Circle hook: catching and releasing fish hooks for testing
The circle hook is ideal as a complement to fishing equipment. Due to its unique shape, it is fish-proof and increases successful catch and release. It’s also safe for anglers because the sharp point of the hook is rotated toward the shaft so far that the possibility of anglers hooking themselves or others is drastically reduced.
The circular fish hook has been around for a long time. For example, there were similar designs made by early Native Americans who probably weren’t as concerned with catching and releasing. However, it has only recently grown in popularity. In a book “Encyclopedia of Fishing” published in 1994, the circle hook is not mentioned. However, by 2000, numerous studies appeared in fishing magazines whose data showed lower mortality than standard hooks.
However, the circular fish hook cannot replace all hooks. It is mainly intended for bait fishing. The trick is to NOT jerk off the hook when you feel a bite. Let the fish run a little, then just start tumbling and pull the line tight. As crazy as that sounds, you need to let the circle hook do its job by pulling the bait away from your neck and slowly waving it in the fish’s mouth. When hooked, the fish cannot shake it off like normal fishhooks, and the position is almost always safely away from the neck and gills and safe in the corner of the mouth.
The next time you are bait fishing, first make sure your fishing license is up to date, then try a circle hook. Sometimes I still have trouble keeping my hook-setting reflex in check. But with practice and patience, you too will be impressed to see this fishing tackle in action.
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After graduating from OSU with a degree in zoology, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and Michigan.