Barbed Hooks...

billiebob

Well-known member
Today in BC

It was an expensive day of fishing for five U.S. citizens near Bella Coola.
Conservation Officers on a recent raft patrol of the Dean River conducted an angling compliance check of the group.
All five individuals were using barbed hooks, in contravention of the BC Sport Fishing Regulations.
They were each issued a $575 fine.


Know the local rules !!
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
Many places don’t allow barbed hooks. I would have to check the specific regulations river by river, but I’m fairly certain that California doesn’t allow them on “native” trout waters. Basically the concept being that it is unfair to have a hook that the fish can’t spit easily. Although I’m about as far from a fisherman / angler as one can get and still buy a license, I’ve de-barbed all of my hooks other than the ones I keep in my survival supplies in my daypack. The theory for those is that when I’m deep enough in trouble to use that gear to feed myself, and the ranger shows up to write me a ticket, I can ask for rescue too!
 

Laps

Active member
As an avid fly fisherman for over 40 years, I only use barbless hooks on trout flies, whether they are for 'catch and release' or for later consumption. And besides, the streams and rivers designated as being catch and release are also 'no barb hooks allowed' waters. This has been a common restriction for as long as I can remember.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Pretty hard to check the length of the fish before it bites the hook 😉

As a backpacker, we fish barbless in order to release the fish that dont meet the minimum length. Our fishing is often used to extend a trip a day or two.

We do always have a few barbed hooks, for emergency use only.
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
Unfortunately, the outdoors is not immune to the "if it sounds good we should make it a restriction" mentality.

Quite simply, there are a great many factors that play into catch and release fish mortality to a much higher degree than whether or not my #18 hook has a barb or not.

It's so far down the list of factors that barbless single hooks have become (like so many other things in our world) performative theater in the name of "doing good".

Notably:

ANY treble hook (with or w/o barbs) is going to quadruple a catch and release mortality.
ANY - catch and release attempt on a baited hook of any type - is going to quadruple fish mortality.
ANY - meaningful time spent out of the water after the stress of a fight - is going to quadruple fish mortality

In truth, a real and valid argument could be made in fly fishing waters where a single hook is used that having barbs would DECREASE fish mortality because you can lean on it and bring it to hand quicker than with a barbless hook. But honestly, that would be on as thin ice as the argument for barbless hooks - I only bring it up to show how thin the argument really is.

If resource managers truly wanted to make a meaningful impact to any fishery that has some catch and release component - they would focus on requiring single hooks (NO treble hooks) and limit bait fishing to only catch and keep fisheries. The rest of it - like requiring anglers to have barbless treble hooks in some areas - is laughable at best.
 
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aknightinak

Member
Know the local rules !!
This. As often as not, though, it's willful ignorance. Just last week I ran across a fellow along my home creek who asked if I'd seen any trout. I told him no, just a few salmon fifty yards up in the closed area. He went directly back to his car, grabbed his 8 wt, and returned to start casting for those salmon across the creek from a sign reading "area closed to fishing." We had a conversation about actually reading regulations and onstream signage. He left post haste.

Interestingly, we have no barbed/barbless regs in Alaska, but those waters that get a "flyfish only" designation require the terminal tackle to be less than 1/4 oz in its entirety and have a hook gap from tip to shank of 3/8 in or less. I expect the Board made some middle ground argument on what was worse, barbed or big and heavy, to try to appease multiple user groups while also restricting them.
 

PJorgen

Desert Dweller
Unfortunately, the outdoors is not immune to the "if it sounds good we should make it a restriction" mentality.

Quite simply, there are a great many factors that play into catch and release fish mortality to a much higher degree than whether or not my #18 hook has a barb or not.

It's so far down the list of factors that barbless single hooks have become (like so many other things in our world) performative theater in the name of "doing good".

Notably:

ANY treble hook (with or w/o barbs) is going to quadruple a catch and release mortality.
ANY - catch and release attempt on a baited hook of any type - is going to quadruple fish mortality.
ANY - meaningful time spent out of the water after the stress of a fight - is going to quadruple fish mortality

In truth, a real and valid argument could be made in fly fishing waters where a single hook is used that having barbs would DECREASE fish mortality because you can lean on it and bring it to hand quicker than with a barbless hook. But honestly, that would be on as thin ice as the argument for barbless hooks - I only bring it up to show how thin the argument really is.

If resource managers truly wanted to make a meaningful impact to any fishery that has some catch and release component - they would focus on requiring single hooks (NO treble hooks) and limit bait fishing to only catch and keep fisheries. The rest of it - like requiring anglers to have barbless treble hooks in some areas - is laughable at best.
Although I don't fundamentally disagree with your assertions, I wonder where you got the data that each of those conditions increase mortality by four-fold. It seems awfully coincidental that all three of those conditions have the same effect on mortality.
 

Roha

New member
Unfortunately, the outdoors is not immune to the "if it sounds good we should make it a restriction" mentality.

Quite simply, there are a great many factors that play into catch and release fish mortality to a much higher degree than whether or not my #18 hook has a barb or not.

It's so far down the list of factors that barbless single hooks have become (like so many other things in our world) performative theater in the name of "doing good".

Notably:

ANY treble hook (with or w/o barbs) is going to quadruple a catch and release mortality.
ANY - catch and release attempt on a baited hook of any type - is going to quadruple fish mortality.
ANY - meaningful time spent out of the water after the stress of a fight - is going to quadruple fish mortality

In truth, a real and valid argument could be made in fly fishing waders where a single hook is used that having barbs would DECREASE fish mortality because you can lean on it and bring it to hand quicker than with a barbless hook. But honestly, that would be on as thin ice as the argument for barbless hooks - I only bring it up to show how thin the argument really is.

If resource managers truly wanted to make a meaningful impact to any fishery that has some catch and release component - they would focus on requiring single hooks (NO treble hooks) and limit bait fishing to only catch and keep fisheries. The rest of it - like requiring anglers to have barbless treble hooks in some areas - is laughable at best.
Don't disagree, but rules are rules I guess. 575$ sounds A LOT though....
 
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waveslider

Outdoorsman
Don't disagree, but rules are rules I guess. 575$ sounds A LOT though....
That's the thing. You gotta follow the rules no matter what, which of course I do. But if everyone simply nods their head and goes on - or worse yet buys into what essentially is the outdoor version of virtue signalling - the rules never actually come around an ultimately go back to following the science.

Shall we cover the insanity of felt sole bans next?
 

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