BernardtheGurnard

Circle hooks for eel rigging

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I read through the new MA circle hook requirements for 2020 and it seems that circle hooks will be required for rigging whole bait which would include eels.

 

I’m just getting into using eels and I’m not finding much info on rigging them with circle hooks. Most of what I find is using Siwash hooks and the Dacron line.     Would it even be much different of a process?  I appreciate any suggestions that might be offered!

 

 

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A rigged eel is almost like a lure, in that it’s fished like one. That’s a great question and I’m not positive of the answer, but I think they’re pushing for use of circle hooks with baits that are actually eaten, like chunks or live prey. 

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I'm not sure that rigged eels would even work with circle hooks. The orientation of the hook point to the fish jaw just seems wrong to me, in a fixed position setting like a riggie. I mean, I use circles with live eels and all.. but those things are inhaled and then set on the pull out. 

 

Interesting question, tbs. 

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4 hours ago, rst3 said:

I'm not sure that rigged eels would even work with circle hooks. The orientation of the hook point to the fish jaw just seems wrong to me, in a fixed position setting like a riggie. I mean, I use circles with live eels and all.. but those things are inhaled and then set on the pull out. 

 

Interesting question, tbs. 

Circle hooks in rigged eels= a felony

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I was wondering about this when the circle hook thing came up. Is a riggly a bait or a lure.  I think there are 9/0 circle hooks yet these might not be big enough.

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Interesting, two people have now said it’s a felony. My understanding is that circle hooks reduce release mortality in striped bass.  I can’t find a reference to use of a circle hook in a rigged eel being a felony, it seems that the opposite may be true as the MA DMF is requiring the use of circle hooks for 2020. 

 

If I am mistaken, and it is in fact a felony to use inline circle hooks in a rigged eel, could you kindly point me towards the relevant regulation as I am truly curious. 

 

I mostly posed my initial question because I had just read a release from the DMF about a reg change that recently went into effect in MA involving gaffing and circle hooks.

 

It states in part, “Effective next year (2020), recreational anglers not fishing aboard for-hire vessels will be required to use inline circle hooks when fishing for striped bass with whole or cut natural baits. This will include fishing with whole or cut natural baits while in possession of striped bass as well. This circle hook mandate will not apply to natural baits attached to an artificial lure to be trolled, jigged, or casted and retrieved (e.g., tube and worm).”

 

So, you can see how I assumed that mandated circle hook usage was upon us, including for rigging eels.  

 

As I said above, if this isn’t the case, please point me towards the proper information. I would generally prefer to not be a felon, or at least to not go down for something like the wrong hook in a fish. That could make for an awkward first day in prison. 

 

Edited by BernardtheGurnard
Clarity

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2 mins ago, BernardtheGurnard said:

Interesting, you’re the second person to say this. My understanding is that circle hooks reduce release mortality in striped bass.  I can’t find a reference to use of a circle hook in a rigged eel being a felony, it seems that the opposite may be true as the MA DMF is requiring the use of circle hooks for 2020. 

 

If I am mistaken, and it is in fact a felony to use inline circle hooks in a rigged eel, could you kindly point me towards the relevant regulation as I am truly curious. 

 

I mostly posed my initial question because I had just read a release from the DMF about a reg change that recently went into effect in MA involving gaffing and circle hooks.

 

It states in part, “Effective next year (2020), recreational anglers not fishing aboard for-hire vessels will be required to use inline circle hooks when fishing for striped bass with whole or cut natural baits. This will include fishing with whole or cut natural baits while in possession of striped bass as well. This circle hook mandate will not apply to natural baits attached to an artificial lure to be trolled, jigged, or casted and retrieved (e.g., tube and worm).”

 

So, you can see how I assumed that mandated circle hook usage was upon us, including for rigging eels.  

 

As I said above, if this isn’t the case, please point me towards the proper information. I would generally prefer to not be a felon, or at least to not go down for something like the wrong hook in a fish. That could make for an awkward first day in prison. 

 

Circle hooks don't need to be used if the natural bait is attached to an artificial lure. Just playing devil's advocate but if you put an inline spinner ahead of the eel would that comply for non circle hook? The spinner and short leader could be attached as a one piece "lure". For the record I actually have been using circle hooks for a while even though I feel I miss a lot more fish on trolled baits with them, the ratio isn't terrible though so I can live with it.

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8 hours ago, BernardtheGurnard said:

Interesting, two people have now said it’s a felony. My understanding is that circle hooks reduce release mortality in striped bass.  I can’t find a reference to use of a circle hook in a rigged eel being a felony, it seems that the opposite may be true as the MA DMF is requiring the use of circle hooks for 2020. 

 

If I am mistaken, and it is in fact a felony to use inline circle hooks in a rigged eel, could you kindly point me towards the relevant regulation as I am truly curious. 

 

I mostly posed my initial question because I had just read a release from the DMF about a reg change that recently went into effect in MA involving gaffing and circle hooks.

 

It states in part, “Effective next year (2020), recreational anglers not fishing aboard for-hire vessels will be required to use inline circle hooks when fishing for striped bass with whole or cut natural baits. This will include fishing with whole or cut natural baits while in possession of striped bass as well. This circle hook mandate will not apply to natural baits attached to an artificial lure to be trolled, jigged, or casted and retrieved (e.g., tube and worm).”

 

So, you can see how I assumed that mandated circle hook usage was upon us, including for rigging eels.  

 

As I said above, if this isn’t the case, please point me towards the proper information. I would generally prefer to not be a felon, or at least to not go down for something like the wrong hook in a fish. That could make for an awkward first day in prison. 

 

Sorry, I have no idea about the "legality" and I don't care to debate it.  What I meant by agreeing with the poster who said "felony" is it is a shame to have to use circle hooks (if that is the case) with rigged eels. One of the issues with fishing rigged eels is the second (vent) hook can fold against the eel making your hook-set ineffective and much of the work in rigging the eel is in sewing that hook in a way that it both looks and swims in a natural way while locking it in place so it does not turn/fold.

Unlike fishing a live eel where the fish will "take then swallow" and then you set the hook, with a riggie you set the hook immediately. You also have large hooks (I use 9/0 siwash) for the very purpose of getting a good bite on the hook-set. The hook-up ratio is very excellent when you are into large fish and I believe that factor would go right out the window with circle hooks.

Meanwhile, in New York State waters on the south side of Long Island thousands of striped bass of all sizes get dumped over dead by the gill netters while they are targeting their "slot size"  and in particular, the larger end of that slot size. The commercial size for stripers in NY is 28-38 inches and they have to tag every fish. They won't waste a tag on a fish under 35 inches so "everything else" gets dumped dead. These boats also have almost limitless tags because the state allows them to use the tags of virtually anyone who is not using theirs (thousands of "latent licenses") and share the money with them. There is also the bycatch issue with draggers as well as the poaching issue.

 My point to saying all this is if we truly want "conservation" we should go after the larger spectrum of "the problem" (those three things account for 90% of overall unwanted mortality) first, and then talk about circle hooks if the issue is not fixed by correcting the 90% of the problem. 

To further push my point, I was on the GOM Recreational Advisory Panel from 2013 to 2016 and one of the stupid, waste of time things that we did was to pass a rule that you can't use J-hooks when groundfishing with bait in The Gulf of Maine, you must use circle hooks. I believe that rule is still on the books. How many people abide by that?

 

JC

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I emailed marine.fish@mass.gov 3 months ago with photos and descriptions of eels rigged in the 2 methods I regularly use, one being the double siwash method to try and find out if either or both methods would be illegal once the circle hook regs come it. I’ve got no reply. 

 

Jason, in all of your experience fishing riggies, how many fish have you gut hooked? For me the number is 0. 

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4 hours ago, strats'n'stripers said:

I emailed marine.fish@mass.gov 3 months ago with photos and descriptions of eels rigged in the 2 methods I regularly use, one being the double siwash method to try and find out if either or both methods would be illegal once the circle hook regs come it. I’ve got no reply. 

 

Jason, in all of your experience fishing riggies, how many fish have you gut hooked? For me the number is 0. 

The only possible number is zero. You set the hook on contact, the fish has no chance to get a hook any deeper than you can reverse it with your hand (easily). I'm guessing "somewhere out there" is someone who does not know any better who "let the fish run with it" after a hit and may have hooked one deep but I'll bet that person is rare (and who would admit it?)….

 

As far as them not answering you, they ignored me for two months and did not respond until after I wrote to The Boston Globe. That they seem to "duck from you" when it is you (and all of us here) that pay them shows that they need more accountability....JC

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Me thinks given the many experiences using eels dead and or alive that the chances of gut hooking one is slim to non . This is an contact way to fish and when the run begins by the fish or a dead or live eel you are setting the hook in some manner prior to them getting it that far into the mouth that they will ingest it at all. I know some who back in another time did use circle hooks with live eels and they had similar experiences from what was explained to me I have and will continue to use the live bait hooks by Mustad the sizes being 6/0 or 7/0 put them on wire like when blue fishing with them .

I just would like to know who is going to pay for all of the old hooks we all have used over the years to fish that in some cases may become against the laws  being generated under some consideration that they are not as protective of the fish when used under some conditions. I have thousands in my inventory that will not do any more harm to the fish then what is being proposed

Some of the old setups with lead head jigs when baited still only hooked the fish in the corner of the jaws 

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4 hours ago, jason colby said:

The only possible number is zero. You set the hook on contact, the fish has no chance to get a hook any deeper than you can reverse it with your hand (easily). I'm guessing "somewhere out there" is someone who does not know any better who "let the fish run with it" after a hit and may have hooked one deep but I'll bet that person is rare (and who would admit it?)….

 

As far as them not answering you, they ignored me for two months and did not respond until after I wrote to The Boston Globe. That they seem to "duck from you" when it is you (and all of us here) that pay them shows that they need more accountability....JC

Very disappointing indeed. I suspect that rigged eels are used by so few people that when new “bait” fishing regs were writen I doubt it was even given consideration. I’d be surprised the those writing the rules even know what a riggie is. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is probably my last season of rigged eel fishing. I can’t see a way of making it work with circle hooks. 

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