New North Carolina Circle Hook Season Starts July 1
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: June 25, 2009 Phone: (252) 726-7021
NEW CIRCLE HOOK SEASON STARTS JULY 1
MOREHEAD CITY – A new seasonal requirement for using circle hooks in the Pamlico Sound and its tributaries starts Wednesday.
From July 1 to Sept. 30, fishermen must use circle hooks, short leaders and fixed weights when fishing between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. with natural bait using large hooks (greater than 4/0) in the Pamlico Sound and its tributaries.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission adopted the rule in November in an effort to reduce post-release mortality in the recreational catch-and-release red drum fishery. Research has shown that the use of large or intermediate sized circle hooks, combined with a short leader and a fixed weight, reduces the incidence of deep hooking (gut hooking) in the red drum fishery.
The regulation was recommended in a N.C. Red Drum Fishery Management Plan.
For the purposes of this regulation, a circle hook is defined as a hook with the point of the hook directed perpendicularly back toward the shank and with the barb either compressed or removed. The fixed sinker should weigh at least 2 ounces and be secured within six inches of the circle hook.
The exact wording of the rule, with GPS coordinates, can be found on page 24 of the 2009 North Carolina Rules for Coastal Fishing Waters, which can be downloaded from the DMF Web site at http://www.ncfisheries.net/download/2009_MFC_Rulebook.pdf. An illustration of the appropriate circle hook tackle can be found at http://www.ncdmf.net/download/circlehookreddrum.pdf.
For more information about the requirement, contact DMF biologist Lee Paramore at (252) 473-5734 or Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov.