Staying sharp

July 3, 2008

Faith Outdoors

On a bass fishing outing yesterday, I watched painfully as my fishing companion for the day lost several nice bass. After this happened, I decided to check his hook to see how sharp it was. The fish were hitting our plastic worms aggressively and engulfing them. Usually, when this happens, you end up hooking almost every fish.

When I checked his hook, I found the problem — it was dull. Very dull, in fact. So, he pulled out a small sharpening device and put the edge back on the hook.

It’s one of the little things that makes a big difference in the number of fish people catch. I studied the issue about 10 or 15 years ago and even saw microscopic photos of hook points in a book about fishing that “drove the point home.” I have been meticulous about hook sharpness ever since, even to the point of buying a $40 sharpening device.

I’m pleased with the results I have gotten with this tool, but you can buy a sharpener for a few dollars and get good results. And, it takes only seconds to file your hook point. Or, if you don’t want to go to the bother of sharpening, you can buy hooks that are sharp right out of the package. Gamakatsu hooks are among the best and I have used them for years with great results. Not only is the hook point extremely sharp, but I can catch quite a few fish on it before it starts to get dull.

The bad news is you cannot resharpen the hook once it gets dull. And, these hooks are a little spendy. But, how do you weigh that against being able to hook and land a big fish. I use Gamakatsu plastic worm hooks and I am after big bass. I want to know that, when a 20-inch or bigger fish hits my offering, I’ll be able to get it into the boat. As fish get older and bigger, their mouths get tougher, so a sharp hook is even more important when you’re after bigger fish.

With lots of fishing left this summer — not to mention fall — now’s the time to get your hooks sharp.

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek