A circle hook is a type of fish hook which is sharply curved back in a circular shape. It has become widely used among anglers in recent years because the hook generally catches more fish and is rarely swallowed. Since the circle hook catches the fish on the lips at the corner of its mouth, it usually decreases the mortality rates of released fish as compared to J-hook (like O'Shaughnessy or Octopus hooks) which are often swallowed by the fish, causing damage to the gills or vital organs.
The circle hook's unique shape allows it to only hook onto an exposed surface, which in the case of a fish means the corner of its mouth. The fish takes the baited hook and swallows it, and as the hook is reeled in, it is safely pulled out of the fish until it reaches the mouth. At this point it will catch the corner of the mouth of the fish, resulting in fewer gut-hooked fish.
In terms of technique, it is important to not strike (or set the hook) when the fish bites, but rather just reel in. The act of striking while using a circle hook often results in the hook being pulled out of the fish altogether.
Studies have shown that circle hooks do much less damage to billfish than the traditional J-hooks, yet they are at just as effective for catching billfish. This is good for conservation, since it improves survival rates after release.
External links 
Northwest News and Tribune
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 06:58:56 -0700
Tackle of choice is 65-pound Fins Windtamer braided line, 50- to 60-pound Ohero Fluorocarbon leader and a 5/0 Daiichi circle hook. When targeting tarpon be prepared to do a lot of waiting but the fight of this fish is definitely worth it. Tight lines ...
The Island Connection
The Island Connection
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 04:10:23 -0700
Put a size 3/0 circle hook through the hole where the flipper fin used to be and make sure the hook point is exposed. No need to hold the rod, instead put it in a rod holder. Once that rod starts to bend, don't touch it until the drag starts screaming ...
Mon, 17 Jun 2013 06:09:59 -0700
Another lesson is how to catch a fish with a circle hook and why fish handling can make or break your catch-and-release experiences. This course is also great for visitors to the state who want to make sure they know what they are doing before hitting ...
Waterbury Republican American
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 22:18:42 -0700
Poveromo noted that kingfish often swim through the area, and then proved his point by landing a 16-pound king that ate a live pilchard on a circle hook with no wire leader. The host of "George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing" on NBC Sports and ...
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:46:46 -0700
Charter captain Mark Futch of Boca Grande related to the panel that he invented the bottom-weighted circle hook that is currently used by members of the PTTS tourney to snag tarpon. He says he and fellow anglers quit using it years ago when they saw ...
Thu, 13 Jun 2013 11:21:21 -0700
The next day, I fished a smaller stream near Preston, again using a circle hook and a little bit of putty weight (Hershen prefers traditional pinch-on weights). In fewer than two hours, I caught five brown trout, one rainbow, two redhorse, a chub and ...
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 22:32:12 -0700
A large golden shiner or medium sucker baited on a circle hook with a heavy fluorocarbon leader and slip sinker worked best. Casting around weed flats using chatter baits, Mepps spinners, lipless crank baits or buzz baits produced smaller, more ...
Mon, 10 Jun 2013 15:29:30 -0700
They wired a heavy. weight to the bottom of a circle hook — not at the eyelet, like a true jig, but at the. hooks bend, or “belly.” The hook had already been canted with pliers. To disguise. the rig's true intent, a colorful rubber adornment was added ...
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