Francesca Farley Hooks May 01st, 2019 - 12:38:02
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.
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 bottom line is if you want to know how to bait a hook, I mean really bait a hook, the answer is through the use of gang hooks. The real way to bait a hook is to use smaller hooks, and not only that but use two of them as well. The gang hook system was taught to me more than twenty years ago by a trout fishing master, and I've personally used them ever since.
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.
BAITHOLDER Baitholder Hooks - These are very widely used by sea anglers. These are good hooks for worm bait they have a ringed eye and have 2 slices or barbs in the shank to assist with holding the bait up the shank of the hook.
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.