I never used barbed hooks. Barbed hooks can be difficult to remove from the fish once landed and Fish Welfare (along with Fish Pensions, Fish Tax Credits and Fish Rent Grants) is important. Those are obvious reasons. For me, though, that’s only partially why I always use barbless hooks. The main reason I use barbless hooks is that I do not wish to go through the ridiculous ordeal shown in the video below:
Last Sunday at Cheshire Fishing near Tattenhall you might recall that The Compleat Angler documented a rather windy day. A combination of fiendish wind conditions plus the fact that I am a stupid git means that I managed to stick my hook into my fingers no less than FOUR times. Now, granted, it was a small hook, size 18. But, the fact that it was barbless meant that removing the hook was a smooth and easy process, almost completely devoid of pain or drama, unlike that which we see in this gruesome video. The video is interesting, though. It has taken me 2 hours to watch it. Begin video, watch for 3 minutes, faint, bang head on desk, recover, continue watching, faint, bang head….etc.
Fishing hooks should not be barbed. Yes, you might lose a few more fish but I personally find there’s no difference in dropped fish between barbed and barbless hooks. I’m equally incompetent with either. In my case I think I actually land MORE fish on barbless hooks because when I use barbless hooks I spend more time fishing and less time in the emergency ward having barbed hooks removed from my bodyparts.
Come to think of it, I don’t even OWN a barbed hook. Even on the few lures I own I always pinch the barbs down. The way I see it, any predator kind enough to grab my lure deserves not to have a bloody great barb added to the insult of being caught by me.
It springs to mind that this particular individual has a real Fish Hook Fetish. Or perhaps he has access to some extremely powerful drugs. Or it could be that he is from North America where they don’t have Coarse Fishing or Maggots or Boilies or Size 18 barbless hooks or Commercial Fisheries or Fishing Seat Boxes or 16 Metre Poles which means he’s totally clueless about our kind of fishing and barbless hooks in particular. But, mainly, I think it’s drugs.
If, in the course of writing this blog, I ever feel the need to demonstrate various methods of Fish Hook Insertion and Removal from the Human Body I will be sure to use the anatomy of a different species other than myself. See Below.