BoatUS ANGLER: RecycledFish Stewardship Tips
Replacing Treble Hooks on Lures
Treble hooks can penetrate and hold a fish effectively. With three hooks anchored to a single post, the probability of a solid hookup is, theoretically, increased. When a second, and even a third, set of trebles, the odds seem to be in the angler's favor.
A treble hook, however, can injure a fish in multiple locations internally. When additional trebles are added to a lure, the probability of injuring the fish externally increase. Treble hooks can also be difficult to remove which adds critical seconds when the goal is to release the fish. Moreover, the second and third trebles seem to find their way into nets, line, clothing, and fingers.
As an alternative, consider replacing treble hooks on some of your lures with a single, barbless hook. The folks at GreenTackle have put together an article that outlines how to replace trebles with Gamakatsu Siwash hooks. Siwash hooks come with an open eye; it is a simple matter of clipping the existing treble hook from the lure, slipping the Siwash hook onto the spoon, spinner, or lure, and closing the open eye with a pair of needle nosed pliers. Siwash hooks are not barbless; you will need to squish the barb down.
In cases where a split ring holds the treble on the lure, a set of split ring pliers, available from Bass Pro Shops as well as other tackle shops, can help to hold the split ring open when you replace the treble hook with a single hook. An extra set of needle nosed pliers can be helpful when removing and adding hooks using a set of split ring pliers.
The folks at GreenTackle note that, on smaller spinners, sized #2 or smaller, single hooks may cause the lure to wobble unacceptably (it may be worth some experimentation, sometimes a little wobble can bring a skittish fish into the landing net). They recommend using single hooks on spinners sized #3 or bigger. They also note that on crankbaits, long-shanked hooks such as the Siwash may tangle in a two hook configuration. It may be worthy to consider a single hook rather than two hooks.
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