Difficulty w sardines on circle hooks

goldfinger81

Well-Known "Member"
Feb 18, 2020
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Rob A
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None
I can’t for the life of me belly or butt hook a sardine with a circle hook without destroying the fish. The gap between the point and shank seems so narrow and with the point facing the shank I can barely get the angle right to snake the hook thru. Using Mustad 2/0 ringed offset demon hooks. J hooks are a ton easier but I would prefer to keep using circles. Any tips?
 
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ZZZZZ

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 11, 2003
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Pinch the hook between the fingers in back of the barb not from the eye. For more control while pinning the bait on a circle. Belly, butt, shoulder, or nose hook

Cover the sardines eyes to calm the bait down. With the gentle cradle grip hand

A good bait feels like a wet bar of soap
 

heman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 23, 2008
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heman
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\___/
I hold the hook like above recommend along the bottom outside and then try to wedge sardine belly/shoulder between the opening shank and circle point, then do a little rotate left to right getting the point to catch.
 

hucklongfin

Deep release specialist
Jul 3, 2003
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MarkT
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Those 2/0 are small... I used them all last year with the smaller bait we had. Nose hook works fine, butt hook ok, shoulder only if I get a deckhand to do it for me!
 
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goldfinger81

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Feb 18, 2020
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Rob A
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Those 2/0 are small... I used them all last year with the smaller bait we had. Nose hook works fine, butt hook ok, shoulder only if I get a deckhand to do it for me!
Ya, I'll look at getting larger ones. On a side note, not a huge fan of the Mustad offset ringed demons in general. The rings seem pretty bulky. Maybe will try just circle hooks with a loop knot.
 

larry dickson

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Jul 16, 2012
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Chuck Roast
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20' Skip
Like said above, tip of barb needs to go at a forward angle (towards the nose) between the layers of scales, then across the bait. Practice while boat is underway on dead bait. Also have a deckhand give you a lesson?
 
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goldfinger81

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Feb 18, 2020
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Rob A
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Like said above, tip of barb needs to go at a forward angle (towards the nose) between the layers of scales, then across the bait. Practice while boat is underway on dead bait. Also have a deckhand give you a lesson?
good tips, thx! didn't even think of asking the deckhand 🤦‍♂️
 

scramblerj

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 23, 2013
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San Diego
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Joe
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Ain’t got one....
Anything but a nose hook is a PITA!Tom
I still always fish sardines with a nose-hook... It's the only way I can hook the bait quickly without harming it. Maybe sometimes it doesn't work as well as belly/butt/shoulder, but I usually do ok....
 
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ssrmr2

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Mar 15, 2006
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Steve
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17' montauk "Anger Management"
when you belly hook, hook near the anal fins. there is bone structure to help keep the bait on the hook vs more towards the tail. another tip is not to push the hook thru instantly. you may have noticed that a scale gets on the point of the hook and thus making a large hole in the bait. take a few extra seconds and use the point of the hook to lift a scale and then proceed to push the hook thru. about a good bait in the water and not just “any” bait in the water.