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barbless or not

barbless or not  

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Good Day,

 

Studies have been made regarding this issue:

 

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/article/art....asp%3Fsid%3D99

 

http://www.afga.org/News/_news/Barbless%20...%20040616-2.pdf

 

http://www.fgc.ca.gov/2004/7_50b180isor.pdf

 

And certainly many others. But the main point is that virtually all studies have come to the conclusion that there is no discernable difference in mortality of game fish based on the difference between a barbed or barbless hook. Many states are now deleting barbless hook regulations due both to the results of said studies and the fact that it will allow for their conservation officers to be freed up for other enforcement activities.

 

Steelie

 

 

Your links are dead but I agree 100% with you. For healthy trout population, barbless hooks do NOT increase the population or preserve the population of trout. Natural mortality is far greater than the difference in mortality between using a barbed vs barbless hook.

I discussed the issue with numerous references in this thread:

http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=75418

The best scientific study on barbless vs barbed hook fly fishing mortality is the article presented at the Wild Trout VI Symposium in 1997 and subsequently published in the peer reviewed journal North American Journal of Fisheries Management Volume 17, Issue 4, 1997. The editors of both the Wild Trout Symposium, which is the major symposium for trout fisheries, and the NAJFM reviewed the article and found it noteworthy.

See pg. 72 of the Wild Trout VI Symposium:

http://www.wildtroutsymposium.com/proceedings-6.pdf

Here is the full article from the Idaho Fisheries Dept:

https://collaboration.idfg.idaho.gov/FisheriesTechnicalReports/Res-Schill1997%20Barbed%20Hook%20Restrictions%20in%20Catch-and-Release%20Trout%20Fisheries--A%20Social%20Issue.pdf

The abstract from the North American Journal of Fisheries Management Volume 17, Issue 4, 1997 is here:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1577/1548-8675(1997)017%3C0873%3ABHRICA%3E2.3.CO%3B2

Barbed Hook Restrictions in Catch-and-Release Trout Fisheries: A Social Issue: by Schill and Scarpella

"For flies and lures combined, mean hooking mortality was 4.5% for barbed hooks and 4.2% for barbless hooks. Combination of test statistics from individual studies by gear type via meta-analysis yielded nonsignificant results for barbed versus barbless flies, lures, or flies and lures combined. We conclude that the use of barbed or barbless flies or lures plays no role in subsequent mortality of trout caught and released by anglers. Because natural mortality rates for wild trout in streams commonly range from 30% to 65% annually, a 0.3% mean difference in hooking mortality for the two hook types is irrelevant at the population level, even when fish are subjected to repeated capture. Based on existing mortality studies, there is no biological basis for barbed hook restrictions in artificial fly and lure fisheries for resident trout. Restricting barbed hooks appears to be a social issue."

 

The bottom line is that resource management is based on managing populations of animals whether they be deer, elk, moose, or gamefish including trout. Trout anglers have been brain washed to think that barbless hooks preserve trout populations. The single advantage of barbless hooks is if you hook yourself. There is no advantage in cold water, warm water or salt water fisheries to preserving fish populations in a C&R fishery.

The USA's best trout researcher, Robert Behnke, recently passed away in 2013. Midcurrent Magazine called him, “one of the world’s foremost authorities on trout and salmon species.” He has written many times on barbless vs barbed hooks and his own research shows from a fish mortality standpoint, there is no advantage of barbless hooks over barbed hooks.

http://www.tu.org/blog-posts/dr-trout-rip-robert-behnke-1929-2013

http://midcurrent.com/podcasts/dr-robert-behnke-a-life-with-trout/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Behnke

From About Trout: The Best of Robert Behnke from Trout Magazine

By Robert J. Behnke, PhD

http://tinyurl.com/99p94vz

“The fisheries research studies in Yellowstone Park have also helped to dispel some long-established beliefs. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary to restrict catch- and-release fisheries to barb-less flies only. A large proportion of Yellowstone anglers have only casual interest in fishing and are not highly skilled or experienced. Many use large treble hook lures. The trout they catch are frequently left flopping on the bank while a camera is dug out and photos taken. Yet survival of the released trout is exceedingly high (99.7 per cent) based on the 1981 study. Most all detailed comparative studies on hooking mortality have demonstrated no significant differences in mortality between trout caught on single, treble, barbed or barb-less hooks.

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I think the difference would show more if they only studied deep hooked fish. You are much more likely to do damage trying to remove a barbed hook from a deep hooked fish than a barbless hook.

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I've lost bass on barbless hooks that I feel I wouldn't have lost with a barbed hook. But who knows? I also believe that on a hard-mouthed fish like a bass a barbless has the potential to actually create a larger hole in the membrane because it wallows out more...or can. A barb on a bass hook can lock it in pretty well so it doesn't rotate. Barbless hooks are a lot easier to remove, of course.

 

On soft-mouthed fish like trout a barbless hook causes less damage. If a fish swallows the hook it's a LOT easier to remove, but that doesn't mean it does no harm to the fish.

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All the hooks I buy have barbs on them. If the Fishing God wanted me to fish barbless, He'd miraculously remove those barbs.

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I pinch the barb before tying the fly. In case there is a bad metal temper, I don't have a complete fly with a broken hook. I go with the post #57- easy to remove from the fish and from me- if ever needed. I also fish Euro-style for carp and I pinch the barbs on all my hooks. Never had a problem landing a fish. IMHO, as long as there is tension on the line, the hook will stay in the fish's mouth or lip.

Dr. Behnke was a great guy and I learned a lot from the gentleman. Would have loved to studied under his direction.

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Some of the new hook designs lately have a micro barb on them I notice. I probably won't be pinching those down as regularly as I do full barbs unless the regulation calls for it. But full sized barbs I definitely pinch down. That said, just last week I jammed # 18 or maybe 16 hook in my finger up to the bend in the hook and it went straight in. I thought oh great, is this one I pinched down. So pleased when it came out with little effort !!

 

I've killed small salmon getting barbed hooks out of them because the hook was pretty deep and in the gill rakers, no more. Salmon are few enough without killing them off because I feel like fishing with barbs up or just too lazy to pinch them down. And I feel a pinched down barb holds the fish just a little better than total barbless yet still offers easy release.. It gives that little bump of resistance that you don't get with total barbless hooks.

 

I had a rainbow trout fully transfer a Rapala to my hand one time, two barbs of a treble hook fully buried in my hand, one in the knuckle joint. No getting it out, had to go to the emergency room, where they cut the hook off and cut a pathway in my finger and pushed through to get it out. Both my wife and I decided that's enough with the barbs. Well hey, not bad for 60 years of fishing, it's not like it happens every day but when it does it rather ruins the day it occurs on!

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This is always a topic of discussion. Just look at the fact that this thread is alomost 10 years old.

 

I always crush the barbs on my hooks. Have I lost fish? Sure I have but I may not have gotten a good hook set. I can say the vast majority of fish I have lost is because I failed to keep a tight line or they broke off. Barbless also allows me to release the fish without touching it and I can keep it in the water.

 

Barbs were designed to keep bait on the hook.

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I think the difference would show more if they only studied deep hooked fish. You are much more likely to do damage trying to remove a barbed hook from a deep hooked fish than a barbless hook.

 

1. Trout RARELY get hooked deeply on a fly. So statistically, that is a non issue.

 

2. If they do, the best chance for survival is to cut the leader.

 

3. Since there is no scienticfic evidence of a population benefit in healthy fisheries, the decision to fish barbed or barbless flies should be left to the angler. With less than 1% mortatlity difference between barbed and barless hooks, in threatened fisheries, all fishing should be closed.

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I have very limited experience with trout silver. My experience is more warm water and bass tend to get hooked deep alot! In this instance I feel that barbless hooks help me safely get the hook out where I would do damage with a barbed hook. Of course if its too deep I snip it. I agree it should be anglers choice for sure.

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I pinch down barbs on everything I tie . Easier to set and to remove the hook ( from the fish , my flesh and clothes) . If I mess up ,don't keep pressure on the fish and it self releases that is all on me.

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... don't keep pressure on the fish ...

I just realized a big difference between me and the trout anglers who "like" to fish barbless.

I am rarely fishing in current. I am fishing in still, shallow water. Almost every fish I've hooked has run directly at me at one time or another ... usually right at the hook set.

There is NO way I can constantly "keep pressure" on the fish. I can usually keep up with a "charging" fish, but barely, considering a good sized bass can hit 10 mph easily.

Everyone says they don't lose fish if they keep the line tight. Without current to help keep the line tight, fishing barbless is a guarantee to lose most fish hooked ... yes?

 

Anyway, I am rationalizing for no reason. All my hooks are barbed and will stay that way unless fishing a regulated area.

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