DON'T SET THE HOOK, LET THE FISH DO IT..........You've got to resist the primal urge to yank back on your rod to set the hook. Instead, allow the fish to take the bait and swim away. Slowly increase drag pressure until the line comes tight, then lift the rod tip slowly. You can also wind the line tight but don't crank like crazy. Slow and steady does it. You don't want to pull the bait out of the fishes mouth which is easy to do when it's coming straight at you. The optimum is to have that fish swimming AWAY from you while coming tight.
START WITH LIGHT DRAG PRESSURE..........As a rule, I'll always set my initial drag at roughly 25% the strength of my main line. So, if that's 20lb test, I'll set the drag at 5lbs. If it's 30, I'll go about 7lbs of drag. As the line strength goes up, I'll limit the initial drag to no more than 10lbs. Light drag pressure doesn't let the fish 'feel' the line pull so it's less likely to turn towards that pull. Instead, they'll take the bait and turn which is what you want.
USE ROD POSITION TO ENHANCE THE HOOK UP..........A critical component of getting solid hook ups when using circle hooks is rod position. Never lift that rod tip much past waist high. Better yet, keep it pointed slightly downward towards the water and find out which way the fish is going. If it goes left, point the rod low and right. If it goes right, low and left.
SNELL YOUR CIRCLE HOOKS HELPS..........Sure, you can just toss a perfection loop or an clinch knot at that circle hook, but it won't be as effective as it should be. By snelling the hook and having the leader come back thru the hook's eye you create a directional force that drives the hook point into your prey once you come tight.