TIPS ON FISHING FOR KING GEORGE WHITING WITH CIRCLE HOOKS
Fishing for King George Whiting is extremely popular just about anywhere they can be found in Australia. For a long time, those chasing Whiting were using long-shanked hooks. The idea with long-shanked hooks is to give you a better chance of striking and setting the hook when you detect a bite.
As fishing is, some things change and some things stay the same. I’ve noticed the use of circle hooks to take King George Whiting is growing in popularity. Circle hooks might be new to some anglers but the reality is that they have been around for hundreds of years. Circle hooks can be very effective when fishing for King George Whiting.
CIRCLE FISHING HOOKS
Circle hooks vary. Many different types of circle hooks are available on the market. Some circle hooks have a point that is bent quite sharply into the shank of the hook. For Whiting, I recommend circle hooks that are not too thick in gauge and small in size. Obviously, chemically sharpened hooks are the best because they are super-sharp and rust resistant.
PUTTING BAIT ON CIRCLE HOOKS
I’ve always found pipis very easy to get on any hooking, including circle hooks. I recommend taking your time when putting your bait on circle hooks. With small flesh baits, you can still use a weaving method. For small crabs, make sure you get the hook to point all the way through the head. A little bit of bait elastic can go a long way to stopping your bait getting sucked off your circle hook.
I’ve also found soft plastic worms and Berkley Gulps will do a good job of taking King George Whiting on circle hooks.
Whatever you do, make sure you leave plenty of hook exposed when using circle fishing hooks.
BRAIDED FISHING LINE AND SETTING THE HOOK
The best thing about circle fishing hooks is the fact that once a fish is hooked there is less chance the Whiting will get off the line as long as you keep your line tight. If you want to give circle hooks a try, I highly recommend using braid fishing line. I’ve found that monofilament fishing lines have too much stretch. Braided lines let you know when you have a nibble so you can set the hook the right away.
The trick with circle hooks is to understand the way they work. Fish normally turn after taking their prey. You will notice that most circle hooks hook fish in the corner of the mouth.
Now, setting the hook is a little different with circle hooks because of the way they work. We’ve all been taught to strike to set the hook as soon as we see the end of the rod bend when we have a bite. I’ve found that this method doesn’t work well with circle hooks. I recommend using a rod holder and fishing with your drag set, and then leaving your rod alone until the fish is hooked. Yes, I wait until the full weight of the fish is on my rod before starting the work of bringing one in.
If you do strike, I bet you will lose your fish every time with circle fishing hooks. Yeah, so it is a very different fishing method, one where you put a lot more trust into your bait and rig setup.
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