Bass Pro Shops CatMaxx Circle Hooks
It is well accepted that catch-and-release mortality can be greatly reduced by using circle hooks to fish natural baits. In fact, in two studies by marine officials in Massachusetts and Maryland that focused on bait-fishing for striped bass, the use of circle hooks rather than J-hooks reduced mortality from 15.5% to 3% (Massachusetts study) and from 9.1% to 0.8% (Maryland study). Other researchers have had similar results.
HOW DO THEY DO THAT?
At first glance, a circle hook point appears to be at such a strange angle that fishermen say, “There’s no way that’s ever going to work.” In actual use, however, just the opposite is true — circle hooks grab fish with amazing results.
Circle Hooks - Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine
- On the Gulf of Mexico coast, anyone fishing for any species of reef fish in Gulf waters is required to use non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing with natural bait. If you accidentally catch a Gulf reef fish on a J hook while using natural bait, you must release it.
- On the Atlantic coast, non-stainless steel circle hooks must be used when fishing for reef fish with hook and line gear and natural baits north of latitude 28°N in Atlantic federal waters (near Melbourne, Fla.).
- In Florida, it is required to use non-offset circle hooks when fishing with natural bait for reef fish in Gulf waters. Non-offset circle hooks are those in which the end of the hook is inline with the shank of the hook – rather than being angled sideways, away from the shank.
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