Jean Buckner Hooks May 13th, 2019 - 13:14:00
In the beginning, all one needs in fishing is a hook and a line. But today different fishing conditions require different tackle, and hook styles were invented in reply to fit them. Yet even so, many styles are multifunctional although developed for their own particular purposes. Therefore we shall discuss only the general styles though variations for each exist in the fishing industry.
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.
Offset circle hooks however, carry a much higher mortality rate than non-offset circle hooks, as the offset itself leads to many of the problems associated with "J" type hooks - specifically having a propensity to catch and penetrate any soft tissue that it comes into contact with.A study by the Marine Resources Research Institute shows the deep-hooking rate of offset circle hooks is 23%, significantly higher than non-offset circle hooks and also have a mortality rate approaching that of "J" type hooks.
Circle hooks have created a debate in the last few years between anglers who fish rivers and those who fish lakes. When using circle hooks in rivers, I haven't had much trouble fishing in good current. Although they performed well in current, fishing calm water areas such as the big reservoirs I ply for giant blue cats, the hook design gave me a bit of a problem with the hook-up ratio in the slack water. I began having hook-up problems when I fished areas with no current because the bait wasn't held straight on the hook. Full circles were oftentimes double hooking back into the chunk or live baits causing me to miss a lot of fish. What would I do when I am anchor fishing in a lake with a lot of slack in my lines due to boat sway from the wind? I went back to my old standby treble and J-style hooks for quite awhile.
A set of gang hooks is just a pair of fishing hooks that are tied back to back, which enables a worm to be hooked once in the head then hooked I bit farther down the body with a second hook, which results in a much more natural and realistic presentation than either of the previously mentioned methods. There is no doubt that a set of gang hooks is the best way to with a worm. The fishing hooks that are used to make a set of gang hooks are generally much smaller than you might be used to (size #6, #8, or #10) and this is because you want the shank of the hook itself to be as concealed as possible to the fish that you are attempting to catch.
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!