The last three or four years catch and release has been a big part of fishing and it’s enjoyment. Anglers ‘back in the day’ took fish for the table, and as much as I believe there’s nothing wrong with this, there is an issue when you reach reach a competitive level. Fly fishing competitions are held at still waters all around the UK and are the pinnacle of a fly anglers career.
A competition is obviously a test against anglers wits and knowledge mixed with a bit of luck. They are usually fished to a limit, be it four, six or eight fish. All of which have to be dispatched and weighed in at the end of the day to determine a winner. Im still quite content as to what the reason is, but anglers seem to be catching more and more fish, is that just me or are others noticing this too? I remember when I started fishing over 10 years ago, the top anglers on the scene were calling 6/7 fish days ‘out of this world’. Now, you see anglers catching 20 fish + regularly. Is it our ability as anglers, our angling skill may be getting better, or is it their choice of fishing tackle? Maybe fish are getting more stupid, or our flies are getting neater…
With Catch and Release dominating the competition scene it is now compulsory that anglers use barbless hooks… The only problem I’ve found is that buying barbless hooks which match my preferred hooks, usually of the Kamasan range, are hard to come by. Straight hooks are usually too thin in the wire or are not heavy enough to sustain takes when being pulled 80mph through a bunch of stockies, or a curved hook for buzzers simply aren’t heavy enough to get down at the pace I wish.
Recently though we’ve had a very nice delivery here at Fishtec, the full range of Fulling Mill Barbless Hooks, with everything from a Jig hook for river fishing to a heavy weight champ barbless hook, which is on par to a Kamasan B175, something I’ve longed for.
With C&R being so prominent, no doubt it will be the ruling for most competitions in the future, good fish care is high on the agenda. Barbless hooks is the first, obvious change. Putting a fish back alive and well means they need to be handle as little as possible with no damage to it’s mouth or body. A barb can cause more stress to a fish than anything, having an angler pulling on a barbed hook will undoubtedly cause damage to the fishes mouth, not what it needs before being released!
Check out the full range of fulling mill barbless hooks here – Hook Range
Written by Kieron Jenkins