How to FishFishing Gear and Tackle

Barbless Hooks for Fishing

Barbless Hooks for Fishing

Learn about barbless hooks and why these hooks can be useful when practicing catch and release fishing. Find out how barbless fishing hooks contribute to conservation.

If you are new to fishing, this might be the first time you have heard about barbless hooks and you may not know exactly what they are. Barbless hooks are simply hooks that do not have the small v-shaped metal piece at the pointed end of the hook that points in the opposite direction of the sharp pointed tip. Some hooks can be purchased without the barb, but you can also crimp down the barb on any standard barbed hook using a pair of flat-nosed pliers to make it barbless.

Why Use Barbless Fishing Hooks

Since it's important to help conserve our fish populations for future generations, more and more anglers are making the decision to use barbless fishing hooks instead of barbed hooks. Hooks without barbs are far better to use for catch and release fishing because they greatly reduce the chance of causing injury the fish. This may not matter if the fish is within the state regulations and you plan to take it home for dinner, but it can make a difference in the survival rates of any fish that you release.

  • Hooks without a barb tend to cause less injury to the fish because they can be removed more easily. In other words, since you don't have to push the sharp v-shaped metal piece or barb through the mouth of the fish, there is less of a chance that you will further injure the fish before releasing it.
  • You can return the fish to the water quicker since barbless hooks allow you to remove the hook faster. In most situations, you won't need to use pliers or a de-hooking device.
  • Barbless fishing hooks are safer for anglers to use. As you might imagine, a hook without a barb will be much easier to remove from your skin or the skin of another angler in case of an accident.
  • Hooks with barbs create resistance that can make it harder for the point to penetrate. Hooks without a barb don't create that resistance, so hooking the fish can be easier with barbless fish hooks.
  • Fishing regulations may occasionally require the use of barbless hooks while fishing for certain species or on specific waterways when additional conservation measures are needed to protect the fish population.

Barbless Treble Hooks

Treble hooks without barbs can be used to replace the treble hooks with barbs that often come attached to most lures. It doesn't matter if you want to use a topwater hard bait, crankbait, or spoon, most barbed treble hooks can easily be replaced using a pair of split ring pliers. Whether you fish with a barbless treble hook or a barbless single hook, both are good choices when you plan to practice catch and release fishing.