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Tips for avoiding hook swallow

  • queenswake
    Participant
    NULL
    Posts: 808
    #2134180

    It’s a common problem all of us face — hook swallow by bluegills. Especially annoying when you catch small ones that you don’t want to keep. So I find myself cutting tons of hooks and the constant retying gets old.

    What are your tricks? Circle hooks? Press down the barbs? Certain size J hook? My question relates mostly to bobber fishing, which doesn’t help in that it can allow the fish more time with the hook and thus, an increased chance of swallow.

    iowaboy1
    Participant
    Posts: 3270
    #2134186

    Those dang gills are terribly quick about swallowing a bait!!
    When I use a bigger hook the little guys still clean the bait off it but it beat losing hooks and retying as you do.
    So, what works for me when bobber fishing is to cast out to where the fish are and immediately start reeling slowly back to myself, if they are biting they will hit it on the retrieve and are much less prone to swallowing the hook as you can see and feel the strike much sooner.
    If you leave it just sit there they have all the time they need to take the bait and you dont know they are doing it.

    R Petersen
    Participant
    Posts: 95
    #2134207

    Reel as fast as you can !! They are still faster than you. large schools of fish are always hungry. Hard to believe ? Ask any SCUBA diver in you’re area about number of fish in moving schools.

    I have got over schools. Caught several. Then they left me. Could not find the school again that day. We give ourselves & toys TOO much credit. Get over it.

    Huntindave
    Participant
    Shell Rock Iowa
    Posts: 2563
    #2134208

    My question relates mostly to bobber fishing, which doesn’t help in that it can allow the fish more time with the hook and thus, an increased chance of swallow.

    Possibly down size the bobber? Use the smallest bobber that will suspend your bait, then even the slightest bite will move the bobber.

    Steve Root
    Participant
    South St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 5167
    #2134209

    My father used to use streamer hooks. A #8 hook on a 3X long shank. Small enough to get in a Bluegill’s mouth, and a longer “handle” to grab onto when you went to unhook them.

    He also used a pencil bobber that was weighted just enough to float tilted over at a 45 degree angle. Then any kind of bite was pretty obvious.

    SR

    iowa_josh
    Participant
    Posts: 343
    #2134210

    My favorite is a pencil bobber and no weight. When it stands up, something is happening! Somehow using a split shot on the line will let them get the hook in farther.

    R Petersen
    Participant
    Posts: 95
    #2134258

    Steve Root father has the correct ANGLE of the float.

    WSAF
    Participant
    Western WI
    Posts: 16
    #2134262

    I switched to using small jigheads last year after having the same issue. A lot less casualties.

    R Petersen
    Participant
    Posts: 95
    #2134266

    I to am using small tubes with skirts on a hook & shot. Troll and medium speed retrieve for different fish. No gullet or gill hook ups. Almost all are the tough gum line bites. The fish are plumping up. More selective bites.

    boone
    Participant
    Woodbury, MN
    Posts: 827
    #2134319

    I switched to using small jigheads last year after having the same issue. A lot less casualties.

    Same here. I’ve found that the kids got very few swallowed hooks on blue gills when using a small flu flu jig tipped with a small chunk of crawler.

    R Petersen
    Participant
    Posts: 95
    #2134326

    If you keep the … BAIT / MEATS moving all the time ? NO deep throat hookings .

    Let bait lay still ? Deep throat or SWALLOWED out of sight. If you catch & eat the fish ? PERFECT setup. I get the hook or leaded hook back when I clean the fish,

    Netguy
    Participant
    Minnetonka
    Posts: 1341
    #2134496

    Fish a few feet above the fish. They’ll usually come up, take the bait and turn to go back down. Makes it easier to see the bites. Also, pay attention and set the hook as soon as possible.

    stevenoak
    Participant
    Posts: 1362
    #2134504

    I just switched to circle hooks this year in fresh water. So far seems to help. Been using them for 4 years in saltwater.

    Eelpoutguy
    Participant
    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 7825
    #2134546

    I try my best not to injure the fish however Eagles need to eat too

    tornadochaser
    Participant
    Posts: 740
    #2134645

    My daughter is constantly fishing for gills off the dock whenever we’re at the cabin. Not to mention we love to go out on the boat for an hour or two of corking big gills off weedlines.

    Since I had my daughter switch to horizontal jigs, she has had less deep hooked fish, which means less trips across the yard down to the dock to assist with, and faster releases.

    Long shank hooks at a minimum are a must have for gills. Those combined with a hook remover rather than a pliers results in fast release for even deeper hooked fish. My two buddies and I took 5 girls under the age of 11 bluegill fishing a week ago, and we only had two deep hooks and one bleeder out of all of the fish caught; keeping approximately 25 gills, 1 walleye, and 1 crappie, while throwing back a lot of big male gills, a bunch of large mouth, a few smallies, and a few small crappies. Not bad for 3 of the girls never bobber fishing for panfish before.

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