Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
No more trebles?.
If you follow my saltwater fishing blog pages you'll see that recently I tried single hooks instead of trebles on one of my bass plugs. The experiment was a success in as much as I had one bite and caught one bass. Before I get down to the nitty gritty I should say that earlier in the week, using a conventional J11 Rapala, I landed a really nice chub and a few perch when fishing at the crack of dawn.
Anyway - single hooks! I was quite pleased with the new set-up because it certainly made unhooking the fish relatively easy. No need to worry about trebles stuck in the fingers when I picked the fish up. I decided to follow up the bass fishing session with a trip to the river. On my first attempt, using the J9 for sea trout, I had a single bite and hooked a decent salmon of about twelve pounds. Without the camera I couldn't get a picture of the fish in the water but in any case it was 'one up to the single hooks'.
The following morning I went to try for coarse fish, this time with a J7, again fitted with size 2 singles. When I started it was still pretty gloomy (about 6am) but I was soon into perch and I landed four in half-a-dozen casts. The biggest was perhaps half-a-pound and I was waiting for a bigger one - for me to take a picture - it never materialised, but at least I'd caught another species on the single hooks. I then switched to a J11, armed with trebles, to see if I could catch any bigger perch but the only result was a pike which put up a decent struggle before being unhooked and released (using pliers, while the fish was still in the water). Now, these days, I would NEVER use plugs Small or large) for pike fishing but the pike don't know that. When I'm after perch, chub, trout etc. pike of all sizes are quite likely to engulf the relatively tiny lures, sometimes with resultant deep hooking and possible surgery. A single hook with a reduced barb is going to be much easier to extract with minimal trauma to the fish.
Having no more bites on the larger plug I changed back to the single hooked 7cm version. I allowed it to drift downstream for about twenty metres and then, as I began the retrieve, a fish grabbed the plug. This one turned out to be a trout, again nicely hooked on the mid-body single. The trout was followed by a pike which came unstuck and then two more pike were landed before a tiny perch took the plug and almost at once wriggled free.
So, that's already five species on the single hooks in only three sessions and only two fish lost. I expect I would have lost a couple even using the conventional treble hooks so I shall continue with the singles on a range of lures to see how it goes..
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