Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Importance Of De Barbing Hooks - Again

I was out with @gsfeder and Mrs. @gsfeder on Friday night. Greg took the bow with a fly rod while his wife relaxed in a tailgating chair in the stern. Greg tided on a Carolina blue popper and I attached a damsel nymph dropper. It was a slow start for the first quarter mile of lake shoreline. Greg started to get into some fish, a tiny largemouth bass, a nice bluegill, and then a larger bass.

It wasn't long before a big bluegill decided to chomp down on the popper. I refer to these monsters as 'caveman bluegill' as they have that caveman bump above their eyebrows. They usually measure 8-11 inches and will bend an 8wt rod.

Greg was wrestling with his in an attempt to free the fish. The fish had actually fit the entire popper in its mouth. Something that you don't often see.

As Greg was working on freeing up the fish it slipped out of his grasp. As the fish went down to the water the trailing fly got Greg in the hand. The weight of the large fish caused the hook to penetrate his finger straight through to the hook's bend.

I've seen people freak out when the hook barely grazes them. Greg was very nonchalant about the whole ordeal. We had recently had a conversation about debarbing hooks and he knew this one was debarbed. He left the hook in his hand while he tried to unhook the fish. After that proved a bit difficult I removed the popper and tossed the sunfish back in.

It was now time to remove the hook. I always request to get a few close up pictures of the impaled hook. More for educational purposes than entertainment. Sure it makes a great blog post but it also shows others the importance of smashing a barb down for your benefit, let alone the fish. I wanted to get it on video but Greg was against that.

We utilized the 'mono method' of hook removal (see video of me below). Greg wrapped the dropper's leader around the bend of the hook, I pushed down the eye, and he popped it out. No blood. No crying.

Greg did note how sharp that hook was. These flies were tied on Fly Shack Saber hooks. And for the price they can't be beat. And you can see how sharp they are. Get some for yourself.

Anyway, we fished the rest of the sundown. Greg boated several more fish and even had a cold beer waiting for me in the parking lot.

Just a reminder, as soon as you tie on your hook and cut the tag end of the leader, smash that barb.

On a side note, Mollie at the Beer Tie last night showed me a pic of her with a midge through her lip. Maybe I can get her to write up a short story of how that happened.


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