Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pinch-down barbs; carry side-cutters

Cut the split ring, not the hook off the treble as shown
We've needed to remove a few hooks from anglers' hands already this year, including this one today.
It's a great idea to pinch-down the barbs on all treble hooks on lures like Rapalas. These will still catch and hold fish as long as you keep a tight line and are simple to remove from your own skin -- just pull them out.
It is also a great idea to carry medium-to-large-sized side-cutters. Use these to cut the split ring that holds the treble to the lure. Don't cut the single hook off the treble! If you do it is far more difficult to remove. In the case above we used the string method and the hook was out in an instant.
This is done by holding down the shank of the treble and giving a quick tug with a string on the hook parallel to the skin in the opposite direction. The hook just pops out as the barb is pulled through the opening stretched by the curve of the hook before the elastic skin can close.
No matter how careful we are, sooner or later we all get a fish hook in ourselves.
Side-cutters are also handy in case you catch a big pike and cannot get the hook out of some far recess of its mouth without killing the fish. With side-cutters you can snip off the hook from the treble and get the big fish back into the water before it's too late. Of course, it is always preferable if you can remove the hook entirely but sometimes it would just do too much damage to the fish.
Several cabins are reporting that they are doing better on walleye with artificials such as Rapalas than with live bait!

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