Most of us flathead chasers fish large live baits and most of us have lost fish when on the hook set the hook rotates in the bait and instead of hooking the fish it buries itself back into the bait. We end up pulling the bait right back out of the fish’s mouth instead of pulling the hook clear of the bait and into the fish’s mouth.
For years I have been playing around with bridle rigs which are designed to ensure a clean hook set and eliminate the hook getting buried back into the bait. I’ve bought all kinds of different kinds of birdle rigs and even made my own from safety pins and other McGyver’d types of bridle rig setups with limited success.
Last year I stumbled on the Gerry Rig Live Bait Clip and bought my self about 15 or so to try out. I had very good success with the Gerry Rig and what I liked the most was that they are relatively inexpensive – Gerry Rig (5 Pack) for just $5.95. Price includes shipping and handling. The Gerry Rig works great on circle hooks and that is all I use for catfishing so I don’t have any experience with J hooks. At about $6 you don’t have that much to lose by giving them a try – they may help you put a big fish in the boat. Here is the link to the Gerry Rig website: http://www.livebaitclip.com/
Here are a few photos of the live bait clip: