Kitty Gordon Hooks May 13th, 2019 - 13:15:14
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.
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.
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.
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
As a matter of fact, I will not go live bait fishing without multiple sets of pre-tied gang hooks. They are as much a part of my fishing repertoire as any of my fishing gear. When it comes to baiting a hook, gang hooks are the only way to go. I know, from experience, that gang hooks will out fish single hooks by a factor of at least 2 to 1. I'll take those odds every day of the week, and so should you.
One of the first and definitive moves that the authorities made in their policy towards sport fishing for billfish in Guatemala was the early adoption of circle hooks, and the banning of "J" type hooks for conventional fishing.This policy combined with a strict ban on killing billfish within the territorial waters of Guatemala has resulted in a renowned and sustainable billfish fishery off the Pacific Coast of Guatemala.