Having got this far with your interest in Circle hooks, let's make sure that the hooks that you are interested in using are in fact true Circle Hooks. There are some hook patterns that are occasionally sold as 'cirlces', but are really 'Kahle' hooks, and these renown for their 'deep-hooking' abilities; the opposite of what we wish with our 'Circles'!

Khale Hook
Circle Hook

The obvious differences are that the circle hook has a point that is aiming directly at the shank of the hook. While the Kahle hooks point aims slightly upwards, and is kirbed. Kahle hooks are NO substitute for a circle hook, regardless of how cheap they are compared to a circle pattern. Circle hooks are only expensive because they represent such a small proportion of the market for hooks worldwide. 'J' hooks are by far the most popular pattern, and not surrounded by all the 'mystic' and 'fear' of circle hooks.

Circle hooks are very size orientated. In that a small hook will probably not hook a large fish, due to the mechanics of the hooking mechanism, that nearly guarantees a scissors hooked fish. Hooks are needed that match the target species size, and that match the bait size, WITHOUT masking the hook!

Rigging baits on circle hooks, within the context of shark fishing is divided into two areas, dead or live baits.

Dead baits are simple and straight forward, just simply mount the hook in the snout of the fish bait as shown below:
Live baits are a mounted with a bit more difficulty. Firstly mount a doubled length of dental floss on the curve of the hook, with a clove-hitch. Then mount the dental floss on a large sewing needle.
Next get your lively live bait, gently in you left hand.
Take the needle, and pass it though the eye socket of the Mackerel to the rear of the eye ball. Without puncturing the eye! This will mount the hook by a very secure part of the bait fish, but preserve a natural presentation.
Remove the needle from the dental floss, and hook the doubled end of the floss over the hook point.
Now twist the hook in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, to take up the slack in the dental floss.
Now take the hook point and pass it under the point where the dental floss first crosses the Mackerel's head. Pass the hook from front to back.
Finally, move the shank of the hook up under the dental floss, so that the hook is positioned on the top of the bait's head.

One final reminder, that with circle hooks you do not strike the bite, but let the fish run off against a sustained and positive drag. The just wind in to the fish to finally set the hook home.

The bridle rigging method described above actually takes longer to read, than to carry out, it is just a matter of a little practice and preparation


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