Tuesday, March 23, 2021

03.23.21 Okay, are circle hooks answer?


    So this mornings troll had me finding this image. A guy posted this after an outing last night on the Delaware. You guessed it, the guy got skewered, one for posting a micro bass, posting a micro bass that is bleeding out, and posting a micro bass that is bleeding out with a circle hook deep in its gut. 

     The ASMFC has went to the circle hook only option when using bait. The thinking was that fishing mortality is increased for those bait soakers that wait about 15 minutes before setting the hook and those guys who snag bunker with a weighted treble hook and let it sink down below the 

only to be inhaled by a, usually bigger, female striped bass. The bass eat the bunker, and the 10/0 treble snag hook, usually at least deep into their throats, and usually somewhere in their gill rakers, causing massive blood loss and tissue damage. The idea now is guys will use the 10/0 snag hook, snag a bunker, reel it in, then retook it onto a circle hook and then use that for bait.....that is as funny as I have ever heard. Meat fisherman are just that....you can forget this ever working in real life, and the enforcement, now thats even more funny. For the anglers that cast net for bunker in the river before heading out, that'll work, but for the ones that just go out, not happening. 

     So the circle hooks are designed to hook a bait, be fished, and then when a, say a bass, hits it and the hook is set, it "catches" them in the lip, which is supposed to reduce mortality. Now, that would work better if we were talking about anglers that are holding their rods in their hands. It won't work for the secret nighttime creeping-while-you're-sleeping angler who works in the cover pot darkness, without a tip light or a tip bell. That bait will soak, the beers cold, the embers smoldering, and then after the rod falls over the hook is set, into the wall of the small intestine, like the top picture. 

     Here's another picture I found on social media this morning, showing how the circle hooks is supposed to work, bait ball and lip set, and then a healthy release. I'm not saying circle hooks are are bad, probably will save a lot of bass, but the angler has to take the steps so the technique for fishing it does what its supposed to do, avoid deep hooking a bass, whatever its size may be.