Single circle hooks for pike.

mickb

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Hi there. Just wondering if many of you have had success using single circle hooks? I was going to give them a go last year but never got round to it. From what I've read when using circle hooks the hook hold tend to be in the scissors and deep hooking is very rare. Also I've read barbless circle hooks work well as the hook pattern keeps the hooks in so unhooking is easier. Im not sure what size hooks to use so please could you advise. I only fish for pike in the winter and where i fish they go up to 20lb max but doubles are quite common.
 

s63

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As a complete novice to pike fishing my biggest concern was deep hooking. I started using circle hooks after watching this video.

YouTube

I haven’t caught many but those I have were all hooked in the scissors.
 

mickb

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Thanks for the reply. When you use circle hooks do you not strike? Are you supposed to just tighten up to the fish or let the fish tighten the line for you? Again this is just what ive read and never tried it myself.
 

Keith M

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I haven’t used Circle hooks on deadbaits ‘yet’ but I often use double hooks on my deadbaits with the smaller point hooked into the deadbait and the larger point standing proud so that it stands a chance of catching inside the mouth when it’s picked up.

I’m going to try using circle hooks now as they do sound and look really good.

Keith
 
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s63

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My guess is that you might lose the odd fish which you may not have done with a treble, the positives far outweigh that downside.
 

Keith M

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You could be right about losing the odd fish s63 but I stopped using treble hooks a long time ago ever since I saw a picture of an emancipated Pike with its throat sewn up by someone’s trebles.

Plus Ive had enough of me struggling to release trebles from my landing net in the past and making holes in it.
There was more whipping thread (which I used to sew the holes up with) than netting after a few years :)

Keith
 
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barbelboi

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I've not used circles but have used large singles since the 70's without any problems. I believe that, as with any setup, the ones you lose are generally small jacks that haven't got a proper hold...
 

mickb

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Barbelboi what size singles do you use and do you hook the deadbait through the wrist of the tail?
 

barbelboi

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Barbelboi what size singles do you use and do you hook the deadbait through the wrist of the tail?

Usually one hooked through the tail or head depending on how it’s being fished. Bury Hill have had a singles only rule for some years and you can get some info from their site HERE
 

steve2

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I have over the years tried all sorts of setups for pike singles, doubles, trebles but I keep going back to my double hook setup. That’s two trebles or a single and a treble it what I works for me.
I believe that with single hook set hooks some anglers strike late just to make sure the fish as the bait and result deep hooking. With double hook setup there is more chance of a hook hold with quick strike.
 

john step

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Here is my conundrum.
I have used circles after watching that and other videos. I have caught pike on them.
To use one single circle through the tail the pike will not have the hook in its mouth until it swallows the bait quite a way down where by using snap tackle the pike will stand a good chance of having at least one set in its chompers very early on as it grips the bait sideways.

I am not saying this is wrong but it goes against years of piking when you tighten up strait away. I appreciate the pike taking the bait, turning it and starting to engulf it can be quick but it does get me twitching as those one or two seconds seem too long from what I would normally do.

I view using a single circle better with a small deadbait for this reason.

I have often used single J shaped hooks which I find hook just as well in my trials. I have used them mainly in early winter when the pike seem to engulf and swallow a bait quickly where I think they just hold it and muck about with it later in the cold.
I often use J shaped hooks with a "hair" about two inches this early time of the year(Autumn/early Winter) on small deadbaits.
This is useful when the pike are taking bait down quickly. You never get a deep hooking and the hook is easy to extract from fish and net. I use green garden string untwizzled and use one strand. Its soft and unobtrusive and biodegradable . If the pike has taken the bait down low you can snip the string at the hook and the pike still gets her meal!

I have also used circles with a hair and to be honest J hooks work just as well for me.

Big baits like a herring or half a mackerel I often use one treble or double and one J hook through the tail. With attention to the floats or buzzer ...hawk like and on it!
 
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mickb

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So john when using single hooks what size bait would be maximum to use? Obviously mackeral and herring are out of the question. Are we looking at smelt, roach as being the maximum size bait to ensure the hook has a better chance of being in a pikes mouth as it picks it up?
 

john step

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So john when using single hooks what size bait would be maximum to use? Obviously mackeral and herring are out of the question. Are we looking at smelt, roach as being the maximum size bait to ensure the hook has a better chance of being in a pikes mouth as it picks it up?
A 3 or 4 or 5 inch roach would seem right to me. 5 inch the extreme. If I thought it too big I would chop the head off.
To be frank I think pike early on in winter dont pick up a small live or deadbait as much as gulp it in. I have thought the picking up scenario was with the bigger baits for bigger pike.

No rules on size really or baits come to that. My mate had a 19lb this week on a boilie!!!

Edited. It may of course be worth experimenting with a large single on a hair withb a large bait. I must give it a go later.
Before anyone faints at my hook size I admit to using size 2 catfish hooks.
 
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Philip

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I am not a fan of circle hooks. I think the reason they hook in the scissors is not an indication of how effective they are, its an indication of how ineffective they are. If they were effective hookers you would hook them everywhere inside the mouth.

Allot (all?) of deep hooking problems can be solved by simple striking early. Two trebles on a trace for big baits then strike quickly. That’s why the setup is called “snap” tackle. If you miss it , it was probably a little’un.

I have considered for a while going over to singles simply for the net hooking issue. Rubber nets do help here. I dont think they would hinder the catch rate at all.
 

keora

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I pike fished for many years using a deadbait mounted on two treble hooks on a wire.

Generally it is effective, apart from when a flying treble gets tangled up in the net, which often happens. Many anglers suggest that a two treble rig allows you to strike instantly when the indicator moves. In my experience I've found that an instant strike often doesn't connect with the pike. So I tend to delay the strike for five or ten seconds.

I then started using a single size 1 long shank carp hook with smallish deadbaits. Generally the pike caught are hooked in the scissors.

About five years ago I switched to a single circle hook on a trace. I have had plenty of pike on them. I keep records of the fish I catch and I must admit that I miss more pike takes on the strike than when using two trebles. But any pike caught are much easier to unhook - usually the hook is in the scissors. Quick unhooking is important as I often fish swims at the bottom of steep banks with lots of undergrowth. There's very little space to move around. It can be difficult to unhook a big pike caught on two treble hooks in such conditions.

I use a single size 1/0 Mustad Circle hook for fish (smelt, sprats) up to about 6" long. Anything bigger and I'd change to a 3/0. I wouldn't use baits bigger than 7 or 8". I squeeze the barb flat with pliers.

If I get a take I quickly wind down to the fish about 10 to 15 seconds after the first indication, and then play the fish to the net. There's no need to strike in the accepted sense.

I must admit that on days when things aren't going well and I might have missed one or two takes on a single circle hook, I'll switch to two trebles.
 
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mickb

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Is it best to fish single hooks with a mono mainline or still use braid like most pike anglers do these days? Or does it not really matter?
 

keora

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I recommend you change from mono to braid. I changed over about 15 years ago. I use braid of about 35 lb breaking strain. Although it's expensive the advantages are:

The breaking strain doesn't reduce with age

Half the diameter of mono so casts further

If the hook catches a snag on the river bed, usually you can recover the line and trace by clamping down hard on the spool and walking backwards away from the water. The line is generally strong enough to straighten the hook
 

mickb

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Thanks for the advice. Its much appreciated. Do you recommend power pro braid? Seems to be what most people use.
 
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