Circle hooks are a type of fish hook which is sharply curved back in a circular shape. These hooks have become widely used among anglers in recent years in mainland states because the hook generally catches more fish and is rarely swallowed.
The concept of circle hooks is yet to take off in Tasmania, but myself and others are trying to educate anglers about the benefits of using these great hooks. The circle hook's unique shape allows it to only hook onto an exposed surface, which in the case of a fish means the corner of its mouth. The fish takes the baited hook and swallows it, and as the hook is reeled in, it is safely pulled out of the fish until it reaches the mouth. At this point it will catch the corner of the mouth of the fish, resulting in fewer gut-hooked fish. This is in itself a great thing as catch and release is a more viable option as the fish is less likely to swallow the bait or lure into its stomach.
Small bream will eat anything as do the larger ones. - Carl Hyland
In some cases, this can benefit anglers as sharp teeth (such as on sharks and other species) can cause injury to anglers fingers. A pair of pliers is often all that is required to remove a circle hook from the fish’s mouth.
One must remember it is important to not strike, which is very hard to do, when the fish bites, but rather just reel in. The act of striking while using a circle hook often results in the hook being pulled out of the fish altogether and the complete loss of the fish. So it really is a matter of developing a technique where you basically watch the rod and let the fish hook itself.
Circle hooks have been shown to increase the survival rate of released fish. With their success already proven for many game fish species, these hooks are now used increasingly for many other common recreational species including bream, flathead, trout and even barramundi. Many case studies have shown that fish that are gut hooked have little or no chance of recovery if released as the hooks tend to puncture vital organs or do irreparable damage that is not always evident at release.
So what is a circle hook?
CIRCLE HOOK - Carl Hyland
A circle hook is a fishing hook manufactured so that the point is turned back to the hook shank to form a generally circular, or oval, shape. Light leaders can be used as the line is generally away from abrasive mouths or teeth.
Circle hooks bring about many benefits for anglers, but they do require a few minor changes to your normal fishing techniques.
Make sure you don’t hide the hook point in the bait as the hook point is needed to penetrate the fish’s cheek or lips. Some people think that large hook, catches big fish but this is not quite as I have had tremendous success using 1/0 circle hooks on trout in wattle grubs as bait. As I mentioned earlier, pliers are used to remove the circle hook without damaging the fish’s throat cavity or gut. I have yet to try circles on lures, but I would imagine that they would work. Such lures as the cobras from Sting Lures, lend themselves to single hooks and are often more effective when used with a single. I feel circles would only enhance the hookup rate. I do note that these cobras have been used and sold in the past with tru-turn hooks which have a similar action to circles in that they are designed to turn in the fishes mouth and lip hook.
I thoroughly recommend anglers trying circle hooks, I reckon once you have tried them and caught fish on them, you won’t go back to ordinary hooks!
by Carl Hyland
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10:51 AM Sat 22 Sep 2012GMT
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