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rocknfish9001

CATFISHERMAN, I NEED YOU!!!

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Me and my buddy were targeting flatheads last night. We had at least a dozen hits, no hookups, give me some help here! We were using live bluegill, between 3 and 5 inches

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How were you rigging the bluegill?  What kind of hooks?

I usually use octopus or circle hooks...cant remember the size.  We hook bluegill through the tail or lips.  A lot of times when we are missing a lot of fish we just let them swallow it.  Lately we have been missing a lot of fish and they ended up being gar.  

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I tried hooking them with large octopus or kale hooks either in the tail, or near the head. I guess it could be gar, since we ended up catching one that went 34 inches that day. It wasnt even hooked, it just got the line wrapped around its mouth.

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If they are just "hits", don't set the hook right away.  Flatheads will sometimes mess with your bait and kill it, and then come back maybe a half an hour later to pick it up.  You just have to be patient, and don't get too anxious.  They are also shy when it comes to resistance, so if you aren't using a circle hook, use a bait clicker, or leave a little slack in the line.

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Are you fishing in a lake or in a river? My experience has led me to just let the lake cats just mess with it until they decide to take off with it, where as I tend to actively set the hook when fishing for cats in the Chattahoochee river.

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Its in a river, but its just below the dam, and there is very little current. We would see a hit usually, and wait until the rod starts to bow down and look as if the fish is about to rip it into the water, then hit it. I was going to buy some circle hooks today, since all of the ones we had were quite dull. It was pretty hard to get it through the baitfish with both hands, and i am almost positive that was a big reason for the missed fish as well, but we were also using 8 1/2' heavy rods. As far as resistance goes, my one friend was using the bait clicker, and it worked fairly well. I just had a slip sinker, so the line could travel through it, paired with a long rod with a fairly soft tip.

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I bet you anything it was the gar that was hitting.  We were gettin some hard hits a couple weeks ago catfishin that we thought were cats....all ended up bein gar...i brought 2 in and about  a month1/2 ago I caught 2 more that we thought were cats.

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I use blue gill filet or sometimes live. Or liver if I want a quick fish. Trick is with mud slugs. Let them run with it. If they dont make your clicker go off or a bell on the tip of the pole. Then they arent big enough to mess with.  :D

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Almost everything was already said, but my guesses:

Dull hooks will kill you every time.

Gar are difficult to catch when you are targetting cats, especially with dull hooks.

With very little current, you may be having the same problem I found here. As soon as a fish feels the pole, they don't want anything to do with it any more. Baitclickers really shine here. Around here the fish usually don't hit hard enough for circle hooks either, so baitclickers become even more important.

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