View Full Version : foul hooking

06-15-2007, 01:07 AM
this is really strange, but just recently I've been foul hooking a LOT of fish. sometimes its on the side of the body, and I even hooked one on the tail the other day, but generally either in the eye, on the head, or even outside of the gills. this of course happens to everyone from time to time, but it's seriously been happening a whole lot to me lately. the end result of this is injury to the fish. because of all this, I've been extra careful to try and remember to crush the barb. but of course, sometimes I forget.

my first question is, why would this be happening?

my second question is, what happens if you leave a hook in a fish? this is not stuff that I really like to think about, but because of so many foul hookings lately, I've been faced with some fishing ethics questions that I don't know the answer to. this is kind of graphic, but I'll give you an example. the other day I hooked trout right in center of its eyeball, from the outside. with the barb. to remove the hook would pull it's eye out. to leave it in, well I don't know what would happen. I won't tell you what I did, but what would be best for the fish?

I will say that since I've been crushing the barb, or using a barbless hook, I haven't lost any more fish than with a barb. and that includes some 14"+ fish jumping and shaking their heads. I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't already do so. it makes hook removal a breeze.

06-15-2007, 01:36 AM
For starters, what do you do for a living! I thought I was the only crazy dude up at 2 am posting, guess not! I've foul hooked my fair share here lately too! Maybe it's competition in a stream that's getting smaller from droubt. Explaination, I'm sure you have hooked a fish and have seen another fish come right behind him wondering what in the **** that fly is doing to drive his buddy so crazy! Since the streams have shrunk maybe it's one that gives your fly a tug and his buddy gets the hook set! Just a stupid thaught!

Barbed hooks with the barb mashed are the way to go! When u mash the barb it leaves just enough to leave the hook in the same spot even if there's slack in the line! You barely have to push the hook out to remove it!

Hugh Hartsell
06-15-2007, 04:58 AM
Fellas, it has been my experience through the years to find that slightly late hooksets are a major cause of foul hookups. This is not always the case, and it may not be yours, at all. This phenomenon usually shows up the worst when you are using a tandem rig setup and the fish takes the top fly. You will strike a tad bit late and the fish has already turned back from his initial strike. The resulting strike catches the fish in the side, or tail, or other part of the body, causing a foul hookup. There can be other factors, such as false passes toward the fly, and this results in the fish bumping the fly with his body, resulting in foul hookups.
As far as what will happen if you leave the fly in the fish. In most cases, it would probably rust out. If it is in the eye, that may be a different story. That might be a time to have a few for dinner.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

06-15-2007, 09:09 AM
The other evening I caught a rainbow on a stimi. When I brought him to hand, to my surprise, there was a Royal Coachman dry in his mouth. I got out my hemos and started to do the fish a favor. But the more I looked at it, the coachman was imbedded in his mouth. It was starting to grow over. It would have been really bad to take it out. The fish didnt seem to mind the fly, he actually fought dang hard. He was still able to eat. So I dont know...I guess leaving one in the eye is a different story, but I have caught trout w/ hooks coated w/ PowerBait down in their throat. They all swim away. My grandfather used to say: if it isnt in his gills, **** probably be alright. Maybe Mr. Hartsell is right, take a few home for dinner!

06-15-2007, 06:12 PM
Have heard both ways, but probably depends on whether the fly is large and would impede eating by the trout. Have caught trout with mouth ornaments, and if able to clip the fly in the hook have done so. Rest is either absorbed, grows over, or works its way out kinda like old shrapnel will that surgeons decide to leave in. As far as other fish following one hooked, have heard that the fighting fish is actually puking up its supper when being fought, and buddies are there for a free and easy meal. Skip Watson