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Circle hook help?


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I've tried fishing live minnows for bass recently, and the bass seem to swallow the minnows headfirst, resulting in some (not all) gut hooked fish. I normally C&R so wondering if I can find a different hook to reduce gut hooking. I've tried extra wide gap worm hooks, and octopus circle with offset point hooks, and still get a mix of gut and lip hooked fish.


Looking at octopus/circle hooks there are several features that can be combined in different ways on different hooks: 

1) reverse offset eye or straight eye -- I understand offset is better if you want to snell the hook to your leader.  Would it reduce gut hooking with the octopus hooks if I tied direct to the eye instead?  Or better to just use straight eye hooks?

2) inline or offset point - does the offset point make it more likely to gut hook the fish even with a circle hook? Seems like it would.

3) circle point vs. straight point.. Circle is designed to reduce deep hooking.

4) size.. I've been using 3/0 and 4/0 hooks after starting with #2 and missing hooksets. 


Anyone have a recommendation for a good hook for nose hooking minnows and not gut hooking the fish?  (Other than don't use live bait)..


Of course my local sports store has a very limited selection of hooks right now anyway...


Thanks fellas..

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You get a mix because bass eat like people.  Some wolf it down and some nibble.  gamakatsu circle hooks work well.  I think you should be using a #2 - not sure why you are missing hook sets maybe move up one size.  You can use a wire hook as well.  The advantage here is that you can let swallowed hooks remain and the fish will either break it down or it will pass thru.  It is better to cut than yank if you are catch and releasing.  I know you are looking for an explanation for your questions - I don't really know.


BTW the live bait thing gets even harder when you add walleye into the mix.  And about live bait vs artificial.  I believe there is a time and place for both.  I have seen a lot of bass deformed from 9 hook point lures and that's why mine are like brand new.  I would rather catch the fish with one hook point if I am going to release it.  Cranks usually out fish live bait in the fall so I will use them - don't want to be a hypocrite.

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