I had a customer reach out to me specifically about the hooks that I include with my black sea bass jigs. Typically for a jig, I'm including an assist hook rigged on with an inline hook and treble hook separately in a bag. The assist hook is my personal choice for a hook when jigging. It's up to the angler whether they want to add the inline/treble at the bottom if they wish to. For smaller jigs I don't put the bottom hook on the jig mainly for safety and ease of use. Also, black sea bass generally hit the head of a bait. For a larger, longer jig for cod/haddock I will put on the assist hook and the inline hook. Haddock tend to hit the bottom and cod can strike either.
The question posed got me to thinking about the topic of hooks and hardware and I thought I would put my ideas as the subject of a blog. I welcome anyone to please comment below.
I've heard a lot over the last two years about the importance of hooks and how it relates to the preservation of a fishery. I'm in favor of better fishing practices that help sustain the population and that are 'best practices.'
What I have been surprised by is that lure manufacturers are a bit behind. I've heard how bad treble hooks can be on some smaller fish and those fish that someone may intend to release. If you go into a tackle shop, there are still many lures that come out of the box with treble hooks despite the fact that the same tackle shop has a giant display in the store about catch and release and conservation. Most folks simply take these lures out of the box and fish them. Even if most anglers agree sustainability is important, fishing time is limited and changing out hooks is an afterthought.
Changing out hooks is also expensive. Fishermen are encouraged to swap out their hooks, but often times have to go out and make a separate purchase to then go and do it. It's not my place to tell anyone what to charge but the cost of replacement hooks or to go and buy a quantity of six or more hooks to replace the hook on your favorite plug seems financially impractical.
I hope someday, the tackle manufacturers can catch up. If the inline, wider gap hooks are better for the fish, I hope the lures come out of the packaging with them already on or provide them with the alternate hook in the packaging.
One of the things important to me in setting up Monomoy Tackle is an ease of use. If you are fishing with kids, I want to make sure the rigs are simple to tie on and deploy. There's a swivel. There's a loop knot at the bottom for a sinker. If you are new to jig fishing, its important to me that the assist hook is included, sized properly, and already rigged. I acknowledge for many, these techniques may be unfamiliar, so I'm personally doing my best to provide as much as possible.
I have had a handful of customers fishing with the Black Sea Bass Jig Rig come and tell me that they have never caught a fish on an assist hook before, but that it was a lot of fun to catch a fish this way and relatively easy to unhook and harvest or release.
Down the road as the business develops I hope to be able to offer dressed assist hooks and dressed inline hooks for purchase to coordinate with the jigs available for purchase.