Subject: Rigging soft plastics with circle hooks
Message: Good afternoon, Love the show! I've learned a lot and enjoy seeing how you guys fish in south Florida. I fish mainly on the east coast of Florida for redfish, snook, and trout. I see that you sometimes rig your soft plastic flukes and Gulp shrimp with circle hooks. Would you mind explaining how you do this, what the advantages of this setup are, and in what situations to do so? Thank you! Sincerely, Kurt F
(Sent via Saltwater Experience Fishing Blog)
Thanks for the question.
We do rig alot of our soft plastics with circle hooks and have experienced some great results.
The very best results have come when combining circle hooks and surface jerk baits. We use these mostly for Tarpon, but have had great success with other fish like Snook, Redfish, Jacks, and Trout. I wrote an entire blog post on combining Jerk Baits and Circle hooks with a few videos that you can see. Click Here to see that whole post.
We don't fish for Flounder or Fluke very much, but the technique may work well there too. When trying the circle hooks rigged with soft plastics, you will have to change your hook set slightly.
With a traditional J Hook, you will rip into the fish when you feel the bite. With a circle hook, we wait a second after feeling the bite and point the tip of the rod in the air. We will start reeling slowly until we feel the weight of the fish and then reel as fast as we can to get the hook to find a home. Once you get used to this setting style, you dont miss too many fish.
Definitely go look at that other post because I go over the way I hook the baits. This is important because I am making a great effort not to impede the hook gap on the circle hooks. If you rig the baits in a way that there is not much hook gap available, it may not stick at all.
Play around with rigging styles for your fishing and have a little patience. The first few may not stick because of rigging or hook set styles, but if it shows some promise as a good technique for you, stick with it because the circle hook can be a deadly technique that can increase hook up to land ratio dramatically.
Thanks for watching the show!
Send us some pictures if you have some success.
All the best,