Circle Hook

Does it have to be a circle hook to fish in the Gulf of Mexico? also are you allowed to use jigs or jig heads to fish for red snapper?Thank you for a quick responce.

The law currently states that if you are fishing from a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico in the State of Florida you need to use circle hooks, and not off set circle hooks. If you are fishing off a pier or land structure the law does not apply. It is quite idiotic when you consider the Florida Keys. Large party boats go one mile out on the Atlantic side and catch hundreds of Snappers and Groupers using “J” hooks. On the Gulf side however the average angler fishing with his family is subject to the circle hook law. This just goes to show you the power of lobbying and the power of business. It is quite comical that the powers that be are so concerned with the safety of the fish to pass this law, yet turn the nose at the safety of the fish when the Party Boat industry is concerned. The law only applies to anglers using live or natural bait. If you are suing a jig without bait applied to it then you can keep the standard “J” hooks attached to it. If however you are fishing with bait of any kind then you by law need to use circle hooks. Circle hooks are very effective but you need to relearn how you fish to use them. For the fisherman who has fished many years with “J” hooks it is a big adjustment. The hook setting mechanism and fighting of the fish are greatly changed; these changes must be accounted for.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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