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I am going to give circle hooks a try this year and was wondering if anyone has a recommended hook size? I was thinking about going with 4/0 but am not sure if that will be too large. I'd still like to be able to catch an occasional walleye so I am not sure if I should go smaller or try the 4/0.

Does anyone have experience with them on tip ups?
 

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I think that 4/0 would work, however I'm not so sure that circle hooks are the way to go. In order for the circle hooks to work properly, the bait(I'm assuming a shiner or other type of pike minnow) has to be completely in the fish's mouth. Then as you reel or in your case pull, the line through the fish's mouth, the point of the hook catches on the corner of the mouth. the pressure on the point of the hook forces a hook set in the corner or top of the mouth literally, 99% if the time. I guess what I'm getting at is you would have to get the pike to have already swallowed the minnow and then pull in your line fast enough to get a decent hook set. I'm not saying it can't be done but i will stick with regular hooks. As for the walleye, in the summer when i use circle hooks for smallmouth, i use a bigger hook that 4/0 and still catch walleye. just use whatever you feel comfortable with. Let me know how the circle hooks work
 

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fishindude said:
I guess what I'm getting at is you would have to get the pike to have already swallowed the minnow and then pull in your line fast enough to get a decent hook set.
The trick with a circle hook is to NOT pull fast to set the hook. That way, it slides along the inside of the fish's mouth and only digs in as it is leaving. I have been using them on tip ups for a couple of years with great results. I let the fish run, when it stops I count to 5 and then give the line a firm steady pull (about as fast as zipping up your coat). The hook has ended up in the corner of the mouth each time. When I forgot once and set the hook with a more typical sharp pull, I buried the hook in the fish's gills.
I also do use smaller than 4/0. I honestly don't remember the size, but I would suggest going down a couple sizes. Maybe try 4/0 on one set, smaller on another....?

Good luck,
DaveW
 
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