Which Hooks Work Best with Croaker? - 2CoolFishing
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:00 AM   #1
warcat
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Which Hooks Work Best with Croaker?

My brother-in-law and I went out yesterday out of Bird Island, and headed south. We hit a couple of spots at the mouth of Baffin, and ended up with 5 trout to 21". Then headed north to the Lower Laguna (just south of Emmords) and caught another 5 trout to 22". All in all it was a good day, but we could have caught two full limits. The problem... missed hookups.

We fished with croaker, and I was using 3/0 circle hooks, and hooking up around 60% of the time (catching 7 of the 10 total), and my brother-in-law was only hooking up around 25% of the time (only catching the other 3), with smaller hooks. We'd both allow the fish to take the bait (free-lining) for a good 10 seconds before trying the hookset.

I don't think it was a technique problem, I think it may have been a hook problem. Which hooks work best for you? And at that, which techniques when fishing with croaker (in case I was doing something wrong)? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I can't help but wonder if any of the missed hookups wouldv'e been worth a boat or truck (CCA-STAR).......
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:23 AM   #2
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I use size 3 or 4 mustad croaker hooks depending on the size of the bait and haven't had much of an issue.

I usually do a carolina rig with a very light little slip weight above the swivel to kind of hold the croaker down just a little bit and then give him a couple of feet of fleuro leader so he has move to swim around and attract some attention.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:39 AM   #3
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4/0 Mustad Croaker hook works for me usually hooks them in the corner of the mouth with that bent eye
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:05 PM   #4
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I always thought you do NOT set the hook when using circle hooks, but rather let the hook set itself.
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:19 PM   #5
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I fished Baffin with a guide a couple weeks ago. We were using croaker on a 5/0 croaker hook. He said the catch rate is usually 1 in 3 on a good day.
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:30 PM   #6
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don't set the hook ...real down to it and just let it happen
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Marshall
don't set the hook ...real down to it and just let it happen
So, are you saying that I should not pull hard at any point?
What is your success rate doing it like this?

I'm willing to try anything if it will improve the catch rate. Some of the missed hookups felt real strong.... Especially one of them (I think it was a big red), but if it was a trout.... that one woulda been reeeeaaaaaalllly nice.
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:36 PM   #8
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Yo Warcat, 7/10 is 70% and sounds pretty successful to me. I'd be tickled to have that rate. Keep up the good work.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psalty
Yo Warcat, 7/10 is 70% and sounds pretty successful to me. I'd be tickled to have that rate. Keep up the good work.
Yeah, but I had more than 10 hits.... I guess i didn't explain it well in the original post. I did miss about 40-50% of the potential fish.

I'd like to be able to bring them all in, at least for a looksee... but I guess no one is THAT good. I'm really just looking for advice on brands/ sizes/ types of hooks you all are most successful with...
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:29 AM   #10
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i've had good luck with owner mutu light circle hooks for fishing with all kinds of live baitfish from crappie minnows to large piggies and croaker. i think the key is hooking them somewhere in the head because most fish eat other fish head first. i usually put the hook in the baitfish's mouth and come up and out between the eyes. it also keeps them alive much longer than hooking them behind the dorsal and dragging them backwards. and as stated before u don't want to set the hook. just reel tight and and when u know u have them give it a little pop. it definately takes practive and patience to fish with circles but it sounds like you're doing something right.....thomas
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