Hollie Alvarez Hooks May 09th, 2019 - 13:30:21
Although it is difficult to police given the resources of the coastal patrol vessels, it is peer enforced by both the sportfishing industry and the commercial fishing operations in the waters. The longliners operate outside the territorial waters and so are more difficult to enforce - but certainly the ban within the patrolled waters has given the fishery off Guatemala a distinct advantage over neighboring countries.
Setting the hook, especially aggressively, with this style hook will almost surely make the hook slide and miss initially, and oftentimes into a place where it's being firmly held by the strong grip of the sailfish and not embedded in the fleshy parts. It actually feels like you've stuck the fish well in most instances. However, a gradual tightening of the line with steady pressure almost always lets the hook find its mark. It's the same with "J" style hooks, however, the advantage in sharpness out of the box goes to today's upturned beak style hooks, and, they almost never straighten out based on the physics
Hooks are hooks in most anglers' minds. They figure they either need a big one or a small one, depending on the fish they are pursuing. Lots of anglers go through life completely missing the importance of using not only the right size sea hook, but probably most importantly the right type of sea hook.
There are two basic types of circle hook available to fishermen and commercial fishing boats in Guatemala, the offset and non-offset. The latter have been used for over 20 years in the commercial Central America and Guatemalan longline industry - as obviously in the vast majority of cases the fishermen are not present when the fish is actually taking the bait, and so they found and developed a hook that was capable of self-hooking on a consistent basis in the rich fishing territory off the coats of Costa Rica and Guatemala. It was found that circle hooks and J-hooks displayed similar catch rates, but that 98% of fish were caught in the jaw with circle hooks.
Hooks vary in size, shape and color so go for the hook that is best for the fish you are targeting. If you're not sure, ask the people in your local fishing store. Some fish are supposedly attracted to red hooks (some sand varieties of fish target bloodworms and can be attracted to the red color of the hook) but a plain silver hook will usually do.
Circle hooks and J-hooks are the two most commonly found types of saltwater bait hooks. There is an ongoing debate by saltwater anglers as to whether circle hooks are better than J-hooks and I believe each have their own advantages when fishing in different conditions and scenarios. Saltwater hooks often come pre-sharpened and are designed to corrode over time, causing little harm to those fish that were lucky enough to have won a battle with a heart-broken fisherman.