My Turn, Your Turn: Fishing hooks

By Gary McNair - bio|email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - I never thought I'd be doing a commentary on fishing hooks, but I do like to fish and my good friend Bob Townsend has enlightened me on the subject of hooks.  Now, I feel obligated to share that information with you.

For years, the primary type of hook has been a "J" hook, but conservationists have been encouraging people to use "circle" hooks.  It turns out a circle hook is actually safer for the fish.

If you catch a fish using a circle hook, it is usually hooked in the jaw and can be easily removed from the fish's mouth.  That's especially good news if you are practicing "catch and release."

"J" hooks will also catch fish, but it increases the chances the fish can swallow the hook.  And if that happens, trying to remove the hook usually causes a fatality.

Spring fishing along the coast is picking up, so go out and enjoy.  Be sure to know and follow the rules - don't forget to get a license.

Give that circle hook a try, and practice good conservation efforts.   That way we'll all benefit and there will plenty of fish for everyone.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Viewers' response:

Although I am very young, I have been fishing for most of my thirteen years. When I go fishing I find it harder to get a circle hook out of the mouth of your catch. I find the sharp curve of the hook good for hooking the fish but it is harder to get it out when the time comes to release. When I want to use a circle hook I use it on my "Carolina Rig," and it seems to work very well for reeling in that big fish.


Another alternative to the "J" hook if you have an endless supply of them,   instead of discarding them simply take a pair of needle-nose pliers and snap the "barb" thus removing the part of the hook that has traditionally damaged the tender mouth of most fish.  This will accomplish the same result as the new "circle" hook.

I've been doing this for years.....the only trouble is I haven't been catching many fish which is a whole other issue....


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