Today’s catch-and-release fishing ethic benefits
Our studies with striped bass and other species have shown that the mortality associated with deep-hooking is very rapid -- less than 24 hours -- exceeding 50 percent in the short term and possibly much higher in the long term.
Hooks rust out at varying rates depending upon the composition; stainless steel hooks never rust out. Hooks left in place are a constant source of irritation and often a point of subsequent infection. Considering these observations, a deep-hooked fish will likely die and decompose before a hook rusts out. However, removing a deeply-lodged hook is very traumatic, both physically and physiologically.
The best remedy, therefore, is prevention. While artificial lures have a lower rate of deep-hooking than natural baits, the best way to reduce deep-hooking, especially when chumming for striped bass, is to use non-offset circle hooks. In our studies with striped bass, these hooks have been shown to reduce overall mortality by 90 percent!
- Rudy Lukacovic
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