SPECIALTY TOOLS. Having the right gear for the right kind of fishing makes everything easier. Whether tangling with toothy critters like pike and muskies, or something smaller like trout and panfish, being able to remove hooks quickly and kindly is key to preserving the resource.
Featured Photo: Tools of the Trade. A hook cutter and mouth spreader(L) get the job done for big fish, while a foreceps helps crush small barbs and tweak hooks gently for small species. Simonson Photo.
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Mon 6/11 – Cooling Off. Hi 71, Lo 57, Wind NW@18, G25.
Tomorrow: Tue 6/12 – Still Chill. Hi 71, Lo 49, Wind W@15, G 25.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 5:49AM Sunset: 9:37PM
Moonrise: 4:37AM Moonset 7:04PM
Overhead: 11:45AM Underfoot: Fol. Day
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent (7% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 6:30-7:30PM. Action away from the effects of the front will be better in today’s Edge Hour.
CUT IT OUT. A hook cutter helps in those times of deeply-embedded barbs, or perhaps deeply-inhaled trebles. Getting into a big fish’s mouth and taking what you can will help get it back in the water faster. Cut the hook shank as near to the flesh as possible and let nature work the shard out over time. The damage done will most likely be less than an extended period out of the water.
SPREAD ‘EM. To pull off that boatside surgery, have a mouth spreader handy. For lakes with slots outside ND, and for big walleyes to be caught and released, a mouth spreader does wonders in getting to hooks at the back of the mouth, and they’re well tested on toothy fish like pike in keeping hands safe (and free) for quick hook removal.
FORE! On trout, bluegills and other smaller fish, a forceps tool works magic at getting small jigs and flies out of tiny mouths. Use its slender beak to grab and lock on to tiny hook shanks and gently remove them with precision. For those barbless trout streams you encounter in your journeys or for an overall easier release, use it to smash those barbs flat on your favorite flies!