I think all hardcore striper fishermen who read The Fisherman regularly are well aware of the circle hook requirements for striped bass at this point, with most having assuredly made the switch to their brand of choice. As a quick reminder, anglers targeting striped bass anywhere along the Striper Coast with “bait” must use a non-offset, or inline, circle hook. The word “bait” as defined by the fishery managers is “any marine or aquatic organism live or dead, whole or parts thereof.” Thus, bloodworms, mullet, bunker, eels, clams or crab, some of the popular natural baits for stripers, must be rigged on an inline circle hook.
When searching for the right circle hook to fish legally, Gamakatsu has made it pretty easy to decipher with the Gamakatsu 4X Strong Straight Eye Inline Octopus Circle Hook emblazoned on the package telling you everything you need to come into compliance. A beefed up version of one of the world’s most popular circle hooks, these Gamakatsu circle hooks feature a straight eye with a fully inline point to comply with new angling regulations in both the Gulf of Mexico bottom fishery as well as our Atlantic Coast stripers.
Built with an extra heavy-duty construction, these hooks have the strength you need to do battle with hefty striped bass, and of course the super-sharp hook points to put you into that battle for which Gamakatsu has become well-known. First producing fish hooks in Japan in 1955, Gamakatsu is known worldwide today for their High Carbon steel hook production.
Keep in mind when rigging your Gamakatsu 4X Strong circle hooks for battle, while the “straight eye” can be snelled it’s better to use a Palomar knot or Capt. Tom’s Knot when connecting leader to hook. Look for Gamakatsu in brand hooks in your local shop, with their 4X Strong Straight Eye Inline Octopus Circle Hook available in sizes starting at 1/0 on up to more “personal best” striper appropriate 9/0 and 10/0 available from $4.99 to $9.49 retail.
Learn more at gamakatsu.com.