Kitty Gordon Hooks May 15th, 2019 - 13:33:25
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.
First, use common sense. As simple as that may sound, I can't tell you the number of times I have seen people make some really bad hook choices. Match the hook size with the fish! Second, use some trial and error and learn from your mistakes. No one became a good fisherman overnight. All of us had to learn either from someone else or by trial and error. Thirdly, get a good brand of hook, such as Sakuma or Mustad. Try to avoid cheap hooks for the reason that they are just not up for the job, you don't want to let that fish of a life time get away because of a crap hook bend out on you! If you are going to spend any money on Terminal tackle you hooks should be the number one first choice.
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!
Finally, to all of you who are new to fishing, try taking these examples and build your learning experiences upon them. Trial and error are often the best teachers in any skill.
Circle hooks are designed to hook the fish without much rod movement by the angler. Just leave it in the rod holder and as the line gets tight and the rod bows down, the pressure penetrates the hook into the corner of the mouth of the fish and the fight is on. I felt this was a no brainer in current areas, but I tried to picture how these specialized hooks were going to work in lakes without current. I tried to imagine how a fish swims off the bait in a lake as opposed to a river. Without current, the fish could swim in any direction with the bait. The fish might swim at your boat or they might swim crossways with your boat, making a tight line hook up with a circle hook very difficult. A year ago I learned from some other catfishermen that Daiichi came out with a modified circle hook that would work in all situations. If the fish didn't swim away from the boat, the angler could still set the hook on the fish! Last year I gave the new circle hook called the Circle Hook Lite a try.
Fish hooks also come in several types. Knowing a few of the more popular ones and their uses can help you be successful: