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No More Trebles


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As promised, I'm going to give circle hooks a go at the weekend for perch and pike on the Thames. I'll report back :)

 

Quick question - is crimping OK or does the crimp get in the way when tightening up?

 

I've just had a thought about this - as the hook engages when the line is tightened against the fish, does this mean it's possible to create the first effective self hooking rig for pike? Or would the resistance of a lead not be enough to pull the hook into the scissors?

 

Dave Lumb and (I think?) Chris Bishop have wrote a bit about their experiments with "Bolt" trype rigs for Pike.Might be some of it on Daves tackle website or if not if he sees this or you PM him he might be able to comment or put up a link.

 

Ive not tried but based on the limited experience I have had using circles for pike would be concerned that a fixed lead (no matter how heavy) would just "bump" the hook out rather than causing it to trip and penetrate.You seem to need to wind down both smoothly and firmly to get them to work.But like I said Im only guessing.

And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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That sounds reasonable, I'm not planning on using bolt rigs for pike, it just occurred to me.

 

I tied the hooks on in the end, in case the crimps get in the way. A 4-turn blood knot seems completely solid, let's hope so :headhurt:

 

Looking forward to giving them a go!

Edited by Anderoo

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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I wanted to try circles using bigger static baits so headed for a gravel pit.

 

First thing to do on such a large water was to find some pike, so I set off trying a few swims using a large Abu Atom, with the treble removed and replaced with a 2/0 circle, which seemed a bit too small for the lure, but the largest I had.

 

I wasn't too sure whether circles would work with spoons, but the point of the exercise was to find some pike, not necessarily to land them.

 

Had a take from a jack (around 4lbs), and gave myself a pat on the back for not instinctively striking when it took (in the moments when you reach out for a rod, you have time to check yourself, and remind yourself to slowly tighten up, but when the rod is in your hand, and the take comes unexpectedly, years of instinct to strike had to be overcome!)

 

In the clear water I could see the jack twisting as it went through a repettoire of aquanautics, before coming to the platform to be chinned and the hook in the scissors removed by hand, no forceps needed.

 

After the hour that I had allowed for surveying swims was up, I went back to the jack swim, and put out a couple of large deadbaits, one with a single circle hook, the other with two rigged as you would a snap tackle, but with the higher hook rigged as a slider.

 

With the baits out, I spent some more time surveying the swim, counting the atom down, to find the feautures.

 

That's when I had my second fish as a fish around 8lb snaffled the spoon and was hooked in the scissors again, and again easily unhooked in the water.

 

Not a touch on the static deadbaits :(

 

(It really isn't my style of fishing!).

 

Tried fishing them on a float paternoster rig and below a float, but still no interest.

 

(The windless days that we have had has meant that the water is absolutely still, without the hint of an undertow to spread a scent trail, which was probably part of the problem)

 

A return to lure-fishing at the end of the day didn't produce any further action either.

 

So, the primary purpose of the expedition, to find out how effective circles are when fishing large static baits didn't produce any answers.

 

But it seems that circles work well with spoons (if two takes is enough to come to any conclusion - at least it indicates that they can work), and you can resist the temptation to strike when fishing circles on lures :)

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That sounds reasonable, I'm not planning on using bolt rigs for pike, it just occurred to me.

 

If you don't gently tighten up early, a pike will still take the bait down deep.

 

Although it is far less likely to lead to deep-hooking, and if deep-hooking does occur it is easier to deal with, and if the worst happens and the line breaks on a deeply-hooked fish, a circle left in a fish will not be so disasterous as a treble (or a set of trebles), it is far better to lift the rod and gently tighten into the fish as soon as the fish has the bait, so it is more likely to be a scissor-hooking, rather than a deep-hooking.

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A 4-turn blood knot seems completely solid, let's hope so :headhurt:

 

Using a fine supple wire trace (I use woven titanium, but 48 strand is good too), I find a two-turn, single tuck blood knot does the job. (Pull the tag with pliers to tighten it down).

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Using a fine supple wire trace (I use woven titanium, but 48 strand is good too), I find a two-turn, single tuck blood knot does the job. (Pull the tag with pliers to tighten it down).

 

I just re-tied one with a 2-turn knot and it I'm much, much happier with it - thanks Leon! The 4-turn knot looked a bit loose, even though it seemed solid enough. Two turns it is. Plus I can now knot this wire (15lb soft strand) without making it curly, which is brilliant.

 

I'm getting into this circle hook idea more and more. I'd pretty much decided not to livebait any more, but with one single hook and lip-hooking the baits I don't have a problem. I think it's livebaits and trebles I don't like.

 

My perch fever is turning into pike fever. I might make a concerted effort to achieve a long-standing ambition this season - my first 20lb pike.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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Leon, I said several posts ago that I damaged a pike with a scissor hold, which you didn't reply to and you're still talking about scissor holds like there are no possible downsides.

This circle experiment is just that and although I've raised a serious issue with scissor holds, you keep talking about it as though it's a problem free scenario. Now either you missed the post, you're not taking me seriously or you simply do not care that there's a possible flaw in your experiment.

 

Please read this and explain to me why this doesn't affect your experiment.

 

I caught a jack pike the other day and after a spirited fight, the scissor on one side had popped out to the side. The very corner of the scissors comes to a little point, which had come free from the little socket it fits into. There was no tearing or serious damage but when I returned the fish, it sat in the margins for a good 10 minutes trying to sort out its jaw which clearly was giving it bother. It kept 'inflating' its mouth and skull and shook its head wildly from side to side, all the while, flexing its jaw. It did finally manage to sort itself and after giving its chin a good wagging, it seemed satisfied that everything was working properly and skulked away.

Now I'm not saying that the fish was damaged in any way that wouldn't sort itself out fairly quickly but it was cause for concern and I'm just not happy about deliberately aiming for this part part of the mouth. If anything that one pike has put me right off the idea of going for a scissor-hold. It's a moving part and I'm just not convinced that applying pressure to this mechanism is a good idea. The damage could have been far more serious had it been a bigger, heavier fish.

 

This isn't me trying my best to take your experiment apart. I tried to offer positive input on this thread from the beginning by offering ideas, links etc. and I still am but I think this issue needs addressing.

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Dave Lumb and (I think?) Chris Bishop have wrote a bit about their experiments with "Bolt" trype rigs for Pike.

 

Not so much 'bolt' rigs, Budgie. More a rethinking of using standard rigs.

 

I wasn't the first to do it, but a semi-fixed two ounce (or heavier) lead and minimum size four trebles on a handsized deadbait appears to act as a self-hooking rig. I think it also pays to use a shorter trace than is usually recommended. 12 inches or so.

 

I'm not saying it prevents swallowed baits, that was never the intention. The concept was tried in order to eliminate dropped runs.

 

I think it works because the pike finds it hard to eject the bait with two ounces or more of lead dangling below its mouth as it swims off. I could be way off the mark, but the approach does work.

 

As far as avoiding deep hooked fish goes, well, I've never had a problem with pike swallowing baits without giving an indication. Maybe I've been lucky. I have always fished with weight on the line and a tight line (sometimes so tight the rod tip is pulled round and springs back when a take materialises) to a drop-off indicator. Unless I've been using a float, in which case indication shouldn't be a problem if you are vigilant.

 

I do wonder if pike anglers get obsessed about lack of resistance when it is change in resistance (more so increase in resistance) that is important. A bait that a pike has to 'struggle' to get a grip on doesn't seem to bother them when the line suddenly goes slack and the resistance drops to nothing as the bobbin falls from the line. A paternoster link that suddenly snags up on the other hand does cause dropped runs.

Dave

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This isn't me trying my best to take your experiment apart. I tried to offer positive input on this thread from the beginning by offering ideas, links etc. and I still am but I think this issue needs addressing.

 

Hi Andy,

 

I'm bearing it in mind.

 

But over the years I have hooked many pike in the scissors, especially when using lures, and had many repeat captures, and I've never found it a problem.

 

I do carefully inspect for significant damage, but so far apart from the penetration wound, which I'm sure will heal very quickly, I've not encountered anything that currently gives me concern.

 

Just the opposite in fact.

 

Quite often it's, simply a case of rolling the (crushed barb) hook out of the wound, just using my fingers.

 

And when deeper hooking has occurred, hook removal using either forceps, or very long nosed pliers has been a doddle compared with dealing with two sets of treble hooks.

 

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, the use of hooks and fine wire, coupled with a strenuous struggle, there is always the risk of unintentional damage. That is something we all have to accept.

 

And although it is possible that using different tackle may change the type of possible damage, overall I think that the likelihood of almost certainly fatal effects from deep-hooking with trebles when either not competently dealt with, or a fish is lost, or a set of baited trebles is lost, is outweighed by increasing the number of scissor penetrations.

 

Believe me Andy, I'm not being compacent on this.

 

Just that I haven't (yet?) personally experienced any negatives (from the pikes' perspective) of changing to circles.

 

From the anglers' perspective, I have experienced failure to hook, which needs further looking at.

 

From what I've experienced, that has been mostly jacks, and close-in takes when I believe that the hook is leaving the mouth being pulled forward.

 

Why jacks?

 

I'ts long been my belief that when a pike first strikes, it clamps down on the bait, and the hook isn't moved in the mouth by the strike, but engages as the pike relaxes its grip, either to eject the bait, or to turn it (and I'm thinking all kinds of hooks).

 

Now as the pike moves off, and you begin to tighten down on a large pike, it keeps going in the direction it's heading, and as you are tightening against that direction, the hook engages.

 

However, with a jack, with far less mass, as the line tightens, the lighter fish is turned towards you, and when it relaxes the grip, the hook is drawn out of the front of the mouth, so the circle fails to gain a hold.

 

My next experiment will be to use smaller circles, and I've purchased some size 2s rather than the 2/0s I've been using. It will be interesting to see how effective they are in comparison, and whether they prove easier or more difficult to remove than the larger hooks.

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Thanks you Leon. If I appeared to be losing the rag a bit, it's only because I was shocked at the injury caused and I felt like my observation had passed by without any notice, when to me, it was very serious and had to addressed.

At the beginning of this experiment, I was all ears. I always am where new rigs or possible improvements are concerned but that one fish was enough for me. It wasn't a big fish and I'm glad of that. Had there been more weight on the end of my line, I fear the injury could have rendered the fish unable to eat thereafter and starvation is not an option I'm willing to accept as downside to pike fishing.

My blood boils when I find a pike with a stitched gut but I'm satisfied that I can at least remove the offending metalware and allow the fish to go forward and feed normally but a surgeon I'm not. A broken jaw is a broken jaw and I simply do not have to experience or the knowledge to even attempt a fix in that case.

The best I could do in the case of this fish was put the point of the scissors back into it's socket and hope that the damage was limited but the behaviour of the fish at the side of the bank was a scene I never want repeated, so for me, circles are most definitely out and any future rigs aimed at the scissors will be treated with the same contempt.

¤«Thʤ«PÔâ©H¤MëíTë®»¤

 

Click HERE for in-fighting, scrapping, name-calling, objectional and often explicit behaviour and cakes. Mind your tin-hat

 

Click HERE for Tench Fishing World forums

 

Playboy.jpg

 

LandaPikkoSig.jpg

 

"I envy not him that eats better meat than I do, nor him that is richer, or that wears better clothes than I do. I envy nobody but him, and him only, that catches more fish than I do"

...Izaac Walton...

 

"It looked a really nice swim betwixt weedbed and bank"

...Vagabond...

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