Circle Fishing Hooks
A circle fishing hook has a point that is curved in like a beak at about a 90-degree angle. It has been used with amazing results by long-line commercial fishermen for more than 20 years. Studies conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on halibut off Nova Scotia show that circle fishing hooks caught almost twice as many fish as traditional hooks. Just as important, the survival of released halibut using circle hooks was near 75 per cent. Among sport fishermen in parts of Florida, circle hooks are popular for tarpon, marlin, tuna, and striped bass. In areas off the U.S. West Coast, the National Fisheries Service has made barbless circle hooks mandatory for live-bait salmon fishing.
How a circle fishing hook works is ingenious. Suppose you're fishing for halibut with squid bait. After a halibut sucks in the bait, it turns and starts to swim away. As the line becomes tight the bait is pulled from inside to the corner of the mouth. As tension increases, the hook point rotates and pierces the corner of the mouth. Once hooked, the unique shape makes it virtually impossible for fish to shake free. For catch-and-release situations, the advantages are obvious: no more hooks lodged deep in the gullet; and an overall reduced mortality, without any loss in hook-ups. You might have noticed
The way to set the hook goes against accepted principles. A sharp tug on the initial hit would pull bait on a circle hook out of a fish's mouth. Experienced circle hook fishermen simply point the rod tip at fish and gently take up slack. The fish hook themselves.
Compared to other types of fishing hooks, the circle hook is best for catch-and-release. Conventional fishing hooks have a higher kill rate because they can easily damage gut or gill. Supertackle provides quality stainless steel Zap hooks for the halibut and black cod commercial fishermen. Sport fishermen are slowly shifting over the circle hooks as the halibut in B.C. now have a maximum catch size to protect the larger resident female halibut. There are no rules as yet regarding hook types for halibut but a circle hook will insure less damage and easier release.
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