circle hook query

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    Posted: 24 May 2022 at 7:24am
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Have posed this Q before, but no clear answer.
So the hook is supposed to work by slipping out and around the corner of the mouth.
But surely this can only work if the gape of the hook is facing outwards. If the hook was lying the opposite way - gape pointing inwards, you would not expect it to roll out and hook.
So that should lead to a 50% hook up rate?

I have a mate in Vtu right now trying my long bridle/circle hook rig. The bridle is the length of the fish. He had 9 hits and no hook ups y/day (YF).  Not being there, hard to assess what is happening, but I do wonder how the circle hook is supposed to score better than 50%.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2022 at 8:25am
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If the line enters the eye of the hook from the gape side of the hook then as the hook or line contacts the corner of the fishs' mouth, it will lead to the hook being presented the right way. That's why it's so important for the fish to swallow the bait before you try to set the hook. '

The thing with J hooks is that they can quite likely present the hook away into on empty space in a fishs' mouth.

That's my theory anyway. 
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Yep.
It is so importantthat the hook is attached to the trace the wrong way and when tied just looks wrong. (hangs inwards, doesnt present outwards)

Also as smudge says, you dont pull on a bite...
You let the fish pick it up and swim away then eat it.. depending on season, how many and how big the fish are below depends on how far you let the fish swim with its prize.
Winter and lazy feed summer can be 15 /20 m free line.. Then lightly load, If the load stays, now lift the rod hard and solid .. like seeing in your head that hook roll and catch ... without ripping the mouth  on say a JD or trev. DO NOT JERK as with J

Now If trolling, which I think Alan is asking...

Neighbour does a lot, and gets results...
Was chatting with him the other day about his 250+ catch, and he shows off his home tied rig, and how tied the squid etc
Hes said just use 2 old school 'shark' J hooks
 Which is pretty much what we do if trolling , or casting sb (a J hook) into a boil up and wind in. 
Casting my home made re curve/ flasher stray lines doesnt work well at all.
 Thu they work real well straying on the drift.
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Here's my tuppence...I've used every type of hook in existence over the years and I now don't use anything but circle hooks. Also I use a bigger hook say 6 baro when I'm around the smaller school snapper as they can be a painful bait stealer but can be caught easier on a smaller hook too of any type. The theory is that if they swallow a circle hook there is a much lesser chance of them getting gut-hooked and the hook comes back out and lip hooks them. I've found them way better and the mortality rate is only 20% of what it was. Sure there will be the odd one that plays hari kari with the bait but it can be drastically reduced and with that I don't think I catch any less fish. Also as mentioned above do not jag them on a bite as they are designed to self-catch when they pull away. I've tried to educate people on my boat not to do that but the adrenalin rush I suppose takes over?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2022 at 12:19pm
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OK - usually used (gamefishing ) on live baits.
If I am towing something - it will still be a bait - live or dead.
Steps - I use a double J hook (one up one down) on near all my towed lures. way to go.
Hook ups -yep - always let them run. Often 50m of line gone, before pressure on. Sometimes they stop, then run again. I never strike - let the fish do the work. Just ease some weight on and see if hooked. 
But I will have to check myself as to which way the hook sits. I crimp them - in a small loop. They hang free. Maybe I should be tying them - from the inside of the eye - making them sit right. That may get a bit problematic on say 200lb trace.
Not sure how my mate in Vtu is rigging them. Will find out.
But the inside lay of the gape is what I am used to on my circle ledger rigs also. looks all wrong but works. I don't use anything else either.
But my crimping of the game traces may be an issue to check out. Thanks guys.
Alan
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tzer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2022 at 1:23pm
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Alan, I suspect your bridle is too long try shortening your bridle length up quite a bit. Fish are taking your bait in but not the hook,.
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Having 9 hits and missing them all would suggest something is clearly wrong.  Could be the way he has rigged the baits or his technique.  
My first thought was the same as Tzer's.  Having said that if you successfully use the long bridle then it may be more of a technique issue.
Having the line enter the circle hook from the gape side is a comment you hear regularly however I do wonder whether this is really as relevant when fishing for pelagics.  Some  years ago I had this discussion with a commercial longline skipper.  They targeted BFT and swords 200kms plus off the WA coast.  The longline hooks they were using all had a solid ring through the eye of the circle hook, making them free swinging.  Baits were whole fish hooked through the nose.  As always, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2022 at 2:21pm
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I messed around with a snapper rig with a swinging recurve hook. It worked but .. 

I dont know how it works on game leaders but the bridles i see used have the hook sitting on the bait fish
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2022 at 3:56pm
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As I have said before I have never game fished or crimped, and know next to nothing to nothing.
 
I have put  the trace thru my recurves (and J s) and then put thru the loops for a dropper loop knot
 This has the re curve hang free, not the wrong way...and they do not work well doing so. I have also  uni ed recurves (hung) to the top of  the eye and again seem to very very hit in miss.
To hang the recurve on a say dropper loop, you put the loop thru the back of the eye... what you would think be the wrong side..
Where as a J you go down from top or front side.
And if going to snell type knot the hook... a J goes straight down, then the snell.
 A re curve goes back up the backside Then snelled.

Also watch as to which way up wind the snell type knot around...the part of the trace , above the hook, and as goes down around the shaft must go under the part of the hook eye with NO join.
So snell a J will have the  turns the opposite direction to a re-curve.

This also screwed me yrs ago when 1st used recurves.. thought was knot failing, but when tested many times, eventually tested it loaded unloaded  repeatedly, it got weakened where rubbed against where the hook eye met the shaft .
Never had an issue since.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2022 at 4:29pm
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Originally posted by Tzer Tzer wrote:

Originally posted by Alan L Alan L wrote:

I have a mate in Vtu right now trying my long bridle/circle hook rig. The bridle is the length of the fish. He had 9 hits and no hook ups y/day (YF).  Not being there, hard to assess what is happening, but I do wonder how the circle hook is supposed to score better than 50%.
Alan


Alan, I suspect your bridle is too long try shortening your bridle length up quite a bit. Fish are taking your bait in but not the hook,.
This is why fishing is never boring. I hardly fish exactly the same 2 days in a row - esp gamefishing. Always trying to change the odds. But he is using my bridle rig - which I have evolved to. The bridle is as long as the fish. Reason being they always turn the fish and swallow head first. Many missed hook ups (J and circle) I am sure were because the hook was getting squashed against the flank of the fish - short bridle. So evolved to the point where the circle is by the tail of the fish (as swallowed). He has had some decent success this way. Few weeks ago got 2 YF like that and no one else landed anything. When it works it works well - but there is some other factor in here that is confounding the hook up rate. With short rigs I have had a lot of hits that never translated to hook ups. Trying to change the odds. Must be able to improve on that. But you can imagine - say a bridle half the length of a skippy - fish gobs it down - the hook is half way along the fish. Put some tension on to set the hook - often when they feel that they spit the fish. So you need the hook to set immediately. If the hook is near the tail - it should be the first thing to catch on the way out - as soon as the line pulls tight?
Wish I knew everything about this stuff. Even something would help sometimes.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote scuzzymoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2022 at 11:45am
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keep your circle hooks - prefer the Mutsu style left hand off set- most hooks are right hand off set( facing the barb towards you)- old guy told me once( good old days of WSAC) a blue cod always spins one way ( same as a drain) need opposite off set - not saying its correct but Mutsu hooks always catch the fish in corner of the mouth or the bottom jaw 
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On the rare occasions I use circle hooks (i.e. the rare occasions I use bait), I prefer non-offset hooks. It seems to me that the offset is going to be in the wrong direction 50% of the time. Not a scientifically proven theory! 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2022 at 3:33pm
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I think any off set is useful.
I have had them hook up further down the gob. It is like a 2nd chance of snagging them. I don't mind if I snag them left or right.
I use BKK slim circle hooks (#10). They are nice hooks. Caught plenty on them. Can't remember which way offset.
So Fish Addict is full of endless bright ideas - has waaay too much time on his hands. But has suggested snelling a 2nd hook above the circle hook. I can see a plan hatching.
If my mate in Vtu does not give it a go, I will - July.A new cunning plan is born.
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On the rare occasions I use circle hooks (i.e. the rare occasions I use bait), I prefer non-offset hooks. It seems to me that the offset is going to be in the wrong direction 50% of the time. Not a scientifically proven theory

There maybe something in that ..
 Have wondered abstractly why one way and not the other.. made in nthern hemispere maybe?? dunno.
 I aways had a problem simply flicking the hook out like they do on TV and some of the crew..
So have gone to no offset, doesnt seem to effect catch rate..and still cant flick the damn hook outAngry

But has suggested snelling a 2nd hook above the circle hook.

 My straylines have a J no knot snelled above...and when looking at m8s very knowledgeable and  generational experienced off shore rig( mentioned above) rig I commented at the time its basically an over grown version of my stray line.. except its all crimped.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Snappa Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2022 at 7:41pm
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Originally posted by scuzzymoto scuzzymoto wrote:

keep your circle hooks - prefer the Mutsu style left hand off set- most hooks are right hand off set( facing the barb towards you)- old guy told me once( good old days of WSAC) a blue cod always spins one way ( same as a drain) need opposite off set - not saying its correct but Mutsu hooks always catch the fish in corner of the mouth or the bottom jaw 
Good choice Scuzzy, tried the lot over the years and have found the Mutsu the strongest and best hook up rate on the Big Snaps. I run the big 32mm size on my strayline rigs! Like you say 99% of the time the Snaps gets hooked in the corner of the mouth. Steps to get the circles out quickly if releasing or keeping a fish push hard on the back of the hook eye with one of your thumbs! If that fails, pliers....Beer
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote waynorth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2022 at 7:51pm
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Alan its worth persisting with that long bridle rig - makes a lot of sense to me. Nathan from BAF posted a how-to video showing the same rig which reached the tail of a medium sized kahawai. His explanation was much as you've posted above, & he/Milan certainly caught the odd kingfish, albeit not trolling. Your mate might need to refine a few things to make it work when trolling. If he snells the circle hook, try crimping it free-swinging. Make sure there's heaps of dropback so the fish can get the bait and hook fully in its mouth, and the slack line streaming back along its body, before any weight comes on. 20m wouldn't be excessive imho. 

Check the hook gape too. I use Korean hooks from Hooker Tackle- excellent hooks btw - and my preferred 15/0 circle has a larger gape (22mm) than the 16/0 (20mm). 

Keep us posted - the long bridle is an interesting deviation from sop.
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Matt Watson did a video about circle hooks and the importance of snelling. Apparently an experienced captain told him to it to increase hook up. He didn't for a years but once he did he became a believer.
Maybe something in that?
I noticed that when towing they employ a massive amount of slack line between the rod and the release clip. But from what you're saying you give them 30-50m of slack, so it look's like you're doing that right. Is your mate? 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2022 at 7:40am
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The baits aren't being towed. These are livies being drifted.
He is using my BKK #10s (I left him with my spares). But I will check the gape size comparison. They don't make a 12 AFAIK. I have looked before. It may be the gape is just too small for big fish. I have caught plenty on these hooks, but it is possible the gape is just a bit small and flicks off the gob on the way out. You can imagine that happening quite easily if there is a small gap between the point of the hook and the shank and the corner of the mouth is about the same thickness.
Thanks
Lots to work on. By the time I retire from fishing and end up in some rest home, I will know everything. Just a few years too late.
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Steps to get the circles out quickly if releasing or keeping a fish push hard on the back of the hook eye with one of your thumbs! If that fails, pliers....Beer
Yerp on pliers.. there is a set long nose  ring/crimpers in the drain  a hole made to suit the pleirs back of the bait board, and bait knife sheaths attached each side of the bait board.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2022 at 10:55am
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Originally posted by Snappa Geoff Snappa Geoff wrote:

Originally posted by scuzzymoto scuzzymoto wrote:

keep your circle hooks - prefer the Mutsu style left hand off set- most hooks are right hand off set( facing the barb towards you)- old guy told me once( good old days of WSAC) a blue cod always spins one way ( same as a drain) need opposite off set - not saying its correct but Mutsu hooks always catch the fish in corner of the mouth or the bottom jaw 
Good choice Scuzzy, tried the lot over the years and have found the Mutsu the strongest and best hook up rate on the Big Snaps. I run the big 32mm size on my strayline rigs! Like you say 99% of the time the Snaps gets hooked in the corner of the mouth. Steps to get the circles out quickly if releasing or keeping a fish push hard on the back of the hook eye with one of your thumbs! If that fails, pliers....Beer

So I am interested in the Mutsu hooks. It seems a number of suppliers claim to sell Mutsu hooks. BKK have Mutsu circle hooks. Is Mutsu a style?
I am buying BKK circle hooks.
Is the difference that the offset is the opposite way?
It seems their size 32 (biggest) is equiv to the #10. Which is as big as I can buy (and use) in the BKK.
Some more info on them would be useful.
Thx
Alan
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