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Release Report

September 21, 2007
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Perfect Circle
South Carolina study proves the positives of circle hooks.

|| |—| || |SPOT CHECK: A study found non-offset circle hookscause a low mortality rate in South Carolina redfish. Photo: Will Drost| When it comes to redfish, non-offset circle hooks kill far fewer fish, according to a recent study.

Scientists with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources sampled 172 redfish caught near oyster bars with either 2/0 J-hooks, 4/0 circle hooks with a 15-degree offset or 4/0 non-offset circle hooks. The fish were then placed in holding tanks to assess how differently the three hook types affected the short-term (48 hours) mortality rate of the species.

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Deep-hooking proved less of a problem with non-offset circle hooks, as only ten percent of those fish were hooked somewhere other than the shallow region of the mouth. Fish caught on offset circle hooks and J-hooks were deep-hooked 20 and 40 percent of the time, respectively. Surprisingly though, the seven-percent mortality rate attributed to J-hooks was smaller than the ten-percent rate of offset circle hooks. Non-offset circle hooks, however, displayed a super-low mortality rate of just two percent.

“The study demonstrates the vital importance of (non-offset) circle hooks and using them whenever you plan to release some of your catch,” said researcher Julie Vecchio. For more information, visit saltwaterfishing.sc.gov.
– Joel Arrington

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