Pike Fishing

Circle hook for pike?

3/22/23 @ 2:36 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 4/30/19

I'm planning on pike fishing the shipping channel by Sturgeon Bay in early May. I'd like to drag smaller suckers and plan to release what I catch. I'm wondering if I were to use a circle hook in the 4.0 range  if would it prevent gut hooking the pike? Any thoughts or proper line "setups" help would be greatly appreciated. You can also PM me if preferred... Thanks!

Displaying 1 to 4 of 4 posts
4/13/23 @ 10:59 AM
User since 11/6/18
I wasn't a big believer in circle hooks until I started fishing in the Florida keys.They're required in certain areas. After the first couple years I used them everywhere,for every species---except when fishing for bait....Or,I suppose,drifting yellowtail jigs for yellowtail snapper.

Anything toothy...and any time I used "meat" for bait...ESPECIALLY when fishing C&R...Livebait or cutbait? Hooking percentage was just fine and dehooking was much easier for me and far safer for the fish....And since I always feel a little guilty when  fish slated for release is gut hooked,I enjoyed myself more when the only fish damaged are ones i plan on keeping.

4/10/23 @ 10:01 AM
PRO MEMBER User since 4/30/19
Thanks VERY much for your awesome response Clinchknot! That's exactly the information I was hoping to find out! 
4/7/23 @ 10:51 AM
User since 10/9/03
What size circle hook you use will depend on the size of the minnow.  I use circle hooks a lot in Autumn for smallmouth and sometimes for pike with medium suckers.

I find that you need a bigger circle hook than the same size for a plain shank hook.  for smallmouth I use size 4 plain shank for large shiners.  But a size 4 circle hook was too small!  I kept missing fish until I went to size 2 circle hook.  

For northerns I use 1/0 or 2/0 circle hooks.  My buddy has been usung circle hooks on tip[ ups with smelt for pike.  He uses a larger hook too.
I think size 4 may be too small for what you want to do but then again it depends on the size of the suckers you are using.

I rig mine with a lindy rig and 1/2 ounce slip sinker for bass.  For northern I use 3/4 ounce slip sinker due to the bigger sucker.  However I am fishing 18'-30' depths in Fall.  For spring pike I presume you may be going much shallower so a heavy sinker may not be needed.  Perhaps 3/8 or 1/2  ounce.   

Using a florocarbon leader?  I find 30 lb florcarbon works well for a leader.   Yes I have been cut off but we have caught pike up to 38" with it no issues most of the time.  My buddy nailed a 40" 3 years ago with a circle hook and 30 pound florocarbon leader.  Towed my boat for a bit until we got her tired out.  Then I wished I had a bigger net!  But we got it in.  Good Luck.
Displaying 1 to 4 of 4 posts
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