CIRCLE FISHING HOOK - SUPERTACKLE
A circle fishing hook has a point that is curved in like a beak at about a 90-degree angle. It has been used with amazing results by saltwater commercial fishermen that long-line for more than 20 years. Studies conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on halibut off Nova Scotia show that circle fishing hooks caught almost twice as many fish as traditional hooks. Just as important, the survival of released halibut from long-line gear using circle fishing hooks was in the order of 75 per cent. Among recreational saltwater fishermen in parts of Florida, circle fishing hooks are popular for tarpon, marlin, tuna, and striped bass. In certain areas off the U.S. West Coast, the National Marine Fisheries Service has made barb-less circle hooks mandatory for live-bait fishermen who target salmon.
How a circle fishing hook works is ingenious. Suppose you're fishing for halibut with squid bait. After a halibut sucks in the bait, it turns and starts to swim away. As the line becomes tight the bait is pulled from inside to the corner of the mouth. As tension increases, the hook point rotates and, most reports indicate, pierces the corner of the mouth almost 100 per cent of the time. Once hooked, the unique shape makes it virtually impossible for fish to shake free. For catch-and-release situations, the advantages are obvious: no more hooks lodged deep in the gullet; and an overall reduced mortality, without any loss in hook-ups. You might have noticed I never mentioned when to set the hook. You don't. That goes against almost all accepted principles, but a sharp tug on the initial hit pulls bait on a circle hook out of a fish's mouth. Experienced fishermen that use circle hooks simply point the rod tip at fish and gently take up slack. The fish hook themselves.
In comparison to other types of fishing hooks, the circle fishing hook is the most desirable in a catch and release situation. Conventional or traditional types of fishing hooks have a higher kill rate because they can easily cause damages to gut or gill. Supertackle provides quality stainless steel Zap hooks for the halibut and black cod commercial fishermen. Sport fishermen are slowly shifting over the circle hooks as the halibut in British Columbia now have a maximum catch size. Department of Fisheries has made rules in British Columbia to protect the larger resident female halibut. There are no rules as yet regarding hook types for halibut but a circle hook will insure less damage and easier release.
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Please check your local fishing regulation regarding allowable fishing hook types and sizes.