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Where to hook bait?

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I have been missing a lot of fish this year. I use a 6/O Gamakatsu circle hook with five to six inch bullheads and creek chubs and hook them through the tail. It seems that all of the cats are grabbing it up to the hook and then dropping it. Where should I be hooking them or what are some other options?

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I have always used a quick strike rig for cats. I snell the number six and put on a small 2x strong treble on the tag end. I tie my rigs to match the bait. I add a bead and a spiner and leave a foot on the front end before the swivel. Pryamid sinker goes on main line first and then a bead and then I tie on the quick stike rig. I make up the rigs at home in various sizes and wrap them on a felt board and secure them with velcro.

I have yet to have a big cat swallow a quick strike, becuse no matter what way the bait goes in, the second or trailing hook catches on a part of the mouth before the first hook can make it down the gullet.

When using a single hook I have had many fish swallow the bait all the way down.

It think that most short strikes are just smaller cats. The big ones don't mess around. When that gapping maw opens the sucktion is tremendous. I used to watch flatheads come up into my slip at Sunnyside during the mayfly hatch. They would come to the surface and open there mouths an inch or two and flair their gills and the mayflies would suck in from a big area.

We used to drop a hook into the swirl and hold on for dear life. A cat in a slip made a huge rocus. Our night was usually cut short,ineviteably, a blue hair would complain to security and we would be forced to call it a night. Hans

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Your point is very valid on the lack of habitat in much of southern MN as it is in much of the old zone 4 area. Each area of the state has a different "hole in the bucket". While that area lacks habitat, many other areas, including mine, have plenty of habitat, but lack high quality food to get the herd thru hard winters.
    • Leech,  I think many areas in WI have herds that have declined just as much as MN. I hunt SE of Turtle Lake, and used to see 25+ deer on opening morning before 9am on a regular basis. Now I feel good if I see a few critters the whole weekend. The many years of "T" seasons, "Herd control, and liberal antlerless tags have  dropped numbers in that area to a fraction of what they once were. It is what it is. I don't think they are doing better than MN is, but they started with a lot larger herd.  Their wolf issues will continue in the north, and CWD in the south. I don't envy their situation either.   FYI,  My land sits on the south end of the wolf range in NE Wadena county, MN. They generally do not bother my area except in the spring during calving season, although I have two of the buggers wandering around last November during rifle hunting. I usually have way more issues with coyotes and bears taking my fawns than wolves. 
    • I like sustainability as well. We party hunting and while that is a dirty word to many of the solitary hunters it's what we do. We never deplete the deer in our area and it's rare for us to fill even half our tags. Nobody gets more tags than one in our area.  I did actually make a solid proposal- habitat. But nobody took a moment to even touch that one.   I'm not sure if you are familiar with the southern part of the state but here is very little habitat outside of the southeast region. You just can't maintain the numbers to hold the numbers of deer that you need to get to where everyone who wants to harvest a deer can do so.   There was one specific post calling for an end to party hunting.   Habitat, habitat, habitat.   We should be focusing on improving habitat, bringing youth into the lifestyle and providing a positive public image to ensure future generations can enjoy hunting as well.    
    • Big Dave2, Just throwing the no party hunting out there as one possible solution. I certainly do not advocate getting rid of it. There are several other things being thrown around out there that I don't agree with as well.
    •   I would bet some cash there is a ton of lady bugs that wintered in there!
    • Well i wasn't sure if its the glue in the plywood or what. Have they been known to do tge same to a cedar or redwood built house?
    •   Op, ran off to the Sportsman show with my son before posting the map that went with my post.    Satchmo, I didn't think you were saying that Wisconsin was doing anything better.  It's just a lot of folks hold them up as a better state for Deer when there are a lot of factors our DNR has to deal with that they don't.   Good thread. Lot's of close personal feelings being shared.
    •   Improvements for you are not necessarily improvements for everyone.     Who advised you to do that? I didn't hear anyone give out that advice.     No one called you a name at all. Seems like you are being a little dramatic today especially since it is the "meat hunter" label that is really disparaging these days.     So you want changes only where it will benefit your way of hunting?
    •   Ummmmmm, I think you should read your posts and Wanderer's posts again.....      
    • Been a busy morning. Kettle if soup, venny neck roast for deer camp 2018, and Chinese chicken for supper tomorrow. Sure hope the photography passes leech approval.