Gabrielle Lawrence Hooks May 08th, 2019 - 13:13:07
LIVE BAIT These hooks generally have a shorter shank than other hooks. Whether that is to allow the live bait to swim more freely or to be less apparent to the fish is debatable. My vote is to allow the bait to swim more freely. These hooks come in regular and circle designs. Regular live bait hooks will be swallowed and result in gut hooks most of the time. Circle live bait hooks provide a greater chance for a good release.
The O'Shaughnessy style is deemed the best all-purpose type, and many variations are available. This style has a small eye turned perpendicular to the bend and point, and with the shank bent a little forward. Variations include the baitholder, with the small points at the shank to hold the soft bait; and snelled hooks with turned-in or -out eyes, sold with short leaders already tied. Weedless hooks are those with a short piece of wire from the eye to the point, to ward off weeds and other water debris from lodging in the hook bend or point. Weedless hooks are mostly used in fishing water with thick vegetation, either with bait or as flyhook. Many hooks can be rigged weedless, though.
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.
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.
Firstly, you need to use sharp hooks. Buy new hooks frequently and replace your old ones. If you keep your hook on the line for a long period of time you should sand the point to keep it nice and sharp. Try to buy the best hooks you can (if you buy the cheapest you may save a few dollars but in the long run is it worth it?).
The first thing to consider when discussing any fishing hooks is their sharpness. You always want to make sure that your hooks are as sharp as possible. When hooks are purchased they are very sharp, but once they are used for a while they become dulled from baiting up, being drug along the bottom, and fish being caught. Once your fishing hooks become dull it causes you to "miss" fish. It's a good idea to change your hooks often or carry a hook sharpener to sharpen your hooks from time to time to ensure optimum sharpness. The bottom line is the sharper your hooks are the less fish you will "miss".