Avoiding gut hooking [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Avoiding gut hooking

08-21-2000, 04:34 PM
Almost don't want to admit it, but when I take the kids out to Wachusett, we use worms. Hey, he's 2, and it would be pretty scarey seeing that fly line whipping around!

I always crush the barbs, but even then the panfish (sunfish) seem to really swallow the hook deeper than necessary (try tell them that). Is my hook too small (#6)?

John Desjardins
08-21-2000, 09:17 PM
I struggle with this question every time I take my four year old out. The best thought I've had was to try circle hooks.

Using circle hooks has been abysmal for me. I did get to try it out with some eagle claw circle hooks in size 8, but I couldn't hook a fish for the life of me. I saw a Gamakatsu circle hook in size eight at a fishing show in California last spring, but have not been able to get my hands on the hook for testing.

What has partially worked to avoid gut hooking is to switch to a small Thill bobber weighted so that it is very sensitive to the bite, and having my son lift up any time the bobber moves. This has cut the number of gut hooked fish to 1/2 what it was before. But its still too many.

I hope that some one has a good answer to this question.

08-22-2000, 07:51 AM
Believe it or not, my answer was to go to whippin that line around... but only very gentle short casts with a rubber legged popper. My kids have a blast and one in 50 or less can get that popper deep hooked. Even still, I can get it out without damage to the fish with less than one in perhaps several hundred dying over it, which is far better than worms.

Much less messy and the little tiny popper hooks (crushed barbs) can hardly hurt the kids. Try it - it really worked for me!

08-22-2000, 06:43 PM
It just occurred to me to try to have the "bobber" all the way down against he hook's eye. This may keep any fish brave enough to attack a worm dangling from a big beach ball looking thing from swallowing the hook. I'll give it a shot.

John Desjardins
08-22-2000, 07:07 PM
Juro, following fifteen minutes lawn casting with my son tonite I decided to try your advice. Surprisingly he cast better using a fly rod than with a spinning rod. It should be an interesting adventure. Thanks

08-23-2000, 11:04 AM
I'll try that with my daughter, but I'll have to save up for another fly rod that's small enough for her. Otherwise, she prefers to just reel them in anyway, so I could just hook them for her. The 2 year old is another story...