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Old 07-07-2019, 01:01 PM   #1
ron m
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Default Hooks for salmon

I’m wondering if anyone has tried circle hooks on salmon lures. Like most folks, we have some coho that don’t stay hooked and I’m thinking that they may stay hooked better on circle hooks though I wonder if as many will be hooked. I think many of them turn right after they hit a lure and that “might” get them hooked in the side of their mouth.

So if you have tried circle hooks on lures, I’d appreciate hearing about your experience with circles. I’ll post the results of my trials with them.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron m View Post
I’m wondering if anyone has tried circle hooks on salmon lures. Like most folks, we have some coho that don’t stay hooked and I’m thinking that they may stay hooked better on circle hooks though I wonder if as many will be hooked. I think many of them turn right after they hit a lure and that “might” get them hooked in the side of their mouth.

So if you have tried circle hooks on lures, I’d appreciate hearing about your experience with circles. I’ll post the results of my trials with them.
ron m
I use siwash hooks --- they have an offset point, which improves the bite-to-hook ratio significantly. When you tighten the line or set the hook during a strike, straight hooks like the ones used on mooching rigs can slide out the salmon's mouth when they close on the bait. Offset points cause the point to hang up in the mouth.

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Old 07-07-2019, 04:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Sharpen the point of your hooks so that they stick in your thumbnail when you lightly pull them across. They aren't sharp enough, right out of the box.
For hoochies I use a single 5/0 VMC Octopus live bait hook w/barb mashed down. No beads, just a skirt & hoochie. I get damn few drive-bys. Fish are usually hooked solidly in the corner of the mouth. Most all of my hooked fish come to the boat to be netted or released.

Additional advice below: (Given though not requested...)

No "hook setting"! Just isn't necessary.
Most fish are lost due to the drag being too tight, so loosen the drag after the strike.
If he's trying to make it to the bottom, let him. I don't believe anyone's ever been spooled by a Silver.
Smaller fish are more likely to throw the hook, try to keep them in the water. Avoid aerial somersaults. Loosen the drag, this is effective.
Be patient. Do not tighten that drag while you're netting.
Please overlook my presumptiveness...
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Last edited by KingSlew; 07-08-2019 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingSlew View Post
Sharpen the point of your hooks so that they stick in your thumbnail when you lightly pull them across. They aren't sharp enough, right out of the box.
For hoochies I use a single 5/0 Octopus live bait hook w/barb mashed down. No beads, just a skirt & hoochie. I get damn few drive-bys. Fish are usually hooked solidly in the corner of the mouth. Most all of my hooked fish come to the boat to be netted or released.

Additional advice below: (Given though not requested...)

No "hook setting"! Just isn't necessary.
Most fish are lost due to the drag being too tight, so loosen the drag after the strike.
If he's trying to make it to the bottom, let him. I don't believe anyone's ever been spooled by a Silver.
Smaller fish are more likely to throw the hook, try to keep them in the water. Avoid aerial somersaults. Loosen the drag, this is effective.
Be patient. Do not tighten that drag while you're netting.
Please overlook my presumptiveness...
Great advice.
Now where are those fishies?
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:10 PM   #5
ron m
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingSlew View Post
Sharpen the point of your hooks so that they stick in your thumbnail when you lightly pull them across. They aren't sharp enough, right out of the box.
For hoochies I use a single 5/0 Octopus live bait hook w/barb mashed down. No beads, just a skirt & hoochie. I get damn few drive-bys. Fish are usually hooked solidly in the corner of the mouth. Most all of my hooked fish come to the boat to be netted or released.

Additional advice below: (Given though not requested...)

No "hook setting"! Just isn't necessary.
Most fish are lost due to the drag being too tight, so loosen the drag after the strike.
If he's trying to make it to the bottom, let him. I don't believe anyone's ever been spooled by a Silver.
Smaller fish are more likely to throw the hook, try to keep them in the water. Avoid aerial somersaults. Loosen the drag, this is effective.
Be patient. Do not tighten that drag while you're netting.
Please overlook my presumptiveness...
Hey, it’s not being presumptive when I ask for your experience and you give it. I would like feedback on experience with circle hooks on lures, but general feedback on hooks is helpful to me and probably to others too.

A few years ago I asked for tips on netting and the feedback was really helpful, I’m a much better now - at least most of the time! Now if I only had better depth perception.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

I can't be the only ex commercial salmon troller who prefers the single big salmon hook with a hoochie. I'm not sure of the Mustad number, but the were and likely still are a standard among commy's. At least a 7/0, and more likely an 8/0, I still have a few from 50years ago. They get bit, drive by's are rare. These are big hooks, compared to most. My finger easily fits in the crook of the hook to turn the hook for release.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:45 PM   #7
Jsteel
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Default Hooks for salmon

Ron, to answer your exact question - no, I haven’t tried circle hooks, but I have sure considered it. I haven’t pulled the trigger and done it only because I only get 2-3 ocean trips a year and can’t quite bring myself to risk a tough day while experimenting on new hooks.

However, I am very interested in the question and will monitor this thread. Especially for herring/anchovy fishing, it makes a lot of sense to me that circle hooks would work well.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

When trolling, Silvers just take a quick slash at the bait and aren't really mouthing it in preparation to swallow. Now if you're mooching and can feed the fish your bait, I think they'd work pretty good. I've got some nice light wire circles I've been wanting to use but haven't taken the time.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Remember the other day when you and another boat were limited out and heading home, and I was still trying to put one in the box?

Well I went by that mans house on my way to England’s, because he was using the same things you were and I wanted to see how he rigged them.

He had circle hooks on them, and he likes them, but he was also talking about all the hits he had. These hooks were not some drastic circle, but definitely a circle.

I couldn’t quite bring myself to rig with them, and stuck with 4/0 siwash.

Why is it? one day you can’t get a fish to the boat, and the next day you can’t lose a fish and can pull them over the rail without a net.......

I am looking forward to August when these fish size up some more, seems they stay hooked better.

Last edited by wak'm&stak'm; 07-08-2019 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:24 AM   #10
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Ron, it is funny you bring this up because out of frustration yesterday I put a 5/O circle hook on my hoochie. Thinking that I was out smarting the fish. I couldn't get the hook to stick. I guess they hit it at an awkward angle and the circle doesn't have the opportunity to stick. So, for whatever it is worth, my hour of dragging a circle hook increased my catch rate by 0%.
Cameron
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:27 AM   #11
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Does anyone run the curved siwash hooks? They seem to have just a slight bend at the point. What knot are you tying onto a siwash?
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

I run 5/0 Big River open eye bait hooks. I bend to create off set. Very, very happy with them.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by newportfisher View Post
Does anyone run the curved siwash hooks? They seem to have just a slight bend at the point. What knot are you tying onto a siwash?
Check the second post in this thread. I use siwash, and they work better. You'll still get some of the "short strikes" where the fish just hits the tail, but if you feed line out fast enough to let the line go slack and the bait just stop, they will often come back.
If you don't have siwash, use a couple pairs of pliers and bend the shank of the hook sideways a little on the point side.

J

Last edited by C-Lark; 07-08-2019 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:50 AM   #14
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

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Originally Posted by Pacific Fisher View Post
I run 5/0 Big River open eye bait hooks. I bend to create off set. Very, very happy with them.
I run the same hooks(I don't bend them though). I've hooked every fish that hits them and stayed hooked until netted or released at the boat.

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Old 07-08-2019, 06:51 AM   #15
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

We all like to think every fish that hits is a fish we want to land but in reality, they are not. The hookup ratio for bigger fish is much greater but we need to sort through a lot of small fish, missed bites (that we don't want) to get there. Worrying about what we can do differently to increase the number of hookups may disappoint if successful. Be careful what you wish for.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

I thought the same thing a few years back and tied mooching rigs with a #5 on the first hook and then a #6 circle hook on the second position.


From what I remember I was retaining and loosing about the same rate as before.


One noticeable difference is the sizing, a #6 circle hook has a fairly small opening compares to a traditional shaped hook so it makes one think there might not be an advantage but it would take some trial and error to really get a good answer on the benefits.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

One of the concerns is whether they are more difficult to remove once hooked. We always try to release while the fish is still in the water and sometimes that can be a struggle even with barbless Owners. (depending how hot the fish is).
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:47 AM   #18
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Bigger fish, less of a problem. I think smallish coho are responsible for most of the drive bys. I use 4/0 and 5/0 hooks. I have found that 3/0 hooks result in event more losses. I use owner super needle point but even with tight lines and motor still moving forward, a head shake the wrong way and out comes the hook with no barbs.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:58 PM   #19
ron m
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Today I fished a hootchie rigged with a circle hook, but it didn’t get hit, so no data from today. Maybe I should have fished it longer, but was wanting some bites!
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron m View Post
Today I fished a hootchie rigged with a circle hook, but it didn’t get hit, so no data from today. Maybe I should have fished it longer, but was wanting some bites!
ron m

Hey, that's good enough for me!
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:46 AM   #21
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

I am starting to tie up my hootchie rigs with a single 4/0-5/0 octopus hook for this season. I put a bobber stop (either tie on a nail knot or run a rubber egg stop) on my leader to provide my spacing for the hootchie and hook.

And, yes, I run my hook about an inch below the end of my hootchie. The ole' hangback. I have had it with fish pinning themselves shut when I am fishing in Puget Sound. I hate the thought of killing fish I cant keep.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:58 AM   #22
Jimmy Carl Black
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingSlew View Post
Sharpen the point of your hooks so that they stick in your thumbnail when you lightly pull them across. They aren't sharp enough, right out of the box.
For hoochies I use a single 5/0 VMC Octopus live bait hook w/barb mashed down. No beads, just a skirt & hoochie. I get damn few drive-bys. Fish are usually hooked solidly in the corner of the mouth. Most all of my hooked fish come to the boat to be netted or released.

Additional advice below: (Given though not requested...)

No "hook setting"! Just isn't necessary.
Most fish are lost due to the drag being too tight, so loosen the drag after the strike.
If he's trying to make it to the bottom, let him. I don't believe anyone's ever been spooled by a Silver.
Smaller fish are more likely to throw the hook, try to keep them in the water. Avoid aerial somersaults. Loosen the drag, this is effective.
Be patient. Do not tighten that drag while you're netting.
Please overlook my presumptiveness...
Hey King do you pretty much always keep in gear with coho on the hook?
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:14 AM   #23
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What knots are you tying onto siwash hooks?
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:11 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by newportfisher View Post
What knots are you tying onto siwash hooks?
I use a "Springer knot". See this video:

easy to tie, and won't come loose.

J
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:29 AM   #25
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Thanks for sharing that......I am going to use that one, and I am a knot retard.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:35 PM   #26
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Yea, thanks a bunch. Like the compact size.


Typical knot for me is the improved SDJ. If the Springer is as easy to tie as the video indicates, I would be willing to change.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:52 PM   #27
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Carl Black View Post
Hey King do you pretty much always keep in gear with coho on the hook?
Never! First thing I do, after I grab the rod out of the rod holder and loosen the drag, is put the boat in neutral and shut the engine off. I can better then feel what the fish is up to.
Coho like to start with acrobatics on the surface. I give the fish it's head and just stay engaged with gentle pressure until it tires. When they start to sound I let them go. I don't tighten the drag to bring a tired fish to the boat, I just pinch the line down on the rod. Gentle pumps while retrieving line. Then, if it wants to make another run when it sees the boat, I just let it go...
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:23 PM   #28
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

I use the palomar knot, but after seeing the springer knot I may switch.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:53 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Carl Black View Post
Hey King do you pretty much always keep in gear with coho on the hook?
Here's a video that's pretty representative of my style...

Action at: 6:50 and 21:20

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Old 07-10-2019, 09:08 PM   #30
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Thanks King, very good info. Going back Fri, Saturday, maybe Sunday.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:34 PM   #31
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Default Re: Hooks for salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Evens View Post
I can't be the only ex commercial salmon troller who prefers the single big salmon hook with a hoochie. I'm not sure of the Mustad number, but the were and likely still are a standard among commy's. At least a 7/0, and more likely an 8/0, I still have a few from 50years ago. They get bit, drive by's are rare. These are big hooks, compared to most. My finger easily fits in the crook of the hook to turn the hook for release.
8/0, siwashed, and point bent slightly inward between the pinched barb and tip of point.
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