Anglers need to make a choice whether they will use J hooks or circle hooks for fishing and for most of them, they end up deciding that one is better than the other and everything ends there. But put a J hook and circle hook lover in one room and a serious debate will surely arise. So, how will you know which is best choice for you and your fishing needs?
What to Like and Not to Like About J Hooks
J Hooks have been tried, tested and proven true as far as big game fishing is concerned and it is very rare to see someone who can hammer big species without using these hooks. You can also sharpen J hooks with a file that can help set the hook in the bone studded jaws or throat of a billfish. For those who prefer meat fishing, the J hooks will always be the best way to go, particularly if you happen to be using a wire leader.
On the other hand, when catch and release is the name of the game, the J hooks will not be suitable. Many of the fish that you will catch with J hooks tend to get snagged or hooked somewhere in the gills or throat. It can cause massive damage to all the fish’s critical organs and leave them critically wounded. The J hooks can also snag anywhere they can, tearing big holes in the respiratory and digestive system. It is also common to snag fish in the eye, gut, tail, or back when you use J hooks, all of which don’t bode well for a successful revival.
What to Like and Not to Like About Circle Hooks
The resilience and strength of circle hooks never fail to amaze many fishing enthusiasts even though the actual process of setting the hook itself still remains as a complete mystery. One amazing thing about circle hooks is the gap between the shank and the hook point as this is less than one inch if you are fishing a 5/0 or 6/0 demon circle yet it still manages to set seamlessly in the mouth of the fish. Of all the fish you can catch with circle hooks, only less than a handful tends to be foul hooked. A crucial factor that you have to observe when you use circle hooks is that every hook must be totally exposed if it is going to set.
Conversely, for those who pace baits in strong current conditions or slow troll live baits, the circle hooks might be a fool hardy option. It was also found out that fish feeding aggressively on the surface of the water usually blasts the bait right off the hook, such as blackfin tuna, wahoo and kingfish. These hooks also require time to set so you have to feed the fish for several seconds after it grabs the bait. Placing too much pressure or getting tight too quickly on the fish while it feeds will result to a missed opportunity.
With all the fish species out there, choosing between J hooks and circle hooks can prove to be a daunting task. As both have their own sets of pros and cons, the best thing that you can do is understand the feeding behavior of your targeted fish, consider the bait you will use and from there, weigh the hook choices according to the conditions when you decide to go fishing.