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therookie

2 newbe questions

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just started this kitty thing the last two nights, and of course didn't have a problem the first night- 3 casts 3 fish, last night however i was just feeding the fish, just ended up with minnow heads. is there a trick or length of time to let the fish run before hookset and what size hooks work best for hookset as well as not gut hooking them. the fish i can find range from 5 to 10 lbs., and i have been using dead sucker minnows for bait. any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Coming back with part of fish is a good indication that the fish trying to eat your bait was small.

I would try downsizing both your bait and hook, or just chalk it up to small fish and either move, or wait for the bigger fish.

Usually with a cat 5lbs or bigger, they grab the bait and take off like a freight train. If you are seeing small peck after peck it’s more than likely a small fish or a turtle or something.

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^ I have reeled in my Chubs to discover the head has been eaten. The small bites definitely are usually turtles or Gar (depending on where you fish). Like mentioned already, when a nice sized cat takes the minnow they will swim away fast and you will know right away that it's a cat.

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Oh they dont always swim away fast or at all. sometimes just chomp chomp squish squish

Just from my very short Catfish experience, I have noticed every time a Catfish hits my bait, it takes off in full force the other direction. I leave no slack in my line, and when they bite my rod is instantly bending like crazy. I can even tell the difference now in bites on the river between all the different fish and turtles.

I totally believe that they sometimes don't take off like a rocket, I just haven't had that happen yet.

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"therookie" -

Are you fishing for flathead catfish or channel catfish??

Noticing your St Cloud location, I'm assuming Channels?

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thank you to everyone that responded,

yes i an fishing for channels on the cold spring chain off a dock with a night bobber.

from the responses it appears that the fish i could not hook is a combo of smaller fish and too big of bait/hook. what then is the optimum hook size for channels in the 5to 10 lb range. would rather not catch the smaller fish than gut hook the larger ones. thanks again for any responses.

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My hook size varies with bait size, but a 5/0 gamakatsu octopus-circle is my most commonly used hook for channels. The circle factor should reduce or nearly eliminate gut hooking them.

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