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Seth

Highly Recommend Circle Hooks for Crawlers and Minnows!

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Last winter we started experimenting with the Gamakatsu octopus circle hooks for drifting crawlers and minnows for trout on Taneycomo. After doing this for several trips, I have to say it is 100% the way to go. After seeing 100+ trout boated while using them, I think we've only had TWO that swallowed the hook. I like using the #8 for crawlers and the #6 for minnows. I've not played around with sculpins enough yet to have a concrete answer, but I think the #2 would probably work best for them. Anything smaller and I don't think you would have enough hook showing for them to work effectively.

During the tournament this past weekend, my buddy was fishing two rods with crawlers and the #8 Gamas. I have rod holders in my boat and he would leave the rod in it until the fish would start fighting and then reel them in. There were several times when the trout would "nip" the ends of the crawler, but not get hooked up. Since he wasn't trying to set the hook and ripping the bait away from the fish, the fish continued to bite until it finally got the hook in it's mouth and became hooked up.

Keep in mind that this is ONLY when there is flow and you are drifting. If the water is off, I don't think the circle hook would prevent the fish from swallowing the bait as effectively. I'm sure they will still help though.

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This video does a good job showing how it all works. He's using his own brand of circle hook so you definitely don't have to use Gamakatsu's. I did see some Owner mosquito circle hooks at the Landing Bass Pro in that smaller sizes that I think would have worked well. They were almost half the price of the Gama's.
 

 

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We used these gammy 6/8 circle hooks about a month ago with my 11 year old son drifting the pink worm on a drift rig. We threaded the worm 1/3- almost half the way up the line and had the hook point coming out about the middle of the worm. Between us we caught about 15 fish in 2 drifts from cooper creek to monkey island and all were hooked in the corner of the mouth. We were using a light action rod with a very soft tip and let the fish just keep biting until they hooked themselves. Lots of fun and no gut hooked fish. 

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Great idea, but like Phil said most probably won't spend the money. They are great, though. They can dang near swallow it and it ends up right on the side of the lip. So much easier. With other hooks, I end up just cutting the line and losing a hook almost every fish. 

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On 8/26/2019 at 1:09 PM, Phil Lilley said:

I like it.  It's tough to get people to spend the extra money on them though.

I'll check it out.

If you are thinking about making the tournaments with jigs. You could set the rules such that folks can fish bait only if they use circles hooks. Not sure how easy that would be to enforce. Possibly deductions for dead fish or any found with a deep hook.

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Phil the guy in the video is Jeff Williams and he lives in Grove OK so he's not to far.  He has several hunting and fishing brand companies over there and makes and sells great products.  Everything I have seen about him is that he's a great guy.  Might be a good guy to get in contact with and try to carry the new hooks he had in the video.  

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On 8/26/2019 at 11:09 AM, Seth said:

Keep in mind that this is ONLY when there is flow and you are drifting. If the water is off, I don't think the circle hook would prevent the fish from swallowing the bait as effectively. I'm sure they will still help though

With "flat" water it's best to only use one rod that you are holding at a 30°-45° angle to the water. Don't set the hook on a bite, but rather lift the rod tip if you feel anything "funny". Usually hooks them in the corner of the mouth just like when drifting.

 i do go a bit larger on the circle hook for crawlers though. #6 for power bait eggs, #4 for crawlers.

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