How can I save more trouts lives from swallowing the hook?

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FernRidgeChamp

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Aug 4, 2009
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I usually troll and on my pontoon I am unable to stop rowing and set the hook. Usually by the time I stop rowing and grab my rod I lost the fish. My method is to just keep rowing until it's obvious I have hooked the fish. Unfortunately, many of the fish swallow the hook so deep I have to keep them otherwise they will just die in the lake. I'm not out to kill 20 trout a day so I end up going home in a few hours with 5 random sized trout that I wish I could have released and kept fishing (which I don't because they swallow the hook so deep). I've tried other types of hooks and they don't work for my method of trolling. I cannot really change any variables in my technique as it's very dialed in but I am open to any suggestions.

If I pressed the barb on the hook would I lose more fish? With my barbed hooks I very rarely lose a fish, maybe 1 out of 10 or 15. I hook the lip or jaw maybe 1 out of 5, and the other 4 swallow it very deeply. I caught 8 fish today and had to bring home 5, the 5 smallest fish of the day too... One 13 incher that I released had another hook in its mouth that I took out for it. It was pretty cool seeing it in there!


Thanks,
FRC
 
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Thuggin4Life

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buy lots of hooks so you can cut them off. thatreminds me i need to buy more trout hooks.
 
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GDBrown

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Lower your mortality rate

Lower your mortality rate

Yes! Pressing the barb down makes it a barbless hook and you will loose more fish unless you can keep a tight line at all times while fighting the fish. I sometime replace the treble hook on lures with a single hook to make them easier to remove.

Assuming you are rowing on a lake, have you tried drifting with the wind and fishing with cast & retrieve rather than trolling. I've had the same problem when I'm in my little drift boat on lakes. I have found it to be more fun if I troll until I get a hit on the lure then just stop and start casting. If they are hitting very close to the surface I usually get out the fly rod for even more fun!


Good luck,

GD
 
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GDBrown

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Trying to clip the eye off is more difficult than you might think. I have tried it a few times and usually ended up ripping the fish apart doing more damage. Leaving a small hook in the throat area might not be too bad, a treble hook there is sure death anyway as nothing can get past it. I have read that most hooks will rust themselves out in about a month and the fish really aren't harmed that much. However the bigger the fish the better their chance of surviving the ordeal.
 
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Thuggin4Life

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Just washed out my boat and found a few rusty hooks from last sunday. Just cut you line and more time than not the fish will live. The hook will rust away sooner or later and the fish is less harmed than trying to pull it out. Going barbless give the risk of loosing the big one.
 
18406ej

18406ej

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FernRidgeChamp, regardless of the solution that you come up with, it is nice to see that people do have the best welfare of the fish in mind. Good job!
 
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steelheadstalker31

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Maybe try giving a few hard strokes on the oars when you see the bite. I know drift boat guys do that and it seems to work.
 
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FernRidgeChamp

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OK, I will leave the hook in from now on if it's hooked in the throat. I would also imagine that the fishes body would reject the hook. The hook would be pushed out as the wound heals. It would be better than enternally damaging the fish I guess.

Thanks everyone for the advice,

FRC
 
K

kornphlake

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Portland
I fish catch and release exclusively as I don't really care for the taste of most fish. If I can't get a hook out within about 20 seconds I'll cut the line and release the fish. I've only fished lures from the bank and have never had a fish swallow a treble hook on a lure, if I'm fishing bait I'll use single hooks, if I'm catching a lot of fish I'll bend the barb back to cause the least amount of damage to the fish when I remove the hook. Even with the barb bent back I've cut the line a few times.

I've seen plenty of gizmos for removing hooks, I've never tried one myself, but they look like they might work some of the time.
 
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