My expectations continue to be exceeded at the International Circle Hook Symposium in Coral Gables, FL. Yesterday I heard several excellent presentations relating to the use of circle hooks in recreational fisheries as well as circle hook and human dimension issues. Of interesting note was a presentation by Dr. Dan Schill from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He was the only speaker to address circle hooks in freshwater fisheries. His research looked at the effectiveness of passively and actively using circle hooks in trout fishing. If you aren't familiar with circle hooks, the typical method is to let the fish "do the work" meaning, you don't set the hook when the fish strikes like when fishing a j-hook. Once the fish takes the bait, you are suppose to simply reel in the fish. He and his colleagues found that setting the hook (with a circle hook) actually yielded similar if not better catch rates than doing it the recommended way. In addition the circle hook continued to hook fish in the corner of the mouth like a circle hooks is suppose to do. Now granted this is one study that only looked at fishing for one particular group of fish, but its very interesting to think that there may be other effective means of fishing with circle hooks than what is currently recommended. I'm interested to see if more research on this topic comes out in the future, particularly with marine fish. I would suspect the fish type, its feeding behavior, and fishing style would all influence the outcome!