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Circle hooks and Striped Bass

Old 01-09-2021, 11:10 AM
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Default Circle hooks and Striped Bass

The NY DEC has a request for comments on the use of circle hooks for striped bass. https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/122116.html What are your thoughts?
I have caught and released a lot of striped bass over the last 50 years. It was very rare that the bass looked like it wouldn't make it. Maybe once every few years or so.
I tried using circle hooks this year, and did not really like them. Missed more hits than usual but did not notice any difference in damage to the fish.
When I release a bass, I do not handle them at all. I just use a hook disgorger while they are still in the water. I think the technique of removing the hook is more important than the shape of the hook.
What are your thoughts?
Old 01-09-2021, 01:14 PM
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Generally the fish don't swallow the circle hooks when used with bait. I like using them - much easier to remove.
Old 01-09-2021, 01:38 PM
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I think circle hooks should be required when using live bait, or chunking and everywhere (not just in the NE) It's better for the fish, and it's been proven.
Old 01-09-2021, 01:51 PM
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Most folks are in favor of using them, my issue is with it being government required. I don't have a problem with government prohibiting certain fishing tackle or techniques, but requiring use of a specific type of tackle cross the line for me.
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:09 PM
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Fishing for spring stripers using bloodworms and circle hooks i am. 0-15. I went back to J hooks and caught fish immediately. I even let rodney rod holder set the hook as others said and still 0 fish with circles.
yes others have more success but not me.
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:20 PM
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I've had great success with circle hooks, you just can't set the hook, seems to work better with dead sticks because we all want that satisfying hook set, just can't be done with an inline circle, they really have to swim off with it. I don't think it matters what we like, the law will be the law and we have to adjust.
I never felt like bloods and circles were a good combination, circles and clams though... Circles don't seem to work well with drum either, that would be like using circles for tog because they feed in a similar fashion, natural for them to spit out anything hard.
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:25 PM
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I've been using circle hooks for years now when baitfishing -- live or cut -- for striped bass. It's rare to gut hook a striper using a circle hook, but it occasionally happens (far less than with J hooks). When live baiting eels or porgies in the rips off Montauk or Block, it's actually easier for beginners to hook up with circle hooks. Just leave the rod in the rod holder, wait for the rod to buckle over, and start cranking - don't set the hook. The only live bait technique I think is impracticable with circle hooks is slow trolling a tube and worm rig. Given the terrible stock condition of the striper biomass, circle hooks use is key to the recovery of the species and to future good fishing so embrace it.
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:49 PM
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Alot of people have trouble with circle hooks because the strike to early. When the rod bends it time to reel.
Old 01-09-2021, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by getthenetmontauk View Post
Alot of people have trouble with circle hooks because the strike to early. When the rod bends it time to reel.
Isn't that the truth. We don't lose many Stripers with circle hooks, but we have done two things that seem to help: gone up in size from 7/0 & 8/0 to 9/0 & 10/0 and let the rod sit in the holder until the rod is bent over and the drag is moving.
Old 01-09-2021, 04:49 PM
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No problems here, easy enough adjustment.
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:20 PM
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When clam chumming do you guys usually leave the rod in the rod holder? I like to hold it and walk the clam bait out with the chum slick.
Next season I will try the larger hooks.
Old 01-09-2021, 06:38 PM
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One of the big complaints with the new regulations is that circle hooks are required with any natural bait, in the regulations the DEC mentions pork rind as a natural bait, which would require a circle hook on a bucktail.
John
Old 01-09-2021, 06:41 PM
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Absolutely necessary
if you have ever used J hooks clam chumming you will see why
Keeper ratio is low and the fish hook deep
Circles work great. I leave the shorts in the water, clip the line at the snell knot
Old 01-09-2021, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 445 supermag View Post
Fishing for spring stripers using bloodworms and circle hooks i am. 0-15. I went back to J hooks and caught fish immediately. I even let rodney rod holder set the hook as others said and still 0 fish with circles.
yes others have more success but not me.
What size hooks? Open bail?
I literally have fought a bass to the surface, when it then opened its mouth and watched the unhooked line start sliding out of the fish, only to hook the fish right in the corner of the mouth.

Last edited by aubv; 01-09-2021 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 01-09-2021, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by aubv View Post
What size hooks? Open bail?
I literally have fought a bass to the surface, when it then opened its mouth and watched the unhooked line start sliding out of the fish, only to hook the fish right in the corner of the mouth.
Closed bail but extremely light meaning no drag. Gusty wind pulls drag. Started leaving rod in rod holder and as rod bent over and line pealed off I just started cranking in while in rodholder. Still no good. IDK. Its just me as you guys are successful. I am. 0-15. I will just NOT fish for stripers with bait in the spring it will be perch only i am after
Old 01-09-2021, 07:44 PM
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I’ve had good luck with circle hooks on stripers here in NH. Just let them take it, point the rod at them until it starts to bend and then start reeling. I’ve also swapped out the treble hooks on my ground fish jigs, always hook cod and haddock in the corner of the mouth and have much fewer bottom snags.
Old 01-09-2021, 07:52 PM
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Everyone should be using circles for live and cut baits. Once you get it down it is a great way to fish. Maybe for you, you are quick with a hook set and never hit hook fish so you won’t understand why they need to enforce circle hooks. Other anglers leave slack in the line and let the fish swallow the hook then rip there guts out and throw them back.

I myself prefer circle hooks it has especially been a life saver for chunking tuna. Corner of the mouth every time and the line never frays so less fish lost. I have seen first hand people loosing fish because of the circle. They hear the drag screaming get all excited and go lock up the lever drag it’s almost the same as setting the hook
Old 01-09-2021, 08:58 PM
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So if I’m using a bunker snag, does that count for the new law?

I generally never use bait for stripers unless they’re blowing up bunker then out comes the snag
Old 01-09-2021, 09:16 PM
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you can snag, but have to then put the bunker on a circle hook
Old 01-10-2021, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 21ft cuddy View Post
One of the big complaints with the new regulations is that circle hooks are required with any natural bait, in the regulations the DEC mentions pork rind as a natural bait, which would require a circle hook on a bucktail.
John
Interesting. If using a synthetic pork rind substitute is DEC going to be checking?

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