmelt71

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how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« on: Dec 14, 2014, 05:01 PM »
after all the craze about circle hooks over the years, how many of you out there stuck with them. I'm considering changing so i don't wound as many fish.
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Offline Ramp 23

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 14, 2014, 05:22 PM »
hard water soft water fresh water saltwater, for bait fishing , live or cut , i really like how they perform & a bonus , rarely is a fish mortally hooked

Offline BassinAssassin

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 14, 2014, 05:57 PM »
I absolutely hate circle hooks. Useless IMO. If ya don't want to wound the fish, set the hook in time. Felt those dang things pull right through too many fish's mouths. I only use them when the law says. 🎣

Offline Chris Raymond

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 14, 2014, 06:02 PM »
I still use them and have even more confidence in what they can do now that I know how to use them correctly. 
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Offline Buckshot86

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 14, 2014, 06:04 PM »
I only use them when fishing cut bait, generally for catfish. I do not find them to be much more self setting then any other hook though. I just think my hook up ratios slightly increase when fishing dead still bait.

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 14, 2014, 06:04 PM »
Circles are a great choice for almost everything that swims. I have success using them for bass, walleye and even pannies. However, my experiences using them for pike/muskies for over a dozen years has me returning to small, strong trebles and quick hooksets or quick strike rigs. I believe there is something about all those teeth, on the tongue and roof of the mouth that don't let the line get the right angle for the circle to work as designed very reliably. Had many fish hooked deeply or not at all and I've given up trying to make them work.

Again, I've been playing with circles for nearly 20 years for many species. I've got the "non-hookset" thing down, understand the value of a straight circle (not kirbed or offset) and use appropriate sizes, all factors in reliable circle hook use.

My bottom line: for fish that don't have the teeth that pike/muskies have I would not hesitate to use them.

Just my opinion based on my experiences, UMMV......
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Offline missoulafish

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 14, 2014, 06:14 PM »
Is there any way they could effectively be used through the ice, like on a jig? Seems counter intuitive?

Offline Papa John

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #7 on: Dec 14, 2014, 08:34 PM »
Not the way I see it Missoula. Use them all the time for halibut and cod in Alaska but not while jigging. Circles are designed for bait with the concept that just reeling down on the fish causes them to turn away from the pull thus hooking themselves around the mandible as the hook is drawn out. Very effective on bait. Jigging requires a reaction hook set and it will just pull the circle out of their mouth most of the time. Just my 10 years worth of experience with them, for what it's worth. They work for pike on a tip-up with dead bait, but quick strikes are better by far.


Offline missoulafish

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #8 on: Dec 14, 2014, 09:02 PM »
Thank you sir. Kinda what I figured :)

Offline Tmuskie

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #9 on: Dec 14, 2014, 09:24 PM »
I'm with Bassin Assasin. I don't like then. I got a couple buddies that still use them,
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Offline pikeaddict

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #10 on: Dec 15, 2014, 10:08 AM »
I use circles almost exclusively when fishing live/dead bait.  They aren't for everyone.

Offline Open-Handed Fish Slap

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #11 on: Dec 15, 2014, 10:33 AM »
I use circle hooks exclusively and have an extremely high hookup rate, much higher then the people I watch horse J hooks out of the fishes mouth.  When you know how to use them correctly they are awesome.  Also, every catch is right in the corner of the mouth and for someone like me who practices c&r, that's important.
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Offline bigredonice

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #12 on: Dec 15, 2014, 10:44 AM »
  Also, every catch is right in the corner of the mouth

Not true at all.   

My experience after 3 years of careful experimentation: Worms and minnows for smallmouth (#6 non-offset octopus circle), herring for stripers (6/0 eagle claw circle sea L2004G), I got about 20% or 1/5 hooked deep with non-offset circle hooks.   

Its less than 10% with offset octopus or J hooks.

However, using cutbait for cats I had no fish hooked deep...but only hooked fish on about 60% of takes, where as its over 90% with eagle claw L042 widegaps.

Im done with circle hooks.

Offline Open-Handed Fish Slap

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #13 on: Dec 15, 2014, 11:57 AM »
I was just saying that from a personal standpoint, not trying to generalize.  I've been using circles for pike and bass for 3 or 4 years on the ice, 3/0 to 5/0 with large live/dead bait, and can't really remember ever gut hooking fish.
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Offline Arctic Addict

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #14 on: Dec 15, 2014, 01:02 PM »
When I fish using bait, I always use circle hooks.
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Offline lynng

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #15 on: Dec 15, 2014, 06:25 PM »
I have given up on small circle hooks. I have used them ( size 8/0) in the saltwater for years with great results. It's also the law here in Maine now. But, the little ones have resulted in many more gut hooks than traditional hooks.Instead, I have been hooking my bait parallel to the backbone. This really helps eliminate gut hooked fish as most of the hookups are in the roof of the mouth.

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #16 on: Dec 15, 2014, 06:36 PM »
I have given up on small circle hooks. I have used them ( size 8/0) in the saltwater for years with great results. It's also the law here in Maine now. But, the little ones have resulted in many more gut hooks than traditional hooks.Instead, I have been hooking my bait parallel to the backbone. This really helps eliminate gut hooked fish as most of the hookups are in the roof of the mouth.

This was one of my mistakes early in the experimentation phase, using hooks that were not appropriately sized. I found that the gap size made a huge difference in good hookups or not. Using a number size hook usually larger than a regular gap hook works much better than size for size. For example if I was usually comfortable using a #10 conventional hook I might have much better and more predictable results with a #8 or even #6 circle.

Just something I found and you may want to consider.
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Offline bigredonice

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #17 on: Dec 16, 2014, 07:37 AM »
I have been hooking my bait parallel to the backbone. This really helps eliminate gut hooked fish

Very cool.   Makes sense too.   Hooked perpendicular, its almost forcing the hookpoint to rotate, parallel and it can do its thing.   I'm looking forward to trying this.  Thank you!

Offline Chris Raymond

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #18 on: Dec 16, 2014, 08:10 AM »
Another thing to consider with circles is that in addition to the hook shank being in-line/straight you want the eye to be in-line as well if you're tying to it otherwise it's best to snell to the hook shank.  The direction of pull should be parallel to the hook shank and tying to an offset eye doesn't allow that. 
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Offline lynng

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #19 on: Dec 16, 2014, 08:24 AM »
This was one of my mistakes early in the experimentation phase, using hooks that were not appropriately sized. I found that the gap size made a huge difference in good hookups or not. Using a number size hook usually larger than a regular gap hook works much better than size for size. For example if I was usually comfortable using a #10 conventional hook I might have much better and more predictable results with a #8 or even #6 circle.

Just something I found and you may want to consider.

Very good point. I did find that bigger is better. I up sized and it did work better. I still use circles on a few traps that I have rigged for larger fish. I tried to match the gap in the circle to the gap in a J hook. This will result in a circle that is several sizes larger than a J. With the small hooks #6 and smaller, I find hooking parallel to the spine, point toward head, gives me less gut hooked fish.

Offline DR.SPECKLER

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #20 on: Dec 16, 2014, 12:23 PM »
I love circle hooks for  summer time catfishing.sit back and let them load up the rod.last year started using them on my tipups for pike and have great percentage of hookups.i let them run then just apply pressure to the line with my fingers instead of the hookset and it catches them right in the corner of the mouth.putting the brakes on during their run.i use gama offset circles in 1/0 or 3/0.beats the trying to get a treble hook out of the throats of those toothy northerns.

Offline jacksmelt71

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #21 on: Dec 16, 2014, 10:43 PM »
This was one of my mistakes early in the experimentation phase, using hooks that were not appropriately sized. I found that the gap size made a huge difference in good hookups or not. Using a number size hook usually larger than a regular gap hook works much better than size for size. For example if I was usually comfortable using a #10 conventional hook I might have much better and more predictable results with a #8 or even #6 circle.

Just something I found and you may want to consider.
i noticed that too!
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Offline fishermantim

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #22 on: Dec 16, 2014, 10:47 PM »
This was one of my mistakes early in the experimentation phase, using hooks that were not appropriately sized. I found that the gap size made a huge difference in good hookups or not. Using a number size hook usually larger than a regular gap hook works much better than size for size. For example if I was usually comfortable using a #10 conventional hook I might have much better and more predictable results with a #8 or even #6 circle.

Just something I found and you may want to consider.

That's the same thing I learned. I tried same size circle hooks as J-hooks and I needed to change the hook size.
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Offline jacksmelt71

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #23 on: Dec 16, 2014, 10:47 PM »
went out today and caught 2 splake on sz.4 circles. both the corner of the mouth. I'm convinced I'm on the right track!
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Offline Open-Handed Fish Slap

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #24 on: Dec 17, 2014, 05:37 AM »
Nice work
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Offline dml78

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #25 on: Dec 17, 2014, 09:17 AM »
Anyone use circle hooks for walleye on tip ups if so how do they work??

Offline Martian

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #26 on: Dec 17, 2014, 09:17 AM »
 I still use them on my tip ups, and prolly won't be going back to quick strikes or trebs. I have caught too many undersize pike w/ blood running out both gills , and have caught just as many undersize pike hooked in the lip with circles. every now and then swallowed, but with hemos, still easier to unhook and release to grow

Offline harrops26

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #27 on: Jan 01, 2015, 09:04 AM »
I had a lot of success with circles for pike. Its nice not having to wait till they stop running. I just wait till the run slows down and then I just retrieve with no hook set. Works great, only occasionally will I missed fish. I had more pike drop my treble set ups because the line would get caught in weeds.


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Offline Firetrap

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #28 on: Jan 01, 2015, 10:44 AM »
I use them for bait fishing. Wider gaps are best. Another thing to consider when using them is to SNELL them. The snell knot allows more flex movement for the hook set.

Is there enough resistance on the circle hook when using tip ups? How do you reel down the slack?

Offline Brendog9

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Re: how many of you still icefish circle hooks?
« Reply #29 on: Jan 01, 2015, 04:55 PM »
I'm a fan of using circles too. It took some experimentation last season but I figured them out. I like to have my traps spaced out so I can't always get there in time to set the hook with a traditional hook.

At first I wasn't setting the hook because I had read it wasn't necessary. Then I started setting the hook, not with much force, and was having a lot of luck.
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