Did you ever see a new, innovative product or way of doing something that made you stop and think, “WOW, why didn’t I think of this?”
As a lifelong outdoors person, I have occasionally come across such products. One was a mirror blind several years ago that a company called Ghost Blind introduced me to. I actually used and tested one of the prototypes.
The blinds are lightweight and easy to pack into the woods and have become very popular and revolutionized the way many of us hunt from the ground. Once set up, the surface on the outside of the blind are mirrors that reflect the exact image of what’s in front of the blind. The perfect camouflage! Several years ago, I took my largest whitetail buck with a bow at 19 yards while sitting behind my Ghost Blind.
I recently received a few packets of hooks from Trapper Tackle that caused me to scratch my head and again, ask myself that same question, “NOW, WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS!”
The advantage of this new design was blatantly obvious. Both the standard and treble hooks were designed with a very sharp point which would insure a quick hookset and one the barb threads into the fish’s lip. It was virtually impossible for it to become dislodged because of the 90-degree bends of the hook. Thus the name Trapper Tackle ( www.trappertackle.com). The fish is literally “trapped” within the slot built into the hook.
One look at the photo that accompanies this article should give you more insight into the many ways these hooks will improve your “hook ups.” I have a pond stocked with bass and catfish close to my home and decided to give them a quick test the day they arrived in the mail. I do a lot of catfishing this time of year, targeting channel catfish with cheesebait. A standard #4 or #6 treble hook are standard fare for this type fishing. The bait is simply balled on the hook to cover the barbs and lowered below the boat close to bottom or cast under a floater when fishing shoreline cover.
One look at this Trapper treble hook and I instantly knew how useful the design would be for this type fishing. The hook serves as a “cradle” of sorts that the punch bait rests upon. The improved design on the barb insured a quick and dependable hook set. On my test run at the pond, I fished with the treble hooks under a floater, targeting shoreline cover in water about four feet deep. It’s easy to “lose” a catfish when fishing with a floater simply because of slack in the line that does not exist when fishing straight under a boat.
I caught three consecutive channel catfish and not one managed to shake the hook. While removing the hook, the fish’s lip was actually “trapped” inside the slot created by the 90-degree bends. I have a fishing trip on Lake Fork planned with Stubby Stubblefield, who invented and manufactures Stubbys Catfish bait. This veteran fisherman was intrigued when I described the functions of these new hooks. It will be interesting to see him put them in action next week when we fish over some holes he has baited with soured grain. I am predicting he will become a believer in this new hook design.
To further my preliminary test, I decided to use the conventional (unconventional) modified “J” hook on largemouth bass. I found the hook perfectly suited for fishing the plastic worm Texas style. Once threaded onto the soft plastic worm the hook lays close to the bait with the barb imbedded into the side of the worm, making it weedless in true Texas rigged form. I found the hookset (thanks to the super sharp barb) instant and although a couple of fish broke the water and shook their heads in efforts to shake the hook, the “trap” in the slot of the hook held them fast.
My experience with these hooks is limited to this one test at the local pond but you can bet I will be introducing them to my fishing friends, many of which are fishing guides. I am anxious to get the input from my pro fishermen buddies that target stripers and down on the coast, trout and redfish. If my guess is correct, these guys and gals that depend upon clients putting fishing the boat will probably be taking a close look at these innovative new hooks.
Many fish are lost when there is slack in the line which can be caused by the fish making a run toward the boat or simply an inexperienced angler lowering the rod tip at the wrong time. With these hooks, slack line will not be the major reason for lost fish. The fish is “trapped” onto the hook, regardless the tension applied by the fisherman to the line.
Yes, the art of catching fish has come a long, long way since early man first discovered a bone could be sharpened on both ends, a hole drilled through the center in which to attach a line made of fiber and baited with a small chunk of meat!
Listen to “Outdoors with Luke Clayton and Friends” weekends on radio stations from Nebraska to Texas or anytime online at www.catfishradio.org