Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Circle hooks given nod at Baja's East Cape
|Axel Valdez, director of marketing at his family's Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort, announced that the hotel’s sportfishing fleet will lead the way on Baja Mexico’s East Cape by converting exclusively to Mustad circle hooks to be used with all natural baits in 2012.
The hotel’s “New Year’s Resolution” to only utilize circle hooks was a long time coming. "Our commitment to conservation and the releasing of billfish began decades ago," Valdez said. "Numerous studies during the past 10 years have conclusively indicated that the survival rate for billfish in particular is significantly improved when using circle hooks versus conventional J-hooks.”
According to Jeff Pierce, Sales, the new Demon® Perfect Circle Hooks are “the only circle hooks with Precision Proportions™. This revolutionary design aspect means the point angle and length, gap, front length and all other parameters have the same proportions across the entire size range for maximum effectiveness. The range also boasts a new modified point design with a 96º angle which is optimum for insuring a high percentage of lip and jaw hooking.”
Billfish Foundation President Ellen Peel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. said, “The Buena Vista Beach Resort is setting a conservation benchmark for reducing post-release mortality in East Cape sportfishing that we applaud. The Mustad new Demon Perfect Circle Hook selected for the Buena Vista sportfishing fleet is an excellent choice – it is devilishly awesome!”
Rob Kramer, President of the International Game Fish Association, Dania Beach, Fla. also praised the Valdez Family’s decision. “Extensive research has proven that circle hooks are an effective tool at increasing post-release survival of billfish caught on natural bait. The IGFA is pleased and supportive of Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort’s decision to now require their use throughout their entire sportfishing fleet.”
The conservation-themed circle hook decision was made as part of the resort's thirty-fifth anniversary; another resolution is the flying of the recently-IGFA approved David Wirth Circle Hook Released flag by the fleet to signify the successful release of billfish. Wirth is both a marine artist and IGFA representative. His design features an aboriginal-style circle hook in white against a red background, combining the tradition of celebrating a catch with the principles of circle hooks and safe release.
“We hope that our decision will influence other fleets here at East Cape to come to the same conclusion that the use of circle hooks can only improve the mortality rate of billfish released in the area,” concluded Valdez.