How exactly do you fish with circle hooks?

Reel Newbie

Well-Known Member
Never tried them really, just found a couple older decent sized ones that I can use for sharks and rays. Also found a new pack of 2/0 and 5/0 gamakatsus in my tackle stash, thinking of using those for halibut or striper. Thing is, how am I supposed to fish with them? I know you’re not supposed to set the hook, but how are you supposed to get a hookset? Do we just let the fish go?


Well-Known Member
Wind in all the slack and 'lean back' into the fish. If fishing vertically (i.e. a boat or tall pier), I've found that I can still somewhat set the hook, especially if it is an offset circle.


Well-Known Member
basically you have the reel drag loose or on "bait runner" mode. Let the fish take off with it. Then gradually full your rod to increase tension and the running fish will hook itself. No need to do the old lake bass fishing dude home run swing.

Red Fish

Senior Member
Set a couple pounds of drag with the rod in a rod holder. Not quite your fighting drag bur enough to pull the hook into the corner of the fish’s mouth when it bites the bait. When done ✅ correctly, the fish will set the hook itself and bend your rod down and strip drag off your line. No free-spool. Reel is engaged (clicker on if conventional) with light drag of aboug 2# of resistance.