Do you love big bluegill?
Don't know if there's catfish where you were fishing Jason but they do a pretty good job slipping those nibbles......I like a circle hook for those bait stealers......I present different baits different ways depending on how I'm fishing that particular day....
As Jeffrey stated, circle hook is the way to go for bait stealers. I concur that the crappie nibbles are great for panfish, because there are ingredients, which you can make yourself, composed of "shrimps". Yep..shrimps..beside the other amino acids and lipids to attract the fish even more. However, these little thing get so saturated that it get ripped off easily. The suggestion most anglers geared for is a #16 treble hooks. I don't like using treble hooks, but it's a sure fire to catch the bait stealers.
Jason, we may think the fish are foolish and stupid as they grab our baits without thinking. Bruce, Tony, Walt, and the rest of the fish whisperers and hunters know that they evolve..oooohh..do they evolve. I'm not surprised if they're laughing their heads off as they took a branch, poked the baits off, and grabbed the line a few inches above the hook and yanked it.
In seriousness, best to have the hook buried half way inside the nibble, while exposing the hook's tip for a good chance of a hookset if the fish decides to run. Reduce the total size of the nibbles to prevent stealing, since the small piece of nibble will increase the chance of hook engulfment.
Reducing the size of the nibbles works well. I cut each nibble in half to make a short cylinder. I put them into an empty waxworm container that is not airtight. This lets the nibble dehydrate slightly, making it much tougher.
I use them on home-tied feather jigs and/or plastic body (Mini-Mite etc.). I put the tip of the hook completely through the nibble & slide the nibble to the hook bend. Works great for me on both crappies & for B.gills.
hit the same place this evening right at dark for maybe 30-45 minutes; used 1'' gulp minnows (smelt) tipped with glow chartreuse nibbles, caught 2 bg's and had a bump were the fish didn't commite fully; i was happy considering i rushed home just to fish for that length of time; standing there in bibs and a hoodie and catching a fish made me happy; haha
I fish with these a lot. Primarily for crappie and gills. Color is essential. Use the same color as your favorite jig head. Crappie seem to always strike from behind the lure and run towards my yak. Usually all you feel is a slight tap. Gills tend to strike and turn. Making gills easier to catch. Learn to set the hook every time you fill a tap. A slight twitch of the wrist on a 7' rod is all it takes. Don't wait for the fish to turn. Your not bass fishing. I believe the niblets double my catch.
I use crappie nibbles and have had great success on them. You will miss fish, and they will get the nibble. Russ Baily from Midwest Crappie tv show has a syringe in which you inject the nibbles into the plastic. It works great on hollow tubes, because you fill up the hollow area. On other plastics make a hole in the plastic with the syringe and fill up the hole. You can use a regular syringe, and a needleless medication prep cannula to inject the nibbles into the plastics. I have to admit sometimes it is a pain, but you don't have to put nibbles on every cast.
I might have to give in and buy some of those nibbles. Heck, nothing else from Berkley does much good for me; maybe these will.
Thanks for the good usage tips, guys. I really like the idea of stuffing them in a tube.
They are definitely "bait stealers". Fish that are accustomed to high fishing pressure 'learn' after awhile. They don't always take the hook. I've observed the gills approach my offering and from a very small distance, literally suck the bait off the hook without getting hooked. I've seen this a hundred times over the years. My fix has been to keep going to a smaller hook size until I get the right size so that when they suck the bait they also suck in the hook. I have also went to circle hooks for increased hooking ratios.
Where do you get teensy-tiny, brim sized circle hooks?