How To Sharpen Circle Hooks For Big Game Fish [VIDEO]
Ever lose a big fish?
Well the chances are you lost your big fish because of one of these 3 reasons:
- A bad knot (check out the strongest leader to braid fishing knot contest winner here)
- A bad hook (we will solve that in the video below)
- You had a banana on board your boat (make sure to read, “The 5 Myths About Why Bananas Are Incredibly Bad Luck On Your Boat” here)
And if you have ever used a circle hook for big game fish, then you know how critical it is that the hook tip is sharp, as some of the big game fish (like sharks, marlin, swordfish, etc.) require a sharp hook to ensure you penetrate their mouths/lips.
Bad news is that many circle hooks don’t come packaged super sharp, and even the ones that do can lose their sharpness after a few uses.
Now before we show you the video on how to sharpen your circle hooks, check out this hilarious Will Ferrell “Old School” parody we did that gave a jab at the old “J-hooks” that most anglers used back in the day. In fact, it was a J-Hook that killed this beloved redfish…
“The J-Hook That Killed Old Red”
So Why Circle Hooks?
For one, circle hooks (non-stainless steel circle hooks) are mandatory when going after all reef fish in Florida.
And the use of circle hooks is either mandatory or highly recommended for most all big game saltwater fishing like Tarpon and Sharks.
These circle hooks are made so that the point is turned perpendicular to the shank to form a circular or oval shape (vs the “J” shape of the J hook).
Studies and tests on the fishing hooks have found that circle hooks are 90% more likely to hook fish in the mouth instead of in the esophagus or stomach. Of course, this reduces internal harm to the fish by decreasing the de-hooking time, it reduces the use of pliers going down the fish’s throat to retrieve a hook, and it decreases the chances of a fish ever swallowing a hook.
Here is a picture of the J Hook vs a Circle Hook so you can tell the two apart:
If you want to learn more about the Florida rules and regulations regarding circle hooks, click here to go the FWC (Florida Wildlife and Conservation) page.
Benefits of Non-Stainless Steel Circle Hooks
- The non-stainless steel hooks will deteriorate over time, so even if a fish breaks you off with the hook in its mouth, the hook will erode and deteriorate
- Circle hooks set in the fish’s mouth all by themselves when you reel in the line (so you don’t have to set the hook like you would bass fishing). This is great for inexperienced anglers and for deep-water fishing where you can simply reel in.
How To Sharpen Circle Hooks (Video)
Quick Tip: When sharpening any type of fishing hook, make sure to only go ONE WAY with the file or sharpener. If you go back and forth in both directions on the hook, it will dull your file and never fully sharpen your hook. Our friend BlacktipH does a great job and only going one way in the video below.
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