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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I admit it, I don't use them :eek:. However, in an interest in being more ecologically responsible, I think I'm gonna switch this year. I usually target puppy drum and flounder and hate releasing a gut-hooked fish knowing it's probably not going to make it.

Who uses them? Is there a brand recommended? Has anyone noticed an increase/decrease in fish landed? Pros? Cons?

Thanks,
PH
 

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I read the article by Capt. Lupton last year while looking for info on saltwater fishing. What he said made sense from a conservation point of view so I started using circle hooks last season. Since I don't have a long history on the brine, I can't say anything about differences in catch rates (landing rates). I can tell you that I had enough success to keep using them. To be exact, I spent a bit of time this weekend making some of the super-short rigs that Capt. Lupton recommends.

Doc
 

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I do most of my fishing around the ten thousand Islands and gulf of Mexico in Florida ( untill I can relocate to Beaufort) But I have been using circle hooks for over two years for Redfish, and bottom fish and snook. I feel they work great as long as you remember, "Do not set the hook" let the fish take the bait and when they pull tight the hook will set itself, dont be too quick with the reds or they will drop it. I usually use a 1/0,2/0 or 3/0 wire circle hook depending on the bait. For grouper you will want to use a heavier hook so it doesn't straighten out. The only fish I have not had too much sucess on with circle hooks is mangrove snapper as they are quick and tend to steal the bait without actually getting the hook in thier mouth. Circles work well for mackerel as they keep the hook between their teeth with fewer cut offs
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. It doesn't sound like there are many "cons" to using 'em. I'll try them out this year, since I'm nearly out of my usual mustads.
 

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I picked up a hundred snapper hooks in the late 70's and have slowly added more sizes to my tackle as time went by. Until recent years small sizes were hard to get. Mostly they were the longliners domain and wire sizes were pretty heavy. Back in the mid 80's I reluctantly pulled a frisky blue runner away from a 50+ lb king because I was using a circle hook and 80lb mono leader. That is something I would not do now. It takes time to learn to trust something that few others use but they actually work better for most fish. not only do you catch a few more fish, you can count on your hook to hold better.
 

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Though I have and use circles (Gamakahatsu's 8/0 blood circles), I prefer to use Tru-turn J-hooks. I find that using the Tru-turn's had a excellent hook up rate and 9 out of 10 times plants the hook at the side of the jaw just like a circle would.

The problem I've found in deeper water for bottom fishin, is most folks get a tug then they pull up to try to set the hook when using circles for bottom fishing, it's almost second nature to try to "set the hook" even when I keep telling them to just let it set itself... eventually they get fustrated at all the "misses"

I do have regular shank J hooks we use too, but those are basically for trolling and trolling lure set up's.

Though we have circles and use them, the preferance is for J hooks, but not just an average J hook, we seem to get alot more hook ups using Tru-turns.
 
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