VERY Important reading... - Fly Fishing Forum
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  #1  
Old 01-04-2001, 12:24 PM
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juro juro is offline
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VERY Important reading...

This is a very important article written by the MD DNR on circle hooks and striped bass survival...

<!--http--><a href="http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/recreational/crsb.html" target="_blank"> HERE </a><!--url-->

Let's discuss this after it's been read a little...
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2001, 12:48 PM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

2 things strike me:

1. Deep Hooking leads to higher mortality

2. If you do deep hook a fish, traditional bait hooks are worse not because of their point but the bend. The bend strikes the sidewall when you pull on it. Interesting.

Correct me if I'm wrong but as a barbless FFman in New England most of our hookings are "shallow" and below the air temp of 95 deg. yielding the LOWEST mortality rate of 0.8%.
I see no need for the use of circle hooks in my practices...right? I guess the one thing we can do given this data set is to lobby for circle hook use by bait fishermen to protect the stocks. And I can tell you they ain't gonna like it! Too bad.

Terry
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Old 01-04-2001, 02:17 PM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

Those are certainly impressive differences.

I wonder if fishing shops would allow a group of concerned anglers to post a tasteful poster near thier hooks that would inform the buyer of the difference.

Something like:

"Small fish released today are tomorrow's trophies. Use a circle hook and let 9% more of your released fish have a chance at being a trophy."
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Tight Lines,

Gregg
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2001, 02:35 PM
Nathan Smith Nathan Smith is offline
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RE:VERY Important reading...

Terry I think you are right about streamer style flys, but circle hooks might make alot of since with crustation flys like crabs and sand fleas (southern fly). Fish more often inhale these and get hooked deep
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Old 01-04-2001, 04:37 PM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

Hawkeye -

A bit of my ol' marketing days coming thru but how about "Use circle hooks for bait and reduce mortality by up to 90%".

Same figures, but with the extra zero when applied to the difference within the mortality percentage range.

Good idea, I prepared something to this effect for C&R but lost it with an old hard-drive. Hmmm... time to archive!
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Old 01-05-2001, 08:54 AM
John_Desjardins
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RE:VERY Important reading...

Here goes a thought on saying anything you want to with statistics.

In the results section of the paper is the following "Anglers caught 476 striped bass with conventional bait hooks and 640 with non-offset circle hooks". If I slip into the marketing mode I would switch this to "In studies anglers caught 25% more fish with circle hooks". Further explanation, if needed, could be that with by using circle hooks you spend less time re rigging your bait and more time with the bait in the water.

Now if I could figure out how to hook a fish using a circle hook I might believe the hype I just wrote.
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Old 01-05-2001, 10:09 AM
Aaron
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RE:VERY Important reading...

Circle hooks have been used for a long time by long-liners - both pelagic and deepwater (like for deepwater snappers). They like these hooks because they hook the fish well without being set by, for example, a hard jerk of the rod. Also, they tend not to gut hook, so are more easily removed - speed of rebaiting and fewer replaced hooks on the lines are money to these guys. In other words, the findings of the MD DNR folks aren't surprising.

However, don't get too ambitious about applying the results of this study across the board. Note - this, and other similar studies, are providing very valuable information on C&R mortality! But remember that any research project is, just by the nature of the complexities of the system being studied, limited in scope. In large part, that is why biologists so often answer "It depends..." when asked a question about some aspect of ecology, etc. Nonetheless, we know that there is mortality associated with C&R, so studies like this are valuable in helping to incorporate this source of mortality into management plans.

But regarding the subject of hooking fish with circle hooks. The key is to NOT set the hook like you would normally. Circle hooks will set themselves, or to put it another way, the fish will hook themselves. If you try to set a circle hook with a raised rod, strip strike, etc, you will more than likely pull the hook right out of the fish's mouth. This can be very hard to train yourself to do, but it works. Once the fish is hooked, then you can apply a traditional set with the rod just to make sure.

Aaron
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Old 01-05-2001, 10:26 AM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

John -

Thanks again for the fascinating article re: fish school behavior. If anyone else is interested let me know and I will forward it.

Aaron -

I think the 'meta' level significance of the study is that it captures that flies and lures kill significantly less fish than bait; and that bait fishing is best done with circle hooks. It also infers that artificial / retrieved methods (like flyfishing)represents a small portion of the kill problem - particularly when the design of the hook is simple. This is stated as a research observation with no elitism whatsoever. It's a matter of conscience in my book.

Great discussion,

Juro
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Old 01-05-2001, 10:31 AM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

Juro: Lures? With 6 to 9 hooks on them gashing the side of the fish?

Terry
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Old 01-05-2001, 10:41 AM
ronl ronl is offline
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RE:VERY Important reading...

I tried circle hooks last year and found like Aaron that the fish did a better job of hooking themselves than I did(old habits are hard to break). Once the fish was hooked though they didn't get off even with alot of slack in the line. This takes away some of the challenge of fly fishing; ie, keeping a tight line to the fly. Also the only hooks that I've found for flies in the circle variety(non-offset) have been Eagle Claw and the finish doesn't hold up to the salt. All the others have been offset and to me would do the same damage as the regular hooks; plus straightening out the offset seems to weaken the hook, not to mention ruining the finish that protects the hook from the salt. I agree with the use of circle hooks for crustacen flies because they are inhaled- I find this early in the spring when I'm using clousers to imitate crabs and shrimp along the bottom- the fish are also smaller at this time also; but the hook is generally in the gill rakers not the stomach as it would be with bait. I agree that bait fishermen should be using circle hooks because they tend not to hold their rods so the fish can get the bait deeper than someone using artificials. It would be tough to enforce this though, but worth the try. Ron
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Old 01-05-2001, 11:43 AM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

Juro -- Read what Aaron wrote again. I think you're missing his point. You can't point to one study and say, "See, I told you so!" There are a lot of questions still left to be answered. All we can say here is that fish that are shallow hooked on bait rods died less frequently than fish that are gut hooked. We don't know, for example, if the longer fight associated with landing a fish on the fly rod has any detrimental effect. Also, it's reasonable to assume that if temps above 95 degrees escalates the mortality rate of shallow hooked fish to more than 17%, there may be other circumstances and situations that do the same. It's way too early to say with certainty "that flies and lures kill significantly less fish than bait" You can believe it, as I myself do, but it's just a belief.....

I think we are far too eager to exonerate ourselves in this matter, but you all know how I feel on that subject, so I'll just let it lie (sort of )
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Old 01-05-2001, 01:20 PM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

Thanks Al for clarifying my middled point.
Juro - one thing that concerns me in so many resource issues, is that we too often end up in a me vs. you situation. I am not speaking to any of us, or at this specific issue of C&R mortality, but about the whole process in general. So many resource use issues degrade to me vs. you - commercial vs. recreational fishing in dozens of fisheries, indigenous vs recreational vs commercial fishing rights, catch and release vs harvest, native fish vs hatcheries, PETA et al vs recreational fishing, and the list goes on. Too often, we lose sight of the processes and dynamics of the system we are talking about and instead focus on relative merits of the arguments of the user groups. Perhaps we should focus first on circle hooks for multiple user groups, or single hooks for all user groups (includes getting rid of trebles AND two-hook fly rigs), and other results from this and similar papers that are common to all, before talking about which group is doing what to this fish or that. I think that in the long run this approach is more constructive. After all, a fly rod in the hands of an inexperienced angler will contribute to the mortality of a large percentage of released fish for no other reason than prolonged fight times.

Just my $.02

Aaron
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Old 01-05-2001, 01:32 PM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

I'm confused again.

Do you believe that bait doesn't kill more fish than other means?

What's "I told you so from?"

Juro
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Old 01-05-2001, 02:30 PM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

I for one believe that bait fishing kills more. Yes that is my belief. But are we only limited to acting on things proven by well funded PHds over and over? Governments have been brought down over beliefs. There's nothing wrong with forming an opinion based on what you witness which is that the bait guys kill more fish. And there's nothing wrong with us grumbling about it in a Flyfishing discussion group.
Long live the barbless catch n release fly fishermen!

Terry
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Old 01-05-2001, 02:50 PM
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RE:VERY Important reading...

What Aaron said.


It always seems to boil down to a matter of who gets the blame. What <i>I</i> believe has little to do with shaping behavior and getting results (but as I said, I believe fly fishing does kill less fish).

Persuasion is about putting aside <i>a priori</i> beliefs and demonstrating to the persuadee that his <i>own</i> beliefs dictate a certain course of action. That's the direction in which I'd like to see us moving. That's all.
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