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Bad experience last night.


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I killed a nice 15" fish while fishing the South Vermilion drainage last evening. No, it wasn't intentional but I still feel awful.


The fish hit a Heddon tiny torpedo and when I lipped him to my dismay there was a blood flowing freely down his side. The rear treble was underneath his gill flap and had pierced and severly damaged the fish's gills. I removed the hook as quickly and carefully as I could and returned it to the water but it rolled belly up and quickly expired. This really disturbs me due to the fact that I keep a journal of each fish caught that includes the lure used and the hook location in the mouth. I went back and reviewed my information and quickly found that when using the tiny torpedo most fish were hooked in the corner of the mouth with the front treble but a large percentage also had the rear treble embedded in the gill flap or side of the body depending on the size of the fish.


I absolutely love fishing this lure cuz nothing is more exciting that having a top water blasted by an angry bass. I also can't abide by the fact that my information shows a higher potential for injuring/killing fish when using it. I will be be removing the rear treble when fishing it in the future in hopes that last night won't be repeated. If you use this lure alot you might consider doing the same.

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Anything with double trebles can be pretty wicked. I often remove one, sometimes for my own protection. Don't lose too much sleep over it. It sucks, but it happens. Think of how many keepers you let go every year that you could legally keep.

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Although we like to catch and release, fishing is a blood sport. Lures with treble hooks can be nasty, but a bass can swallow just about any lure deep enough to damage the gills. I've also seen northern pike and muskies tear up bass and other fish that I had on the line. I wouldn't worry a fish dying unless it starts happening a lot.

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Tough break. I've had fished hooked that were hurting. It also disturbed me. I had one hooked pretty ugly on a popper type bait that had the rear treble underneath the mouth where the gill openings split. The fish swam off but it looked like an ugly little wound.

I often take the front treble off crank baits and the middle hook off baits that have 3 (ie... devil's horse, bigger raps) for that same reason. On bottom diggin' cranks, it actually helps to keep you out of snag trouble also. Rest easy, your motives and intentions were pure.

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Here's my solution---

Remove ALL treble hooks from lures---(reduces likelyhood of injuring those presious SMB).

Treble hooks ARE NOT necessary to catch fish.


I discontinued using hardbaits, with treble hooks.

I've been using plastics, for some years now---

I catch more fish on plastics, vs hardbaits.


For top water presentation,

I use Senkos and twin-tail grubs, rigged weightless, using a single EWG hook.


There are a variety of plastics, on todays market, that can be fished "top water".


Yamamoto's Kreature Baits, and the like, plastics with several appendages, are very effective when fished on the top.

The twin-tail grubs and the appendages on kreature type baits, create lots of surface disturbance, when retrieved at a slow or moderate speed.


The beauty of this, is when fishing around weeds, wood or heavy cover, there are NO treble hooks to get snagged.


Works for me.


Treble hooks can be real nasty to remove, and your chances of getting a treble hook stuck in your hand, is highly probable. (Been there, done that).


ps---awesome after dark/nighttime fishing---feel the pull before setting the hook.

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You could remove the rear treble and increase the size of the belly treble...or make the rear treble barbless...or go completely barbless. This will at least cut down on the injuries caused during hook removal.


***((brainstorm!!))*** What about removing the rear treble on some baits and replacing it with some sort of a large (barbless) streamer fly or bunny strip??? *** I just thought of that...gotta try it! Anybody ever done it ??


I have had fatalities because of the same thing. Breaks my heart to have it happen....sorry Ron. At least you feel the way you do. Some don't feel anything about killing fish.


I remember seeing an article for a tool called a D-Barb somewhere...maybe the RS board? It was designed to cut the hook inhalf on a deep hooked fish that would otherwise die from the injury of removing the hooks. There is a magnet in it to save the barbed part which you cut off.

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I modified one of my torpedos this week by removing the middle treble and putting a single size 1 barbless streamer on the back. I'll post how it works out. I also have one modified with a larger middle treble with one arm clipped off and the rear hook removed and a small colorado spinner attatched to the back. It should be intresting to see what it produces on a steady retrieve across the surface.




There is a lot to be said for what you suggested and my notes can back that up. The torpedo is one of the very few hardbaits I carry anymore and if my modifications don't pan out it's going to be replaced with plastic single hook baits.



I know this is a blood sport and this stuff happens to all of us but it really turned a relaxing enjoyable outing into something less than perfect. With my busy work schedule and lifes general daily grind I really want those oh so few trips to the river to be nothing short of perfect. Sounds kinda corney but thats just me.

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