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Circle Hooks

A circle hook is a fishing hook designed so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a generally circular or oval shape. Circle hooks are more likely to hook fish in the mouth, instead of in the esophagus or stomach. This reduces damage to the fish and makes it easier to release.


Once a fish takes the bait, they usually turn. The circle hook slides back through the fish's mouth to the jaw corner then hooks the fish in the jaw, reducing the chances of a deeply hooked fish.


It is not necessary to "set" a circle hook upon the fish bite. The angler simply reels once the line becomes tight. Learn more on circle hooks HERE 


Hooks - Stainless Steel vs non-stainless Steel

Non-stainless steel hooks are preferable as they will deteriorate over time, thus reducing the probability of damage

to the fish. Stainless steel hooks will not deteriorate over time and so have a greater chance of injury or

killing fish if they are left in the fish or discarded in the water.


Barbless Hooks

Use barbless hooks or make your own by pinching the barbs down using a pair of pliers.



Use heavier pound test to shorten the retrieval time.


Knotless Landing Nets

Knotless rubber-mesh landing nets cause less harm to the fish as they are less abrasive than nylon nets.  


Release Gear:


Dehooking devices

A dehooking device is a tool intended to remove a hook embedded in a fish.  It allows a fish to be released with minimum damage.   


Dehooking devices include tools with a long shaft with an inverted-V or other hook capturing device, blunt-nosed pliers, alligator pliers, or dehooking forceps.  Dehookers come in varying lengths and designs for releasing different sizes of fish.


While pliers and forceps can be used as a dehooking device, the use of dehooking tools that can grab the fishing

line, slide down the line, and remove the hook quickly are encouraged because these tools require minimal handling of the fish and are better able to secure the hook during removal. 


What not to use: knives, screwdrivers sharp-nosed wire cutters or pliers.


At least one dehooking device is required when fishing for reef fish in Gulf of Mexico federal waters and must be used to remove hooks embedded in reef fish with minimum damage.


The SeaQualizer

This product is an alternative to venting that reverses the effect of barotrauma on fish.


Fish venting tools - See Venting Tools under Releasing Bottom Fish




Release Equipment video from Florida Sea Grant




Blair Wiggins explains how circle hooks work for redfish with artificial shrimp, from Eagle Claw