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Circle hooks for tip-ups

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Just wondering if anyone uses circle hooks on tip-ups for walleyes. I have too many missed hooksets with tip-ups and wonder if circle hooks would work better.


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I've had good results using circle hooks for walleye on tip-ups.

I would suggest upping the hook size by two (as compared to what you would use with a "normal" hook) when using circle hooks, whatever the species.

You'll have a larger gap when you upsize, and this allows the hook to slide up through the fish (if the hook is taken deep), and then find purchase on the lips/corner of the mouth of the fish.

I have found circle hooks to be a great tool for catch and release of both walleye and northern pike. I use about 50-50 QS rigs and circle hooks for northern, and I achieve approximately the same results with both: Good hook; minimal damage to the fish. In many cases the circle hook will cause less damage to northerns because there is just one penentration, and that in the corner of the mouth.

Warning: Using circle hooks may tempt you to skirt your duties when tending tip-ups. Don't let it happen. Be vigilant. You can lose a fish on a circle hook same as on any hook. It's always good to check your sets every 10-15 minutes or so just to make sure all systems are performing as they should above/under the ice.

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For pike and or walleye or Lake Trout try a Larger circle hook with a wider gap, adjust your tip-up tension/resistance a bit tighter. This works well on a Windless Tip-Up.....dial up the tension..hook gets set on the take.


The other rig that has high hook up ratio and very low unintended mortality is the Ready Rigs Quick Strike Rig, they use a Partridge VB style hook and is one NOT to let the fish run with..flag up..feel any tension...set the hook.

The Ready Rigs Quick Strike Rigs work excellent on the new Hook-Setter style Tip-Up's and Whip-Up/Slammer rigs. No gut hooked fish with these rigs, almost imposable to have happen.


I do not recommend treble hook style so called Quick Strike rigs, nearly guaranteed to have a gut hooked or gill hooked fish, and close to certain mortality.

Nor do I recommend Swede Hooks AKA (Norwegian smelt hooks), as they also inflict high delayed mortality due to punctures to the brain from the hook going through the top of the fish's mouth into the head/brain.

Hope this is of some help to you.

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Ed, I like that set up with the VB hools, I am going to check into them.

FWIW, I believe here in MN the "Hook Setter" and "Quick Strike" style tip up's are illegal. I'm pretty sure we can't use devices that automatically set the hook.

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a #4 will work for lakers and eyes. use a good quality chemically sharpened hook and u are set. glow color(white) seems to be the best for me.

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