Hookless Fishing ... chapter 1 :)  

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Hookless Fishing ... chapter 1 :)

Posted by pierhead
on Nov-1-05 4:15pm

Ever since I took the 'hookless fishing' pledge last week I have been relentlesly at work trying out various ways of attaching the bait so that when swallowed it would be difficult to disgorge and yet would not harm the fish. My first attempts consisted of tying a plastic bead on the end of the leader and threading the other end through the bait. Worked well in that the bait backed up against the bead and was held securely. However, the only beads I had were about .025 in diameter and were too large for the piling nibblers I was working with. I did catch one large pile perch using the bead with mussel but it entangled in the kelp around the piling and the bead pulled free.

This morning I was out at Gaviota just after the morning high tide when I decided to abandon the bead alltogether and tie the bait to the leader itself. I threaded the loop end of the leader through a whole frozen anchovy exiting out the nose. The loose end was wrapped around the tail several times, tied off and trimmed. The leader was attached to the swivel of a carolina rig (half-ounce sliding egg) and underhand casted out about 10-15 yards. I let it rest on the bottom for a minute or so before beginning a standard jerk and rest retrieve. On the third cast the bait was picked up and the line went slack ... I opened the bail and waited. Shortly there was some more activity on the line and it began to move away from me ... the moment of truth was at hand ... could I actually retrieve and land the fish even though there was no hook to rely on?

Gradually I increased pressure on the line and the fish turned towards me. More pressure and the fish was at the top of the water still holding onto the bait. I slacked my line and picked up my camera to get a picture of it because I really doubted I was going to get it into the milk crate I was using for a net. 

The fish stayed quietly on the surface for several pictures and then floated over the milkcrate as I picked up the pole again ... holding the fish against the current allowed the milkcrate to slip under it and I was able to lift it to the surface and then to the deck.

My first fish landed using hookless tackle! I don't think I have ever really appreciated Thornback Rays before ... this one I was tempted to kiss and will never, ever bad-mouth them again :) The bait was completely swallowed and was still in the ray's stomach.

A gentle tug and the fish disgorged the bait ... the basket was lowered over the side, upended, and the fish swam slowly away apparently (hopefully) no worse for wear and perhaps just a bit wiser.

Proud Supporter of UPSAC

Current thread:

Hookless Fishing ... chapter 1 :) pierhead - Nov-1-05 4:15pm

Re: Hookless Fishing ... chapter 1 :)   socaljerry - Nov-1-05 4:29pm
Re: Hookless Fishing ... chapter 1 :)   fursonlegs - Nov-1-05 4:43pm
Very Cool, looking forward to chapter 2   baitfish - Nov-1-05 4:57pm
Magus Pierhead!   kaleo - Nov-1-05 5:06pm
He's got the white hair but needs a longer...   Ken Jones - Nov-1-05 5:15pm
Maybe we could paint his motorhome—wizard   Ken Jones - Nov-1-05 5:27pm
Congratulations!Salty Nick - Nov-1-05 5:17pm
Once again the great minds (actually one mind) at   Ken Jones - Nov-1-05 5:25pm
congratulations, but   baymaster - Nov-1-05 5:53pm
Re: 'why would you not use hooks?'pierhead - Nov-1-05 6:54pm
I stand correctedbaymaster - Nov-1-05 7:42pm
Re: congratulations, but   reelrepairbatty - Nov-1-05 7:07pm
Good job there   Seabass_Seeker - Nov-1-05 8:18pm
Unprecedented, unbelievable   dompfa ben - Nov-1-05 8:52pm
i used to do this with trout when i was around 11   sleepingisnicer - Nov-1-05 11:01pm
Sorry ... couldn't help myself :)   pierhead - Nov-1-05 10:00pm
Wow. But I'm still not getting rid of my hooks.   mel - Nov-1-05 10:32pm
That Is A First On Here...Very Nice!corbinaman1 - Nov-1-05 11:57pm
Re: Hookless Fishing ... chapter 1 :)   mahigeer - Nov-2-05 12:35am
What can I say, I'm impressed.eelmaster - Nov-2-05 6:48am
That's cool! Congrats!pinoy - Nov-2-05 9:54am
Cool!!! Reminds me of trying to catch crawdads as   SanClementeEric - Nov-2-05 11:38am
Erica Jong would approvequai loh warrior - Nov-2-05 5:56pm

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