With its tip pointing to the shank, you can say Circle hooks can be a funny looking hooks. But when we put a bait on it, the fish will going to say "it's not funny at all". This funny looking hooks is very effective indeed if you apply the right fishing technique.
I am going to share my experience and my knowledge on how to use this "funny looking hooks".
There are many brands and many different types of circle hooks avialable on the market. From the cheapest to the most expensive, from the no name brand to the famous brand (such as Owner, Gamakatsu, Eagle Claw, VMC etc.). Although I recommend the brand Owner, it is very expensive, but very solid looking hook, I do however would go for something affordable such as Eagle Claw or VMC, they are sharp and strong. I have caught plenty of 6-8kg Snappers using Eagle Claw and VMC without staighten the hook. My tip... please don't use no name brand hooks. A simple rule to remember : "money simply don't lie"! You get what you pay.
The size of these hooks tend to be slightly different with the normal type of hooks, especially on the larger sizes such as 10/0 to 15/0, however the sizes below 10/0 have similar size with a normal hooks. The smaller sizes are very hard to find (the smallest I can get is 2/0, just perfect for Bream). I find 5/0 to 10/0 is perfect for any medium size to large reef fish
If you like to fish and drink beer at the same time, these hooks will help, please READ ON!
First time I use this hooks is when I went fishing on a charter. They provided me with a bottom rig full with this funny looking hooks. Tip from the deckie is not to strike when the fish bite. I say to myself, "how can a fish can get hooked without any strikes and when fishing with hook that the has a tip pointing to its own shank? This hook will never catch a fish!". Sure enough, there were plenty of fish and bites down there and I keep striking hard as I used to when I fish with normal style of hooks, but I just couldn't get any solid hookups. however after all that strikings and a few hours fishing, I bring up a few snappers (luckyly they don't get hooked in the gut, so I said). Lunch time... I bait up big chunk and drop the bait down in the water, place the rod on the rod holder. Within a couple of minutes placing my rod on the rod holder, there were 6kg Pink Snapper hooked! I baited up again and did the samething and tried to get some lunch, again, within a couple of minutes I cought another simillar size Pinky. This happens again and again and cought different other species.
I went up north and went deep jigging during day time. At night when we were anchored up in the bay, I set myself to do light tackle fishing. This time I armed myself with circle hooks. Rigged it up with a ball sinker right to the hook, baited up with chunk of tuna flesh, stick on a rod holder and enjoy the beer. What a paradise up there :). Not long after, my ligth rod starting to have some actions and without having to strike, I landed myself 4kg Spangle Emperor! What a beauty with on a light tackle. I caught many other spieces and all of them are hooked on the jaw and none of them got hookd on the gut. This is the beauty of these circle hooks, the fish will lip hooked itself.
I spend a lot of time fishing in the river for black bream. I normally stick my rod on a rod holder, having enough tension to let the hook set itself (while I am enjoying the beer). Since I started to use circle hooks, I don't have to cut rigs to release them, because 99% of the bream I caught is get hooked on the jaw. So... my rules when fishing with circle hooks is NOT TO SET THE HOOK, BUT LET THE HOOK SET IT SELF.
These hooks worked very well. Tuna fisherman have been using them a long time ago, that is why these hooks have been known as "TUNA CIRCLE".
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