I was in the local Academy Sports buying some hooks the other day. I had picked up some Eagle Claw circle hooks and the gentlemen standing next to me asked what I used those funny looking hooks for. I explained that I was headed to Padre Island to go surf fishing and was building some surf rigs. He said that he also was headed to the Texas Coast to go surf and bay fishing but had never used that kind of hook. I convinced him to try them and wish I knew how he did on his trip. I would be willing to bet that he will now fish with circle hooks on a regular basis.
How many times have you gone to set a hook on a fish and missed it? Many years ago I used to take the kids to the Texas coast to go fishing. They had a hard time catching redfish and trout because they could not set the hook properly. After rigging them up with what then was a new-fangled circle hook their catch rates went way up. I started using them on surf rigs for pompano, whiting, drum and other fish. All you had to do was start reeling and the fish would hook themselves. The best part was ninety-nine percent of them were hooked right in the corner of the mouth. No more gut hooked fish and no more undersized fished hooked so deep they would die upon release.
The simple circle hook has become the hook of choice for thousands of Texas sportsmen because they work. They help you catch fish and do it humanely. I have used them with popping corks, shrimp, live and cut bait. I have rigged surf rigs, bottom rigs and trotlines with circle hooks and they keep right on catching fish.
The cardinal rule of circle hooks is do not set the hook. If you are one of those that has a hard sweeping hook set that will yank a trout into next week, it will take a while for you to adjust to the circle hook. When a fish takes the bait, simply bring the line tight and start reeling. I know it is hard to believe and it took me a while to trust them also, but now I am a true believer. If you have not tried the circle hook, pick up some and give them a whirl. I think you will find your hookup percentage will take a big jump. Keep your lines in the water, Wild Ed
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