I recently found this site and discovered a wealth of helpful information. Thanks!
First a little backround. I spend ~ 125 days/year fishing and guiding for stripers in east Tennessee. The fish here are plentiful and often very large. I rarely remove fish from the water when unhooking them and release all fish to fight another day. I use circle hooks exclusively when fishing small baits (< 10").
However, my preferred bait for 25+ pound fish is live 15-22" long skipjack herring hooked just in front of the dorsal fin. I have been using 10/0 J hooks for these large baits as I think a solid hookset allows me drive the point of the hook through the bait in the event the hook gets turned back into the bait. Until recently, I have not worried about hookin fish in the throat. I simply reach into their mouth, rotate the eye toward the point 180 degrees and the hook comes out very easily. However, I have noticed some fish bleeding profusely from the throat. The bleeding stops as soon as I remove the hook but im afraid the hook may have punctured the heart or major arteries that are located just behind the fish's throat.
As such, I want to switch to circle hooks. SInce you saltwater guys have been using them for years, I'd like a little bit of your wisdom for using circles for giant baits. What model and size circle hook and rigging techniques do you suggest?