YUM Money Craw nose hooked on a 2/O Daiichi Bleeding Bait Circle Hook would catch at least one fish today. Within a few minutes of launching the boat Nathaniel and I could tell that it would work pretty well.
I already knew from a few days ago that pond conditions were right for fish to attack a Money Craw, rigged weightless and swam steadily. Last week I used an offset worm hook and rigged it weedless. However, I missed a lot of solid strikes, so that made me wonder about the idea of rigging it open with a circle hook. I've nose-hooked the same circle hooks in soft-plastics before with excellent success, but I wasn't positive how the Money Craw would swim or whether the pond's many stumps would cause problem.
As it turned out, the bait swam perfectly, my hook-up ratio was vastly improved, and I only snagged stumps twice. The bait also stayed in better condition than it did with the worm hook, when I had to set the hook hard, and it repeatedly slid down the hook. We fished for an hour or more today, and I caught several bass, but I only used one Money Craw.
One snagged stump actually provided one of the outing's most fun moments. I was snagged and Nathaniel was navigating the johnboat toward the stump I was on. Suddenly I felt tugging and I reacted with a hookset. Of course, I missed the fish because hooksets don't work well with circle hooks, but Nathaniel had been looking in the water at the time, watching my bait so he could push the boat closer, and he saw a bass swim up and snatch the Money Craw right off the stump!