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Giving up on the circle hooks

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jlawsonvet
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Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by jlawsonvet »

Hi all - I'm not a novice angler, but I am still a novice piker. I've only been deadbaiting the last 2 seasons, and to be honest I would be very surprised if anyone reading this has caught fewer pike than I have. So take all this with that massive caveat.

Despite being relatively green, I'm very keen not to compromise fish welfare (or look like a Noddy on the bank..), so I've spent many hours trawling this forum, as well as chatting to others out and about, and I'm fairly happy with my set up. As part of all this research I came across circle hooks - seemed like a good idea to me, after all I use singles in my other fishing, so why not for piking? I promise you I have read every big thread on this site about circle hooks, including which hooks in which size, what baits in which size, how to attach the baits to the hook, how to attach the hook to the trace, how to tighten up to the fish. If its been written on this site about circles, and you can search it out, I've read it.

The last 2 seasons I've really just been learning where and how to fish the waters near me (balancing this with a young family and not getting out as much as I'd like...), didn't really have a lot of takes, caught a handful of fish. Hard to assess how good the circles were when so few fish were to be had, primarily because I was developing my sense of where and when to fish.

This year, I finally feel like its all coming together. Went out for an evening and had a take which I didn't manage to hook. No big deal, but a good start for me, often go a few sessions without a take.

But went out yesterday for a morning session and had FIVE takes. Proper smashing the drop offs, screaming alarms. Completely unheard of for me, an absolute dream of a day. I had less takes than that in my entire last winter. But, here's the thing. I landed ZERO fish. Four just weren't hooked, and one fell off (presumably was just holding onto the bait rather than properly hooked). I was completely gutted - to be fair I'm still not over it (which is why I've come on here to vent).

I can't help but think if I had trebles on rather than circles I would have landed at least some of these fish. I know there will be those that think I just wasn't winding down as I should, or had the circles rigged wrong. Maybe - but without physically accompanying someone using circles to the bank, and you standing behind me when I get a take like the scene from "ghost" I don't see how I could more closely adjust my rigs/actions to what is described by those that advocate them on this site.

I can't face going back out there and sitting behind rods with circles on after yesterday. We all know that fishing is about confidence, and I've just completely lost confidence in them. I doubt I'll see a session where I get five takes again for a while, but when I do, I'll have trebles on, and maybe I'll have that dream session. I see the theoretical benefits of circles and I don't want to deep hook any fish - but I'm fishing with decent tackle, running rigs with heavy weights, on tight lines with drop offs, and I'm now used to handling pike. Part of fishing is learning from your own experience, and now I've had some painful experience to base my decisions on rather than theory alone!

I'll go back to lurking now :)
ken brooks
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by ken brooks »

I think you have made a sensible decision.
You are obviously fishing slow/hard waters and they are not the type of places
To experiment especially if your confidence is low.
Use the trebles and once you start catching again you can maybe retry the circles at some stage.
You don't learn much not catching.
Good luck mate.
Pinkie
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by Pinkie »

Silly question but are you striking? Apparently with circle hooks one is not supposed to strike but simply tighten up!

Otherwise I'd use trebles but remove the barbs off except the one to hold the bait on. And I'd only use the one treble.
jlawsonvet
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by jlawsonvet »

Pinkie wrote: Wed Oct 13 2021 15:11 -
Silly question but are you striking? Apparently with circle hooks one is not supposed to strike but simply tighten up!

Otherwise I'd use trebles but remove the barbs off except the one to hold the bait on. And I'd only use the one treble.
Yup, no striking, just tightening up as recommended!
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John Milford
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by John Milford »

At this time of the year especially, screaming takes are not necessarily pike.

You'd be surprised how often carp make off with deadbaits! (I've been jammy enough to land a couple in recent years)

However, I've also missed a fair number of seemingly 'unmissable' fast, positive takes - even when using two trebles - and felt carp were the culprits.

(If you find you're missing slow, steady runs, then it would definitely be time to reevaluate your set up).
"He's some sort of lure savant. Or just has an unhealthy addiction to old lures. We are not quite sure . . . . . "
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by Mercman »

John Milford wrote: Wed Oct 13 2021 15:44 -
At this time of the year especially, screaming takes are not necessarily pike.

You'd be surprised how often carp make off with deadbaits! (I've been jammy enough to land a couple in recent years)

However, I've also missed a fair number of seemingly 'unmissable' fast, positive takes - even when using two trebles - and felt carp were the culprits.

(If you find you're missing slow, steady runs, then it would definitely be time to reevaluate your set up).
Yes that or even Cats tend to scream off with dead baits too
Delboy is actually now 66 67 years old.
suffolk si
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by suffolk si »

Eels still active and giving me grief on my waters too... not that I’m using circles though🤣
stubbojo
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by stubbojo »

jlawsonvet wrote: Wed Oct 13 2021 14:36 -
Hi all - I'm not a novice angler, but I am still a novice piker. I've only been deadbaiting the last 2 seasons, and to be honest I would be very surprised if anyone reading this has caught fewer pike than I have. So take all this with that massive caveat.

Despite being relatively green, I'm very keen not to compromise fish welfare (or look like a Noddy on the bank..), so I've spent many hours trawling this forum, as well as chatting to others out and about, and I'm fairly happy with my set up. As part of all this research I came across circle hooks - seemed like a good idea to me, after all I use singles in my other fishing, so why not for piking? I promise you I have read every big thread on this site about circle hooks, including which hooks in which size, what baits in which size, how to attach the baits to the hook, how to attach the hook to the trace, how to tighten up to the fish. If its been written on this site about circles, and you can search it out, I've read it.

The last 2 seasons I've really just been learning where and how to fish the waters near me (balancing this with a young family and not getting out as much as I'd like...), didn't really have a lot of takes, caught a handful of fish. Hard to assess how good the circles were when so few fish were to be had, primarily because I was developing my sense of where and when to fish.

This year, I finally feel like its all coming together. Went out for an evening and had a take which I didn't manage to hook. No big deal, but a good start for me, often go a few sessions without a take.

But went out yesterday for a morning session and had FIVE takes. Proper smashing the drop offs, screaming alarms. Completely unheard of for me, an absolute dream of a day. I had less takes than that in my entire last winter. But, here's the thing. I landed ZERO fish. Four just weren't hooked, and one fell off (presumably was just holding onto the bait rather than properly hooked). I was completely gutted - to be fair I'm still not over it (which is why I've come on here to vent).

I can't help but think if I had trebles on rather than circles I would have landed at least some of these fish. I know there will be those that think I just wasn't winding down as I should, or had the circles rigged wrong. Maybe - but without physically accompanying someone using circles to the bank, and you standing behind me when I get a take like the scene from "ghost" I don't see how I could more closely adjust my rigs/actions to what is described by those that advocate them on this site.

I can't face going back out there and sitting behind rods with circles on after yesterday. We all know that fishing is about confidence, and I've just completely lost confidence in them. I doubt I'll see a session where I get five takes again for a while, but when I do, I'll have trebles on, and maybe I'll have that dream session. I see the theoretical benefits of circles and I don't want to deep hook any fish - but I'm fishing with decent tackle, running rigs with heavy weights, on tight lines with drop offs, and I'm now used to handling pike. Part of fishing is learning from your own experience, and now I've had some painful experience to base my decisions on rather than theory alone!

I'll go back to lurking now :)
stopped using circles years back , just missing to many fish , i gave them a good go , but they just didnt do it for me , went back to 2 trebles instant hook ups ,
just strike as soon as you can to avoid deep hooking , no problems with them ..
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Flipflopjoe
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by Flipflopjoe »

I’ve had a similar experience as you with circles.
It actually started well, landed a couple of jacks initially but ended up missing about 2 out of every 3 takes (maybe more) !?!

The last straw was live baiting on a club water, I had a “pet” in the margins on a VB style circle hook I’d made myself. The float slide away, I waited a couple seconds then tightened down……….nothing !
I quickly flicked my still kicking “pet” back to the spot hoping he was still there. Sure enough the float slid away again after a minute or 2. I waited a few more seconds then tightened down………..nothing !!
“Pet” was just about hanging in there so he went back out to the trenches, a minute or so and again the float slides away. I tightened down……..again…..NOTHING !!!
I’d used the minutes before the take this time wisely tho and I’d pre rigged a fresh bait on a trace with a treble.
Quick change of trace and the new soldier was out on the frontline thinking this must be an absolute Mug Fish if it takes the bait for a fourth time. A minute or so and sure as day the float slides away. I don’t even think I waited this time, I struck straight away, fish on and landed !
Only a jack of around 8lb as I recall but it gave me enough evidence to change my mind on circles, it could’ve been a new PB that would’ve have waited as patiently to get itself caught !!!
I’d also missed a few runs on double hook bait traces (with circles).
Trebles all the way for me now, semi-barbed #6, and #4 for bigger baits, just don’t wait to long to strike and you’ll be fine.
I still drop the odd fish, but that’s to be expected.
I land most of my runs nowa’days !
stubbojo
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by stubbojo »

Flipflopjoe wrote: Thu Oct 14 2021 13:07 -
I’ve had a similar experience as you with circles.
It actually started well, landed a couple of jacks initially but ended up missing about 2 out of every 3 takes (maybe more) !?!

The last straw was live baiting on a club water, I had a “pet” in the margins on a VB style circle hook I’d made myself. The float slide away, I waited a couple seconds then tightened down……….nothing !
I quickly flicked my still kicking “pet” back to the spot hoping he was still there. Sure enough the float slid away again after a minute or 2. I waited a few more seconds then tightened down………..nothing !!
“Pet” was just about hanging in there so he went back out to the trenches, a minute or so and again the float slides away. I tightened down……..again…..NOTHING !!!
I’d used the minutes before the take this time wisely tho and I’d pre rigged a fresh bait on a trace with a treble.
Quick change of trace and the new soldier was out on the frontline thinking this must be an absolute Mug Fish if it takes the bait for a fourth time. A minute or so and sure as day the float slides away. I don’t even think I waited this time, I struck straight away, fish on and landed !
Only a jack of around 8lb as I recall but it gave me enough evidence to change my mind on circles, it could’ve been a new PB that would’ve have waited as patiently to get itself caught !!!
I’d also missed a few runs on double hook bait traces (with circles).
Trebles all the way for me now, semi-barbed #6, and #4 for bigger baits, just don’t wait to long to strike and you’ll be fine.
I still drop the odd fish, but that’s to be expected.
I land most of my runs nowa’days !
there crap too when targeting perch .......size 4 carp type hook slightly off set .....
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Smoothound
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by Smoothound »

I'm along the same lines but not using circles! I've been twice no this week using 2x singles, 3 runs, all 3 on for a short time but all spat the hooks or possibly not hooked and just dropped the bait. Bloke in the next swim today had 6 runs and 4 fish 🙄🙄
Phil
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Steve Dennington
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by Steve Dennington »

I've used circles exclusively for the last couple of seasons and I'm more than happy with the ratio of runs to fish. I've hooked up on at least as many as I'd expect with trebles and only one fish has come off after hooking up (a jack that was right under the boat when I wound down and I'm actually not convinced that it was even hooked when it spat the bait back at me at boatside).

However, if that situation changes because of behaviour of the fish on a particular water or time of year and the ratio takes a nose-dive, I'd be happy to use trebles again.
stubbojo
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by stubbojo »

Steve Dennington wrote: Thu Oct 14 2021 18:16 -
I've used circles exclusively for the last couple of seasons and I'm more than happy with the ratio of runs to fish. I've hooked up on at least as many as I'd expect with trebles and only one fish has come off after hooking up (a jack that was right under the boat when I wound down and I'm actually not convinced that it was even hooked when it spat the bait back at me at boatside).

However, if that situation changes because of behaviour of the fish on a particular water or time of year and the ratio takes a nose-dive, I'd be happy to use trebles again.
i honestly beleive single hooks get scoffed down very quickly leading to deep hooking as a treble in my book gets caught up quicker in the mouthparts of a pike
but i strike very early , just as the float begins to judder as the pike has the bait in its mouth already .......better to lose a few , which i dont on average... than to leave for say 15 to 20 seconds..... it can be down its throat by then
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Flipflopjoe
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by Flipflopjoe »

stubbojo wrote: Thu Oct 14 2021 19:38 -
Steve Dennington wrote: Thu Oct 14 2021 18:16 -
I've used circles exclusively for the last couple of seasons and I'm more than happy with the ratio of runs to fish. I've hooked up on at least as many as I'd expect with trebles and only one fish has come off after hooking up (a jack that was right under the boat when I wound down and I'm actually not convinced that it was even hooked when it spat the bait back at me at boatside).

However, if that situation changes because of behaviour of the fish on a particular water or time of year and the ratio takes a nose-dive, I'd be happy to use trebles again.
i honestly beleive single hooks get scoffed down very quickly leading to deep hooking as a treble in my book gets caught up quicker in the mouthparts of a pike
but i strike very early , just as the float begins to judder as the pike has the bait in its mouth already .......better to lose a few , which i dont on average... than to leave for say 15 to 20 seconds..... it can be down its throat by then
Not sure I’d necessarily agree that singles slip down quicker but about striking I defo agree, I never normally wait more that a few seconds to strike.
But to the OP, look up the methods on how to deal with a deep hooked fish, using trebles or singles, if you pike fish long enough it’s inevitable you’ll get a greedy fecker scoff the bait quicker than you can get to your rods. I’ve dealt with 2 and I’m fairly confident they went back strong enough to survive the ordeal, but only because I’d researched it before hand and also got some advice and tips from more experienced pikers.
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Steve Dennington
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Re: Giving up on the circle hooks

Post by Steve Dennington »

stubbojo wrote: Thu Oct 14 2021 19:38 -
Steve Dennington wrote: Thu Oct 14 2021 18:16 -
I've used circles exclusively for the last couple of seasons and I'm more than happy with the ratio of runs to fish. I've hooked up on at least as many as I'd expect with trebles and only one fish has come off after hooking up (a jack that was right under the boat when I wound down and I'm actually not convinced that it was even hooked when it spat the bait back at me at boatside).

However, if that situation changes because of behaviour of the fish on a particular water or time of year and the ratio takes a nose-dive, I'd be happy to use trebles again.
i honestly beleive single hooks get scoffed down very quickly leading to deep hooking as a treble in my book gets caught up quicker in the mouthparts of a pike
but i strike very early , just as the float begins to judder as the pike has the bait in its mouth already .......better to lose a few , which i dont on average... than to leave for say 15 to 20 seconds..... it can be down its throat by then
It is a little unnerving to start off with, leaving runs that bit longer with a circle hook. I'm yet to deep hook a single fish with a circle though, and 90%+ are unhooked with nothing more than my fingers. Other than the increased potential for dropped runs (on those occasions I've been left wondering if a swift strike with trebles would have resulted in a hooked fish) I see very little in the way of negatives to their use and I'm happy to enter a third season with them.
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