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What's the issue with using a type of hooks which will improve the sustainability of the ecosystem? Is it the end of the world that you have to crush your barbs or use circle hooks?
 

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I’m a big fan of both circle hooks and barbless hooks. I fished barbless for years but have somehow gotten away from it. I have lost some fish with barbless hooks but I release 99.9% of my catch so if a fish gets away so be it.
~JOE~
 

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If you want to use circle hooks use circle hooks. J hooks have their place with certain species. Offshore, rigging ballyhoo with j hooks is much more effective than using circle hooks. It is ridiculous for the mfc to put a blanket rule in place for hooks.

If a fisherman notices he is constantly gut hooking fish, he will most likely change his hook selection anyway.

Why is the MFC discussing hook types when bottom trawling is still allowed? Red herring.
 

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Why is the MFC discussing hook types when bottom trawling is still allowed? Red herring.
Last I checked, recreational fishing was in long-term decline in terms of the number of people participating(despite population increase). If fish stocks are threatened despite that, either the remaining fishermen are really good, or...
 

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Didnt see the larger than 2/0. That makes me less concerned now. Still though..
That seems worse to me. The article says that you have to use a hook larger than 2/0 if you are using "natural bait". That reads to me like if I'm fishing for spot with bits of shrimp, I'd have to use a 3/0 hook, which is crazy. Especially since that would allow me to use a j-hook or a smaller circle hook if I used Fishbites. I reckon that's got to be wrong, but I'm not sure what other inference to take.
 

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Think about it...
I did, but I might not be the smartest...

There are other news stories that say that the circle hook thing is just for shark fishing. Minutes from the meeting aren't online but the packets are, and the presentation on circle hooks didn't focus specifically on sharks and appears to have been dealing with all recreational fishing.
 

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My concern is "give them an inch and they will take a mile".

I fly fish and have been smashing my barbs down for 30 years so this will not affect me.

Next they will say you must use 50lb test line so you can land them quicker and not stress the fish. One could say that is ridiculous. Before long you have fishing regs thick as a phone book and you have to stay up all night figuring out what is legal or hire a lawyer. Never doubt governments ability to do stupid crap. Heck, I remember in the 80s when the Pentagon was paying 250 for toilet seats and 50 for an ordinary screw driver (might have been a hammer, long time ago).

To the guys who disagree, I respect your opinion. No heat from me. You do make a good point. I just don't trust them.
 

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This is a non-issue. It's not government over reach. It's best management practices. Our population is growing and things like this just make sense. Circle hooks catch more fish imo anyway. I use them on every bottom rig no matter what the target species.

Also one less excuse for the comms to pin excess fish mortality on recs as some big cause of fishing decline.
 

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This is a non-issue. It's not government over reach. It's best management practices. Our population is growing and things like this just make sense. Circle hooks catch more fish imo anyway. I use them on every bottom rig no matter what the target species.
I always use circle hooks too, at least for beach fishing. There is a big difference, though, between "sharks only" and what was originally described in the article linked by the original poster.

Other than that, "our population is growing" really isn't accurate. It's hard to get decent data, but from what I've seen, recreational fishing participation been flat or in decline for a number of years. This only goes back a few years, but the link below is to an NC DMF report showing year-over-year decreases in the absolute number of coastal fishing licenses sold every year from 2015-2018, despite the fact that the general population is increasing. Check the tables on the last few pages.

http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document...169848&folderId=33372974&name=DLFE-141803.pdf

Federal data shows basically the same thing. Go to this link and run 1981-2016 for NC. The trend is basically flat/decreasing. Again, this is in absolute terms. All of which is to say that if recreational fishing pressure is decreasing, and fish stocks are still struggling, commercial fishing activity is almost certainly the culprit.

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/recr...reational-fishing-data-and-statistics-queries

Edit: the NOAA site didn't like my first link, which was more direct. Click on the above link and then click on "open our query tool".
 

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Either way I'm fine with it.

Guess if number of recs isn't going up it just means all my spots got out lol. See way more boats on the river than I ever did 5-10 years ago.
 

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I’m OK w this also. With Hunting/Fishing licensing on the decline, I’m OK w doing little things like this (also Steel shot for waterfowl) to get ahead of the issue/debate. We should be able to take the high ground on our conservation efforts so there will be opportunities for our children.
 
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