Paul Worsteling: Well it amazes me how little thought some people put into choosing the right hook for the job. You know, the biggest boat, the best car, all the fuel in the world, all new game rods and reels. If you ain't got the right hook that isn't sharp, and it isn't going to work, you're out of luck.
So when you go to your local fishing store make sure you choose a hook that is going to do the job correctly. Now, there are so many styles, patterns, types of hooks. 92608 the old mustard pattern, beautiful for King George whiting. 92554 that's known as a Suicide or Octopus hook. 454 and a half, that's the extra long shanks that's fantastic for garfish. It goes on and on, but essentially there are two styles of hook. A J hook and a circle hook, and they both work differently for different purposes.
The J hook is just fantastic when you got fish that are picking at a bait, but they're not quite sure. They're coming in, they're a bit tentative. You've got the opportunity to actually strike and try and set that hook. But, the big trend over the last decade has been to move towards what's known as a circle hook. Commercial fishermen, long liners have been using these things for years, and they literally do all the hook setting for you. Place the bait, put it out, when you get the bite do not strike. You just got to sit back and wait.
The beauty of that is the fish will pick up the bait, he'll swim away. That hook will actually go down a bit, and as the pressure comes on it will roll around, and nine times out of 10 it will hook your fish in the corner of the jaw. The beauty of this, you get a nice clean fight, but even better if you choose to release that fish you're not damaging a fish with a gut hook. So you literally pull it out of the corner of his jaw, let him go, and good for the future of the fishery.
So when you go in a fishing shop, when you look through your tackle box, have a really good think about what style of hook you're going to put on. Match it to the bait you're going to use, do all the math, and make sure it's super sharp, because at the end of the day it's the one thing connecting you to that fish of a lifetime. This has been Paul Worsteling for my good friends at Club Marine.