Aardvarking

Circle hooks for kings/jews?

15 posts in this topic

I have been spending the last little while trying to catch my first jew, and land my first kingfish, but have so far been unsuccessful. I have been leaving out one line with two 6/0 gamakatsu live bait hooks, on squid strips or live yakkas, depending on what I can catch on the day. I recently found a sienna 6000 reel I never knew I owned, and am thinking of leaving out 2 lines instead of one to increase my chances. Because the sienna doesn't have the baitunner feature, I thought I'd put some circle hooks on it, and make it my honorary squid reel, with the baitrunner for yakkas.

I know that circles aren't the best for jews because of their hollow mouth cavity, but are they are viable option for catching kings with squid strips? If so, what is a good circle hook for kings? I was thinking of gamakatsu octopus circles, but I've heard a lot of negative reviews on them elsewhere, so I was thinking more of the owner SSW Inline circle hooks.

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Gamakatsu Octopus Circles are pretty much all i use for jewies when fishing with squid (strips, heads or whole). They work especially well in the situation you are talking about with an unattended line and a drag set with some pressure so the jewie hooks himself before you even get to the rod when you see the bite. I have them rigged on a two hook fixed snell. Hook size between 6/0 and 8/0 depending on bait size. Generally 6/0 on the top and 7/0 on the bottom for strips. They would also be ok land based for kings if you are not fishing stupidly heavy line. I still haven't broken one yet, they are surprisingly strong. I still prefer the gamma live bait hooks for kings regardless. Match the size of the hook to the size of the bait (not the size of the fish you hope to catch)

Where the gamakatsu octopus cirlces are not ideal of kings is slow trolling or super fast current as they are offset so they can make the bait spin, especially a squid strip of small livie. This is bad bait presentation, twists line and kills baits. In these situations you would use your gamma live bait hooks. I tend to use gamma livebait hooks for kings regardless. You could use an owner inline circle in any situation that you use  an octopus circle or a livebait hook but i would use the others in the scenarios described. The offset eye on the Octopus circle lends itself to snelling. I even snell the bottom hook on too so the shank of the hook is parallel with the direction that the line pulls it. You could put an inline circle tied straight on as the bottom hook if you wanted

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59 minutes ago, Aardvarking said:

Because the sienna doesn't have the baitunner feature, I thought I'd put some circle hooks on it, 

You can use normal hooks even if you don’t have a baitrunner feature. The fish will still get hooked just the same. I don’t see anything to gain with switching to a circle hook other than if your trying to avoid gut hooking.

If you want the proper benefit of a circle hook then in-line are the only ones to use. 

Edited by Hateanchors

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34 minutes ago, Hateanchors said:

You can use normal hooks even if you don’t have a baitrunner feature. The fish will still get hooked just the same. I don’t see anything to gain with switching to a circle hook other than if your trying to avoid gut hooking.

If you want the proper benefit of a circle hook then in-line are the only ones to use. 

I have just heard that circle hooks are the best when it comes to letting the fish hook themselves. When I'm out in the kayak I like to leave two or thee lines out at a time, and having one or two of them not need me to set the hook just makes my life a little easier. Are there any other hook styles that are more suited for the fish to hook themselves?

 

58 minutes ago, Captain Spanner said:

Gamakatsu Octopus Circles are pretty much all i use for jewies when fishing with squid (strips, heads or whole). They work especially well in the situation you are talking about with an unattended line and a drag set with some pressure so the jewie hooks himself before you even get to the rod when you see the bite. I have them rigged on a two hook fixed snell. Hook size between 6/0 and 8/0 depending on bait size. Generally 6/0 on the top and 7/0 on the bottom for strips. They would also be ok land based for kings if you are not fishing stupidly heavy line. I still haven't broken one yet, they are surprisingly strong. I still prefer the gamma live bait hooks for kings regardless. Match the size of the hook to the size of the bait (not the size of the fish you hope to catch)

Thanks mate, that is exactly the info I was looking for. I reckon I'll grab some 7/0 octopus circles for my squid line and stick with the 5/0 and 6/0 live bait hooks for the live bait line, as the baitrunner feature makes setting the hook really easy, and makes circle hooks superfluous.

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14 minutes ago, Aardvarking said:

Thanks mate, that is exactly the info I was looking for. I reckon I'll grab some 7/0 octopus circles for my squid line and stick with the 5/0 and 6/0 live bait hooks for the live bait line, as the baitrunner feature makes setting the hook really easy, and makes circle hooks superfluous.

That's the go. Maybe 5/0 and 7/0 or 6/0 and 8/0 for the livebait hooks. 6/0s can sometimes be a little small for good hook exposure on days where you can only catch massive live baits.

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I prefer to use owner hooks as they are often a little cheaper than gammies and they dont open up. Ive had gammies open up on smaller kings just because i went a little hard, owners are a little bit harder and the point stays a litter longer than gammies.

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Ok some hook facts- straight line circles will hook fish on set lines in the corner of the jaw , they were originally designed for the longline fleet and essentially work by coming back out of the fishes stomach as it swims AWAY from the point of tension and then "hinging" into the corner of the fishes jaw. Offset circles will still gut hook fish at almost as high a rate as normal offset hooks- this is why they are not allowed in gamefishing comps/clubs etc. Differences between brands of hooks are minimal- the guage of the hook is what counts in 99% of situations . When fishing for kings/jews fish with the reel in gear with normal fighting drag on, if the hook points are exposed the fish will be hooked everytime, fish dont have hands- if the bait is in its mouth you can hook it! I have two mates who are well known fishing guides, one who specialises in kings , the other in jew-both fish reel in gear , snelled 2 hook rigs for jew and for squid baits, nose hooked livies for kings. Both these species swallow baitfish head first , they both SMASH squid.

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I pretty much only use circles on kings ( mustad ultrapoint heavy ) I've broken gamakatsu 10/0 circles on kings but never had an issue with mustad, infact I use the same hooks for marlin in 8/0-9/0 and 10/0.

Ive not tried circles on Jews as ive found they seem to hook themselves very well on J hooks. The gamakatsu octopus in both 6/0 for the top hook and 10/0 for the bottom have worked well for me. I have recently started using bkk hooks that I'm extremely impressed with, these come in both circle and J ( also other styles).

My best bait for Jews has been striped tuna, tailor and yellowtail. I have tried squid for them but still had no luck though I did once catch a Jew with several small octopus inside. Kings love squid.

Edited by JonD

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I've been making a transition to using circles more and more in the past few years, mainly because I've become lazy and can't be bothered to time setting the hook and because circle hooks have a decent hookup rate and rarely gut hook fish 

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1 hour ago, Howdoweplaythis said:

I've been making a transition to using circles more and more in the past few years, mainly because I've become lazy and can't be bothered to time setting the hook and because circle hooks have a decent hookup rate and rarely gut hook fish 

I don’t see any advantage with using a circle hook over a J hook if you want the fish to hook itself. If a fish swims away with a bait in its mouth or stomach a j hook will go in. I reckon with a better success rate than a circle as well. 

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Straight Circles, which ever brand is your choice ,  makes it a LOT easier if you are catch and release ..

J Hooks have the certainty of GUT hooking most of the species you are after, making it a definite CUT off, and the fish may live .

Circles are great for the unattended rod ....

Only 1 thing with Circles,  you HAVE to keep the gape clear ..... or you will miss hook ups....

Not so with J hooks, as the length covers that issue

Cheers

Great_White

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Great_White said:

Only 1 thing with Circles,  you HAVE to keep the gape clear ..... or you will miss hook ups....

What do you mean by this? Do you mean that instead of burying the hook you just stick it through one side and out the other to keep the hook exposed?

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Yes...exactly ....

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Best option with circles and livies is to bridle rig the livie, that generally keeps the hook clear of the bait as the fish swallows it, I still hook 95% of my kings in the mouth using 8/0 live bait hooks. I am mainly downrigging around strucure or dropping livies on deep reefs. I do use circles when marlin fishing with livies or skip baits. What Jon said about the old mustad circle is true, in general circle hooks dont need to be sharp at all because of the way they roll into the corner of the fishes mouth

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14 hours ago, Aardvarking said:

What do you mean by this? Do you mean that instead of burying the hook you just stick it through one side and out the other to keep the hook exposed?

See if you can find some information on how circle hooks work and you can better understand the do’s and dont’s.

 

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