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jjdbike

Do you drop bass w/ pinched barbs?

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While I've not yet stuck myself deeply w/ a treble from a bass plug I am aware it always a danger.

I've seen enough pic and read enough reports to realize that if one fishes enough it's almost inevitable. I don't fish nearly as often as I'd like to and when I do bites are precious. Nothing I hate more than dropping a nice fish.

That being said, does, how much does crushing barbs of trebles increase the risk of dropping a bass?

JD

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I'm in a similar situation. I fish when I can but thats usually only once, maybe twice a week. I have not lost any fish to a crushed barb, at least not yet. I'm sure there's slightly increased odds that a fish will pop off bit I haven't experienced that.

 

You're not just crushing barbs for your safety but also the fish. A plug with three trebles buried in a fish with all barbs intact is going to be a disaster to remove.

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Thanks Scallywag & Drew.

 

I understand it's for both fish's & my safety. I don't own a plug that I keep 3 trebles on it and I replace most of my tail hooks with a single siwash. I am VERY meticulous and gentle removing hooks from bass.

That being said I'm still torn.

So Drew, from your reply, you're saying that you don't crush the barbs on your big girl plugs? Sounds like a reasonable compromise.

JD

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As long as there is tension on the line, the barb is useless.  The only time a crushed barb will hinder you is when the fish makes a huge run directly at you and you can't reel fast enough, which in my experience doesn't happen that often. Better hook setting ability with crushed barbs too.  


The only barbs I don't crush are when fishing off a jetty as it's typical to lose tension for a second when climbing down the rocks. 


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goes in the fish easier, comes out of the fish easier, comes out of me and mine easier. been crushing barbs or as long as I remember and can't recall many dropped ones that I can blame on crushed barbs.

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I went barbless 20 years ago after my third trip to the ER. Since then, zero trips to the hospital.

 

If I miss more fish by going barbless, I can't tell. I missed fish both ways. I can be a lot more aggressive handling a fish up close because I don't worry about the hooks, which has probably landed me a couple of fish I would have otherwise lost. I carry pliers and a flashlight, but rarely have to use them to remove hooks, which has a number of benefits.

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I've never caught a striped bass so I have to ask - do they jump out of the water in an attempt to throw the hook?


We catch Tarpon on the east coast of Florida and they generally launch out of the water repeatedly during a fight, in attempt to throw/spit the hook. It's the barb on the hook that usually keeps the lure embedded in the fish. When the fish comes out of the water and shakes its head back and forth, the force generated can throw the lure. We are of the mind that the barbs prevent this. If the fish never came out of the water, this issue is basically rendered moot.

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Crushed barbs from day one. That's the way I was taught. The thought of of losing a fish because of crushed barbs has never entered my mind. Once you crush em you'll find that as long as you keep pressure on the fish you won't lose them.

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jjdbike, crushed barbs will never hurt you . . . no pun intended. In fact, with larger, heavier hooks when hooking larger stripers the crushed barb actually gives you a better hook set allowing it to get to the elbow. Fortunately, stripers are not tarpon and no worries with wild tail walking and head shaking.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sethATC View Post

 

"As long as you keep a bend in the rod, you'll never lose a fish" -John Skinner





In practice that is not always an available option. Especially with a fish that leaves the water or tail-walks and goes ape-**** in an attempt to throw the hook.


That being said, I know some tarpon fisherman who take this to the other end of the spectrum. Grinding the barbs down and slightly thinning down the point on the hook. They do this as punching through the tarpons mouth to get a solid good up is very difficult, compounded with the structure of their mouths. These guys are more interested in getting the hook IN than worrying about it backing out. Smaller point on the hook, with zero barb, means less effort to hook up. Paralysis by analysis.


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just keep tension on the line and you'll be fine. sometimes when I know its a small fish. I would drop my rod to try and drop the fish, works a lot. hate walking down a jetty to land small schoolies and dinks.

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I started crushing barbs after a couple of fish inflicted hook injuries. One of those incidents required an emergency room visit and my thumb didn't function properly for about a year. Anyway, I really liked the safety factor of not having to contend with getting a barb out of my hide if I ever got stuck again and there's the added benefit of easier unhooking and less chance of injury to the fish when there's no barb. BUT... There's no doubt in my mind that more fish are lost without a barb. All it takes is a momentary loss of pressure on the line and the hook can slip out. Now, I've stopped crushing the barbs on new plugs and always carry good side cutters which are capable of going through any hook I own. Works so far and I'm landing a higher percentage of the fish I hook.

 

Valentine

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Here's a stupid, but honest question. If the consensus seems to be that crushing the barbs is safer for both you and the fish, and seldom results in a lost fish, why is everything made with barbs in the first place?


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