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Hooked on Catch & Release

It’s that time of the year—Spring Break—kids are out of school and we are headed to Port Oconner for some family fishing on the coast. This time of year is always special because trophy sow trout are on my mind. I’m always trying to beat my best speck a 29-incher caught and released back in 2001. Been to long!

Today I pulled out all my tried-and-true topwater plugs for their annual tune-up—new hooks and split-rings. We all know the importance of sharp hooks and rust-free hooks but what about the importance of replacing nasty treble hooks with single hooks. Several years ago a small population coastal anglers and guides started making the switch to single hooks realizing the damage treble hooks were doing to trophy trout about to be released. Let’s face it, releasing a trout with treble hook injuries will greatly reduce that fish’s survivability no matter how much care is taken to revive it.

Yes, I do miss a few more trout using single hooks but it’s worth it to me as a catch and release angler. Usually, missing a fish will make me work harder and appreciate those trout that do make it to the net. Releasing a healthy trout back into the water in good condition merits a few missed fish.

Enjoy the time off with family and friends, safe travels and happy catching (and releasing).

Before and after, top plug has the old treble hooks, six total points to penetrate the fish, as opposed to the bottom plug which has converted to single hooks.

Selection of topwater plugs with a proven track record over the years. About to updated with new single hooks.