I’m a novice when it comes to smallmouth fishing with sucker minnows in the fall. I’ve done it a few times and had some success using Gamakatsu finesse wide gap hooks in the 2/0-3/0 size and also some Gamakatsu circle hooks or octopus hooks. I’m just wondering what other anglers are using. Also, what are you doing when the smallie picks up the sucker? Do you give the fish a few seconds to run or do you set the hook right away?
Also wondering if the mood of fish makes a difference on hooks or hook sets. If they pick up the minnow and move slowly, do you give them more time before setting the hook vs. a more aggressive bite where they grab the minnow and run fast or just hammer the minnow? I want to maximize hook-ups but more importantly never want to deep hook them.
One more question….how does using like an original floating Rapala or husky jerk on a long leader behind a worm weight work this time of year? Basically just replace the sucker minnow with a stick bait. It seems like a stick bait would prevent gut hooking.