Circle Hooks Vs. J Hooks - What Is Better For The Fish?
When talking about conservation in angling, it is very difficult to say a certain technique or a certain bait is better than the other. The same goes with what hooks work better for what fish. In this article Warren Potts, a senior lecturer at Rhodes in the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, demonstrates the impact circle and j hooks have on the fish, and the summary can be seen on the left (Please click the image to make it larger).
When it comes to fish safety and releasing fish, circle hooks are definitely the way to go, but in the end it does come down to personal preference. I hate gut-hooking fish so I use circles wherever I can, but some saltwater fish species can be tougher to catch on circles for some reason, possibly because of the way they feed. And the element of striking a fish to set the hook is missing when it comes to fishing with a circle hook: because when a fish bites on a circle hook you tighten up your drag and lift into the fish opposed to setting the hook by sharply and quickly lifting the rod. If you do the latter with a circle hook you will catch 1 fish out of 10 or so.
If you are fishing rocky areas circle hooks could be the answer to help you loose less tackle, this also adds to conservation in a positive way. All in all, if you want to "fish for the future" the circle hook is definitely the way to go...