The Tip of Week: Good Reasons to Go Barbless

Make your hooks easier to remove by pinching down the barbs. Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.
Make your hooks easier to remove by pinching down the barbs. Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

Crushing down the barbs of your fishing hooks seems counter to logic, but there are several good reasons for doing so:

Easy Release:

A barbless hook makes it easy to release a fish if it’s undersized or one you simply don’t want to keep. Many anglers remove the barbs of their hooks when fishing for bluefish and small stripers to avoid causing more damage to the fish and making it easier to get back in the action.

Safety:

Barbless hooks are not only easier to remove from a fish, they are also easier to remove from yourself—or one of your fellow anglers. I always try to crush the hooks on my lures when small children are onboard.

Snagging Help:

When snagging menhaden for bait, a barbless hook will cause less damage to the bait, allowing you to keep more baits alive and avoid excess handling.