Angela Roman Hooks May 10th, 2019 - 12:58:58
As a consequence, if the fish has taken the bait past the bony elements of the outer mouth, there is a high probability of the hook catching and setting in soft tissue deep within the fish's gut or even in or close to vital organs.In the case of circle hooks however, instead of "setting" the hook by jerking the rod, the angler must apply steady pressure to the line, bringing it in slowly but steadily. If the angler jerks the rod to set the hook, the hook will often pull out of the fish's mouth and the angler will lose the fish. This is a technique that is somewhat counter-intuitive, and when faced with the thrill of a large billfish at close quarters is often easy to forget in the heat of the moment!
This might sound like a strange title for an article, but it seems to me that most people don't realize 'how to bait a hook'. Of course they can "thread" a worm or mold some synthetic bait onto a single hook, but is this really the most effective way to bait a hook? No it's not, it's just the way baiting a hook has been done for eons. The funny thing is that doing the way things have always been done, is rarely the best way to do something, and baiting a hook is no different.
Many trout fishermen don't pay nearly enough attention to their trout fishing hooks when fishing for the multi colored beauties known as trout. They seem to labor under the delusion that a "fishing hook is a fishing hook", without ever realizing that their hooks are almost as important as any single piece of fishing gear that they use while trout fishing.
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.
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.
I have heard complaints that the steel hooks are always cold, but with a minute of use, the steel warms up to the warmth from your hands. And if you are crocheting a doily or something in that line all that is recommended for a hook is a steel hook.