Using Circle Hooks For Bass

Chris writes in with a question:

"My son asked me a question the other day while he was preparing his tackle and was wondering if a circle hook would work while trolling shinners for black bass instead of the J Hook?
Chris From Middleburg"



Thanks for the question.

While I have not done that exact thing, I think that circle hooks would work well trolling shiners for black bass.

I would suggest putting the rod in the rod holder at a vertical angle.  Set the drag fairly light so that when the fish bites, the rod will bend and some drag will go out.  This will insure a good hook set with the circle.  

Let me know how it goes and send me a picture of his big Bass!

I also sent this question to my good friends Joey Nania and Miles Burghoff who both fish in professional Bass Tournaments.  Miles and Joey are also the hosts of the super popular new television show, Sweetwater on NBC, Destination America and Sportsman Channel.

From Miles:

Yes, circle hooks work great for live bait fishing for black bass too.  The key is to make sure you give the fish tike to eat the bait before starting to reel.  Just like setting the hook for saltwater fish on a circle hook, it's important to just start reeling and lift the rod tip at the same time instead of an aggressive hook set.

From Joey:

Great question Chris,
Circle hooks are a great option for almost every style of live bait fishing. Circle hooks however require a very specific hookset! Where some hook styles require a large amount of force in order to drive the hook home. A circle hook more than any other style of hook is designed for the angler to be able to pierce the hook perfectly in the mouth of the fish by simply applying a decent amount of consistent pressure! All you need to do when you feel a bite, is count to 5 and then begin to steadily reel until your line is tight with the fish. The circle hook will almost always roll perfectly into the corner of the mouth piercing the fish quickly and easily. Now if you are trolling you definitely need to make sure that you give the fish proper slack as soon as you feel the initial bite. Again count to 5 then regain pressure. A properly used circle hook will become your new favorite while live bait trolling shiners for black bass! Chris, I hope you and your son catch a big one, and if you want to see some great live bait black bass fishing make sure to check out our new freshwater show. Sweetwater will premiere on three major networks, NBC Sports, Sportsman Channel, and Destination America beginning on December 29th. We hope you enjoy the show.
I’ll see you on the water!!!
Joey Nania
Co-Host Sweetwater TV

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