Cecilia Foley Hooks May 15th, 2019 - 13:03:08
Round hooks. These are the egg hooks and tuna circle hooks. The egg hook is a small short-shanked hook with a turned-out or turned-in eye almost exclusively used in river or lake fishing for trout using salmon egg as bait. Since salmon eggs bounce along the river bottom as they drift with the current, egg hooks are used so as not to impair this movement and impart an unnatural look to the bait eggs.
Whichever hook you prefer to use, remember that when setting the hook, two different methods should be utilized depending on the type of fishing hook being used. J-hooks should be set with a solid swing of the rod, while circle hooks should be allowed to set themselves with a simple engaging of the fishing reel. The pull and tug of the fish will cause a circle hook to slide down into the corner of the mouth and embed securely. Swinging the rod to set the hook with a circle hook will often lead to a pulled hook and disappointed anglers.This is one of the hardest things to remember when fishing with circle hooks. The adrenaline-rush from being picked up or bit causes most inexperienced anglers to immediately swing the rod in an attempt to hook the fish. Instead, anglers should calmly engage the reel, the same with both spinning and conventional reels, and slowly begin winding down into the fish, until the fish begins to pull drag from the reel. Only then should the angler lift the rod to begin the fight.
The "upturned beak" hooks have a little something in common with circle hooks that is worth mentioning here. Aside from the positive hooking mortality benefits that have made circle hooks so popular, they were also designed to pretty much work on their own in finding a soft spot to sink into, thus making hook setting not only unnecessary, but, counterproductive.
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.
A common misconception is that small trout hooks (size 8 to 12) aren't large enough to hook and land large trout. This is simply not true. Very large trout can and are hooked and landed using trout fishing hooks that are quite small. If you don't believe me, just ask any seasoned fly fisherman. Flea flickers have to use hooks that are very small to match certain hatches. Just as a reference, I regularly hook and land trout in the 3-5 pound range using size 10 gang hooks. When it comes to trout fishing hooks in most instances smaller is better.
This was based on a substantial amount of data that has demonstrated dramatically lower mortality rates when using circle hooks (2%) versus standard J hooks (almost 50%). This data has held true also for Guatemala when studies have been done by the sportfishing fleet using circle hooks. J-hooks in the past have been utilized for conventional fishing - casting plugs, trolling and bait fishing.When fishing with these type of hooks, it is usually necessary to "set" the hook using a strong upward movement of the fishing pole which conducts a strong force down to the hook and so drives the point and the barb in to any available soft tissue.