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We are proud to say our awesome BAIT SAVER CIRCLE HOOKS are considered “inline” or "non-offset" and meet the requirements of the new Maryland law regarding circle hooks. Please check out this link to a recent article by Captain Brian Mayer of Marauder Charters written about Bait Saver Hooks in Fish Talk Magazine regarding this issue and how he uses Bait Saver Circle Hooks for trolling.

(June magazine). - Department of Natural Resources - New Regulations regarding Circle Hooks

What is a non-offset circle hook?

  • Non-offset circle hooks are generally defined as a hook with the point turned perpendicularly back to the shank.

Benefits and techniques when using circle hooks

    Circle hooks are designed to hook fish in the corner of the mouth which makes the fish easier to release.

  • Circle hooks have been used successfully with both dead and live baits for many species.
  • Circle hooks are used with what anglers call a "dead stick" or still rod in a holder - anglers do not pull back hard on the fishing rod to set the hook, it is more of a finesse technique.
  • Circle hooks have shown to reduce deep hooking of fish while J-hooks have a tendency to deep hook fish and puncture organs, which results in mortality.
  • Circle hooks can greatly increase the survivability of striped bass after and release due to shorter de-hooking times and reduction of deep hooking.
  • The general function of circle hooks is to hook fish in the corner of the mouth, resulting in less injuries to the fish and easier unhooking - this is already documented in department studies and in other states.

Regulations involving Hooks, Bait and Striped Bass

An emergency regulation involving hooks, bait and striped bass was approved by the state. The regulation goes into effect on May 16, 2018 and ends Oct. 12, 2018. Here are the specifics:

  1. Area covered by emergency regulation - Maryland's portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.
  2. Anglers must use non-offset circle hooks when live-lining or chumming.
  3. Anglers must use non-offset circle hooks or "J" hooks when using fish, crabs or worms as bait or when using processed baits while not live-lining or chumming (treble hooks are prohibited).
  4. The minimum size for striped bass is 19 inches

A proposed regulation to keep these temporary regulations effective through 2018 and 2019 is already in progress. The department is accepting public comment on these regulatory changes through May 29, 2018, and has also scheduled a hearing. The hearing will be will be held at 6 p.m. May 17, 2018, at the Annapolis Friends Meeting House located at 351 Dubois Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. Appropriate accommodations will be provided upon request.

Please visit our Changes to Fishing Regulations page and click on HOOKS, BAIT, STRIPED BASS — May 16 through Dec. 15 for detailed information about the hearing and to submit comments.


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