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View Full Version : Not getting a good hook set



jtk25
07-16-2008, 10:52 AM
I traditionally have not targeted cats very much, it was more of an accident when I caught them. Times change and so do gas prices so if I can get some action closer to home I'll leave the trout poles at home and go for the kitty's. I have however run into a problem. I'm not getting a good hook set in the tough mouths of the fish. I use Gamagatsu Octopus hooks in a size to match the bait I'm fishing. As far as the hooks go I don't know of any better unless I go to a "wire type" hook.

Another problem may be my line. I'm only using 8 lb test on a medium powered G Loomis. I don't have as much of a problem with my medium heavy rod with 15 lb test. The only problem with the heavier rod is when the fish hit they don't get the give the lighter rod does even with the clicker on. Plus I like to feel the fight better on the lighter line and rod.

If any one has had this problem and fixed it let me know. Different hook and line combinations? Braided instead of mono? Different style of hook, circle, bait holder, or even plastic worm hooks?

gearbox
07-16-2008, 11:53 AM
You haven't mentioned if you're sweeping the rod or snapping it.
What do you think is happening in the water? What kind of line was used?

jtk25
07-16-2008, 12:41 PM
I use Maxima Green Mono. As far as "sweeping or snapping" I don't think that's the problem. When I set the hook on any type of fish its a controlled strike with the rod only going back down toward the water with tension from me or the fish. Also I wait for the fish to "take it" before I strike much like you would for Stripers, giving line if I have to. It not a matter of missing the fish altogether I'm hooking them. My concern comes from not getting the tip of the hook all the way through the tough catfish mouth. It just seems to penetrate so far and not go all the way through. Most times with the barb being worthless. I was even thinking of filing off the barbs to see if I can get more depth into the lip. Its just odd that the catfish almost pulls my pole holder out of the ground and a good strike with power, control, and sound technique just to get it in and see the hook only in a minamal amount. One of these times it may cost me a trophy fish no matter how well I play him/her.

BIG_ONE
07-16-2008, 02:37 PM
yikes, 8lbs test for cats, it may do but kinda in a tough situation when a monster is hooked on, i recommend at least 12lbs test when comes to cat, normally i use at least 15lbs for cat, and don't use plastic worm hooks, as it may work, but trust me on this, that hook is going to straighten out due to the fight of the fish, they use the weight of their body to fight instead of speed like other fish does. I don't see anything wrong you did, i think it'll work for cats, you can use braid if you want, circle hooks, or any other hooks will work for a cat from what i experienced, never had any hook that wouldn't rip that cat lip. Some cats may tap, and can be as smart as a carp, just wait till that pole tips dips in harder and harder then set the hook ;)

jtk25
07-16-2008, 03:00 PM
Thanks Big One, but its just so fun on 8lb and a medium rod. I didn't think about them using their body to fight rather than speed, that's good in site. Yes I do go heavier when fishing structure and debris, but I just don't have enough rods and reels for EVERY situation. I didn't think the worm hooks would work very well, but I thought the smaller diameter would pierce the lip better. I'm actually going to try Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp catfish hooks next time out. See what you guys think.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/pod/horizontal-pod.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/pod-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20166-cat20291&rid=&indexId=cat20291&navAction=push&mast erpathid=&navCount=1&parentType=index&parentId=cat 20291&id=0002909

BIG_ONE
07-16-2008, 03:11 PM
those hooks seems fine, kahle, j, circle, octo, live bait, ect...it'll just work the same from my experienced. For some reason cats mouth has a better rate of hooking it than other fish, as the cat mouth is flat ( which kind of sound like the rate shouldn't be as good ) but the rate is always good. So i think those hook would do just as fine as any others, good luck! :)

BIG_ONE
07-16-2008, 03:14 PM
Forgot one thing i didn't mentioned, make sure your line is capable of pulling them in when they start digging down, because these fish digs to fine structure or holes to get in, so most likely your going to be snagged up, unless your fishing in an area with hardly any structure, then you may take your time ;D ;)

knotgillty
07-16-2008, 03:20 PM
Hey, JTK25, you ever tried Owner Mosquito Hooks?

The wire is a little smaller in diameter. The fine wire allows for an incredibly sharp point and allows for good hook penetration when you are fishing with the light lines. I've been using the 2/0 mosquito's for the last two years in a lot of situations. I've gotten channels in the 20 pound range with these hooks and the hooks held up just fine. I think you'll like them if you try them.

Fishordie
07-16-2008, 08:27 PM
When I fish cats I always use a heavy and very light setup. a small treble on the light rod has been proving deadly. I've actually been hooking 80-90% of my fish right in the corner of the mouth.

Phinger28
07-17-2008, 12:50 PM
If you have not tried it yet, try setting the hook multiple times. I usually set the hook twice or three times. The second hook-set is usually more powerful because the weight of the fish is already loaded on the line, therefore there is not as much stretch in the mono as with the initial hook-set. If you are worried that the line might break or the hook might pop out on subsequent hook-sets, make sure the drag is set properly so the line doesnt break, and if the hook pops out on the second or third hook-set, it probably would not hold throughout the length of the battle anyways.

..or you could always use braid..