Over time, there have been tremendous changes in the ways of fishing by professional fishermen as well as recreational anglers. The last few decades have badly affected fishing in terms of commercial overfishing resulting in declining fish stocks, pollution, and habitat loss; however, there have also been some positive changes in fishing methods.
In recent years, the use of circle hooks has brought about a huge change in the world of fishing. Due to bag and size limits on recreational anglers’ fishing in recent times, at least half of the catches are released in the water, and most of these released fish need to survive.
According to studies, mouth-hooked fish have a survival rate of close to 100% upon release, but this number decreases for fish that swallow hooks. In this article, we are going to discuss how circle hooks are better than other types of hooks and how to correctly use them.
How Are Circle Hooks Better Than Their Counterparts?
Circle hooks have been designed in a way to be specifically located in the jaw hinge of fish, ensuring a high percentage of their mouth hookups. Hence, circle hooks are very effective for use with live or dead baits for most recreational fish species.
In game fishing, circle hooks lead to improved hook-up rates over traditional J hooks, and as a result, their use has increased worldwide for fishing bait for many gamefish species.
How to Use Circle Hooks in the Correct Way
The main difference between traditional J hook patterns and circle hook patterns is that circle hooks don’t require any effort on the angler’s part to set the hook. In the majority of cases, you just let the fish hook itself.
All you need to do is just learn not to strike, allowing the circle hooks to position in the fish’s jaw hinge as the fish tries to swim away with the bait.
While game fishing with a lever drags overhead reels, slowly ease the drag lever up as the fish swims away with the bait until the rod is fully loaded up. For freshwater fishing, simply let the rod load up in the rod holder. After the fish takes the bait, pick up the outfit and wind into the fish slowly.
Don’t make the mistake of quickly winding at the fish, as it will rip the circle hook out of the fish’s mouth before it gets a chance to set itself in the jaw hinge.
Once you learn this art of slowly easing the pressure, you will see an improvement in the hook-up rates with circle hooks.
Circle Hook Rigging
While rigging circle hooks, take into account the main consideration of freedom of movement, which remains the main reason for hooks to roll into the fish’s mouth.
For this reason, most game anglers using live or dead baits with circle hooks use relatively long bridle rigs.
This rig ensures the hook has maximum freedom of movement on one hand while the hook gape remains free, ensuring a jaw hinge hook-up.
All kinds of dead baits work well on circle hooks, as long as the hook gap remains clear. Strip baits, either of fish flesh or squid pieces, leave the hook gape-free, allowing the circle hook to roll in the fish's mouth.
Types of Circle Hooks
There are two main types of circle hook patterns available: offset and non-offset hooks. We have different types of circle hooks available at White Water Fishing Supply.
Max-Catch 12/0 Stainless Steel Circle Hooks
These are ideal for catfish trotline setup, used for catching Golden Tilefish, Red Snapper, and Grouper and suitable for both deep drop fishing and bottom longline.
- Made of stainless steel, hence durable.
- 3/0 nickel-plated brass crane swivel that ensures optimal performance.
- 10-degree reversed-offset design along with a built-in swivel ensures natural bait movements while reducing the risk of bottom snags.
Max-Catch 13/0 Stainless Steel Circle Hooks
Just like Max-Catch 12/0, these are also ideal for catfish trotlines, used both for bottom longline and deep drop fishing.
- Superior stainless steel construction that provides corrosion resistance.
- Razor-sharpness ensures easy piercing through the tough mouth of a catfish.
- The built-in 3/0 nickel-plated swivel allows for effortless movement of the hook and bait, luring even the most cautious catfish by mimicking natural prey movements.
Whether you are doing recreational rod-and-reel fishing through setting trotlines or jug lines or involved in commercial longline operations targeting Grouper or Red Snapper in deep waters, Max-Catch circle hooks work ideally.
Of the different kinds of hooks available on the market, circle hooks are the best. Just use them in the right way, slowly pulling back the hook, using the long rigs, and filling the bait to ensure the hook gape remains unencumbered.
Also, making your trotline tight and using float rigs and short leaders increases the number of fish hooked in their jaws.
Try Max-Catch 12/0 and 13/0 stainless steel hooks with built-in swivels to increase the chances of catching maximum catfish.