Wasabi Tuna Circle Hooks & Hook-A-Puka Rigs (1999)

When they first came on the market they were hailed as the best thing since sliced bread
but the truth was these hooks had been used successfully by the fishing industry for
some time for both snapper and surface longlining. The style dates back into the mists of
time with the recurve style hooks being employed by ancient Polynesian fishers.

Recreational anglers having "discovered" recurved hooks hailed them as the best thing
since outboard motors. Some took a great deal of convincing ... they were outside the
square and word spread and even the biggest sceptic had to agree ... tuna circle hooks
caught fish. They proved themselves initially when fishing deep waters where it was
impractical to resembled nothing anglers knew from experience worked. The strike at
bites, even with modem low stretch braided lines. The beauty of tuna circles is that they
hook themselves, designed to catch in the side of a fish's jaw. Today they play a major
part in the gamefisher's armoury, especially when using live baits or the tease and
switch method. 

Tuna circle hooks are good for a number of species, not just puka and anglers are
learning that big is not necessarily best when it comes to these hooks. On a recent trip to
Gisborne two thirds of the Fat Boys Fishing Club (Richard Bathurst and I) enjoyed an
opportunity for a little bottom bouncing out of Tatapouri with NZFN contributor Alain
Jorion. Alain took us to a spot that had been fishing well 17 miles offshore where it
dropped off from around 140 metres to over 250.

While groper were our primary target, Alain said to "expect anything". Rather than use a
big sized tuna circle hook a couple of 13/0 Wasabi "puka hookers" along with lumo
beads were added to the basic ledger rig. Sign and the sounder looked promising and
this was born out by the first fish, a snapper which tipped the scales at 10kgs and
apparently not as rare as one would expect from the location at this time of year. During
a few hours of drifting the same rig, trumpeter to 9.5kg, several tarakihi, "pup"
groper, 13kg kingfish and a couple of trumpeter to 10kg were landed.

The fishing this day was "only average" by Gisborne and this spot's standards but I was
impressed that the bulk of the fish were taken on the 13/0 which I believe many other
anglers would have considered to be in the domain of hapuku and other denizens of the
deep. Just to prove it was not a fluke a number of tarakihi were landed on the same
hooks during a Charter Connection aboard Wild Thing a few days later off the Wairarapa

The Wasabi tuna circle hooks are available in packs of five or bulk packs of 50. They are
also sold pre-rigged as Hook-A-Puka under the distinctive Black Magic label. The hooks
are red in colour, chemically sharpened and come with lumo beads and an appropriate
swivel tied onto 200lb Black Magic hard trace.

July 1998 - Grant Dixon
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited