While the “J.” style hook remains one of the most popular hooks on the market, the circle hook has also gained a lot of attention over the last 10 years. In fact, many anglers have discovered the circle hook can increase the likelihood that of fish will survive a catch and release.
Between 95% and hundred percent of the time, circle hooks will catch of fish in the corner of the mouth. In those cases where fish completely swallows the hook, the hook can easily slip through the gullet and not catch the underlying tissue. The theory behind this hook is that once it hits the corner of the mouth, it turns and the whole point catches and penetrates.
The key to accomplishing a proper set hook with the circle hook is to avoid setting it. In fact, more anglers go wrong the first few times they use circle hooks. Anglers have become so accustomed to setting a hook, that they often have difficulty overcoming the urge to rear back fast and hard as soon as they feel a strike. The most effective way to use this hook, is once you feel the fish fight slowly lift your rod tip and fight with your fish. While this might seem like a fairly simple process, the secret to making it work is to resist the urge to set the hook.
Circle hooks work equally as well with live or dead bait. What is important, is choosing the appropriate sized hook so that a sufficient length of the point is exposed preventing the bait from interfering with rotating action. This is necessary to allow the hook sufficient room to pull against the job of the fish.
In order to understand the mechanics of the circle hook, take a 24 and piece of fishing line and a saltwater circle hook. Use the 5/0 or larger for the best results. They could be with your thumb with your hand raised in front of you. Once you’ve done this, hold the line, dropped the hook onto the palm side of your hand, and make sure the line is flying across the V. This will give you a visual of the hook as it sits inside the fish’s mouth with the “V.” in the corner. At that time, slowly draw the hook up to your palm towards the “V.”. Watch until you see the hook may contact with the skin between your thumb and forefinger. At that point, you should see the hook start to rotate towards the point – this will expose the point to your skin. Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of how the hook works and why a traditional hook will not work.
One of the benefits of circle hooks is that it’s pretty hard to shake them loose from fighting fish. The closed edge does not allow the hook to back out of the job. Overall, this is a great hook design. Once you resist the urge to hook, you’ll find that you save money on lost hooks that wind up in the gut a fish and you’ll also be able to help sustain your fishing area by releasing fish with a strong chance of survival.
GoPro: Large Mouth Bass Fishing.