It happened again yesterday. I cast my zoom speed worm rigged on a 2/0 owner sled head and covered with YUM Craw scent right into that lay down that sits fifty feet from my backyard. I slowly lifted my rod and …Tap… Tap… WHAM! I set the hook, and the fight was on! I carefully played the fish out of the lay down and brought it toward shore. After a brief yet satisfying battle with an approximately 2.5lb largemouth I looked down into her throat and saw my owner sled head lodged in her gullet. Not all the way down to the point where I can’t see it, but just deep and awkward enough to where trying to remove it in a conventional manner would do more harm than good.
In the past this situation would have only led to frustration and regret. Fortunately, for that bass, I was prepared with my D-Barb tool in my left pocket. After pulling the worm off the hook shank I reached in to her mouth with the tool, got the barb right it its cutting jaws, and gave it one quick snip. Moments later I gently placed the bass back in the water, said “thanks for the fight”, and off she swam free to fight another day. Of course I was left with a cut sled head attached to my line and a D-Barb tool with hook barb stuck to its magnets, but I couldn’t have felt any better.
As a catch and release angler I find that the D-Barb fishing tool has saved the day when it comes to those difficult and sometimes awkward hook removal situations. I personally have tried various techniques to mitigate the situation, circle hooks, barbless hooks, and even the popular behind the gills technique. However, certain techniques aren’t always applicable in all situations. For example, the behind the gills technique is really only possible on larger fish, who have the jaw size necessary to perform the technique.
In the past when I inadvertently gut hooked a fish, I would just cut the line and release the fish with the hook still inside them or just gave the fish away for table fare. Now that I have this tool I can give the fish a much better chance at survival. Even if I can’t remove the hook or jig head in its entirety, I can still reach deep down inside their mouth and cut out as much hardware as possible. This causes much less harm than yanking around with typical need nose pliers.
Obviously this tool doesn’t work in every situation. There are always those times where hooking and fighting a bass will ultimately lead to its demise. That’s just the reality of going fishing. However, this tool has proven its worth to me again and again so much that I recommend it to all anglers I come across and always carry it with me whenever I go out fishing.
The D-Barb can be found at http://www.dbarb.com/
Note: The D-barb is just under 8.5 inches in length, weighs 8.7 ounces, has replaceable cutting jaws (which cleanly cuts braid), and magnets that hold the barb once cut.