Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Quick trip to the river tonight to fish the first couple of hours of darkness. The barbel weren't playing but I did have an eel about a pound and a thin, out-of-condition chub of 3lb 0oz. When I unhooked the chub I found a second hook in it's mouth, the hook was barbed, connected to about twelve or 15 feet of line and then snagged - had this fish been on a 12 foot leash for some time?

I removed the hook and released the fish ready to swim about wherever it wanted and hopefully to gain some weight for the winter, but it made me think, do we need barbed hooks?

I know a few people swing past this blog so I was wondering; should barbed hooks be banned for course fish?


  1. (My vote is yes, they should be banned)

  2. Hi Brian,
    That fish must have been waiting for you to come along and release it, As for barbed hooks, Well i would say not to ban them on river but lakes and ponds dont need them, If you hook a fish on the river you are almost guarenteed to land it with a barbed hook, And thinking about it also with a barbless hook, Its when the line snaps for what ever reason, Normaly just not wetting the knot before tightening it, So the hooks are OK be they barbed or not, Its the line weight that may be the problem, Well done on returning the fish thuogh mate,

  3. That poor Chevin looks very underweight,quite a lucky thing that you caught it when you did Brian.

  4. Barbless for deads and lives whilst piking might be a bit awkward Brian.

  5. One barbed hook on the treble for lives & deads and barbed or semi/micro barbed for worms. I'm not saying I'm right but we all lose fish, it just made me wonder.

  6. Banning something usually leads to banning something else and so on and so forth. It is more of a case of educating anglers and steering them in the right direction. There are too many people/groups who would like to ban things for us. Over here there are many areas where Shark fishing is no longer allowed.
    Loosing fish is a very unfortunate but very real part of fishing. We can all try to keep this to a minimum by using barbless hooks(in the right situation), choosing appropriate breaking strain lines for the species and situation encountered and learning proper knots, but there will still be loses.
    I fish for very aggressive predators that in the fast paced surf environment tend to take a bait fast and keep moving as second chances are few and far between in their natural lives. I exclusively use Circle Hooks and have a tremendous jaw hook-up percentage. That being said I still deep hook a few fish, I hate it, but it does happen. I deep hook far far less fish now than I ever did with traditional 'J' Hooks. So should we ban 'J' Hooks? No, of course not. Probably wouldn't catch many Bleak on Circle hooks, might be fantastic for Pike though.....
    Sorry for the rant, but I think Banning things is a dangerous road to go down. Education and choosing the right tool for the job goes a long way towards minimizing bad situations such as your poor Chub.

  7. Good point. The easiest way to deal with the problem would be to ban fishing, and none of us want that.

    And some situations require barbs to hold the bait on, it's difficult when you find a tied fish - I'm just glad I managed to free it.

  8. i've used barbless on the river all season, and have not had one lost fish through a hook pull or seen any sign of mouth damage even after a prolonged fight with big barbel. Although saying that i would find it difficult to cast out one of my carp rigs without a size 8 barbed wide gape on. So i guess its all open to debate.

  9. I never use barbed hooks, not even for pike. They take the fun out of fishing in my view. Whats the point if the fish have hardly any chance of throwing the hook?