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Go Barbless for Fluke

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Sunday morning I tied a double jig rig in preparation for some surf fluking, and against my better judgement, I didn't pinch down the barbs. The first fluke was a short which was deeply hooked, and removing the barbed jig caused damage to it's throat. It didn't dart away when I released it; it just drifted back & forth with the surf. Eventually it swam off, but I wonder if it survived. The barbs got pinched down before the next cast. I caught 7 more short fluke in an hour, and all were quickly and easily released. They all darted off into deep water.

 

4" Gulp! white swimming mullet were the bait. I missed about a half dozen other fish from slow reflexes or short strikes. I left them biting because I had to head for home.

 

Just keep a tight line when going barbless, and the fluke won't get away.

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I would never fish a barbless hook for fluke especially if i had every intention of bringing them home to eat. I have a hard enough time keeping them on a barbed hook i'm not about to get up to the plate to bat with an already broken arm...

 

Release mortality for fluke is very high, may be the highest for inshore fish. They are just so agressive and basically feed like its the last meal they will be eating for a while...

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oh and as for crushing the barbs, its hard enough getting a keeper fluke out of 20 fish, I hope he gets gut hooked! Although I dont think I have ever gut hooked a fluke? What size hooks are you using?

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When they're hungry, they're going to swallow it.

 

I've gut hooked shorts on 6/0 circle.

 

Best thing to do is keep in contact with your jig and set the hook quickly.

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you could drive with your feet for hands free operation, that dont make it a good idea! sorry. if a few of the 9 billion shorts die, it will be worth hearing them scream

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The jigs were 1/2 oz. and 1/4 oz. so I'm guessing the hooks were size 1 or 2.

 

I did not gut hook the first fluke. The hook was in it's throat.

 

Release mortality is probably high for fluke because of barbed hooks, which may cause more damage coming out than going in. You don't have to gut hook a fish to kill it. Breaking it's jaw, or causing excessive bleeding will do it, too.

 

Guess what, my striper plugs are barbless, too. Last week I caught a 30 incher that had one of the trebles in the front of the eye socket, and the rear single hook in the back. Both hooks backed right out, and the eye was not damaged; releasing it was easy.

 

My point is that when you know most of the fish you catch will be throwbacks, it might be a good idea to take steps to increase their odds of survival.

 

I've been fishing barbless for decades, and I don't believe it increased the amount of fish that got away. Like I said, keep a tight line and you're good. In fact, sometimes the line can go slack, like when a big smallmouth is jumping to shake off a Rapala, and the hooks still don't come out.

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I've been thinking about this...

To make it clear,I will keep any fluke that meets the limit,at the same time I don't like to kill any fish that I'm not going to keep.

I will give it a shot tomorrow,and see how it goes.

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I said the hook was in the eye socket, not the eye. If you put a wire in my eye and pull it out, I would not expect to see out of that eye. But, if you put it in my eye socket without puncturing the eye, I believe I could still see when it was pulled out. Unfortunately I have hooked fish in the eye occasionally, so I know the difference between puncturing an eye, and just hooking the edge of the eye socket.

 

I'm just suggesting it might be easier on the throwbacks if the barbs are pinched. I only had two fish get off after I pinched the barbs Sunday. One was a short fluke that shook off; the other was a big stargazer. I slacked off after I got it in the wash, and the hook came out. That was a good thing.

 

Barbed hooks are overrated in my opinion.

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View Postfor some reason the bigger fluke i have been getting have all been snagged in the belly. headscratch.gif bucktail with gulp teaser

 

They are short striking the teaser, and when you set the hook, you are getting them with the jig.

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I dont really member many fluke that I have caught that were gut hooked in a long time..

 

Went out a couple times last week and caught probably 25 fluke, 3 of which were keepers, and I cant remember getting one fluke that swallowed the hook. Did get a couple the were hooked not in the mouth. I always use a teaser with barbs to keep on a gulp mullet and hide some of the hook. I can see where some of the typical store bought rigs would lead to more gut hooks.

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View PostThey are short striking the teaser, and when you set the hook, you are getting them with the jig.

 

Thats what I was thinking.

 

 

I mash most of my barbs, no matter what I am fishing for. It evens the playing field a bit and takes more skill.

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