During its meeting at the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show, the NMMA board of directors unanimously voted to elect Bill Yeargin, President and CEO of Correct Craft, as NMMA’s new Chair.
Northland Fishing Tackle collaborates with Gamakatsu on the new Elite Series MVP Jig with an interesting hook design.
Admittedly, Abby Abbondanza’s a pretty cool name for a musician. So maybe it’s a moniker more befitting a heavy metal rockstar than a country singer. Then again, country crosses over into rock, pop and other genres; perfectly appropriate for a songwriter, professional angler and salt-of-the-earth gentleman who’s reinvented himself as a successful kayak fishing competitor.
Crystal River, Florida offers big tarpon, snook reds, trout--and manatee watching, plus fishing classes for all.
DAIWA’s new ¾-ounce Ever Green Grass Ripper jig targets more and bigger bass.
In addition to his angling skills, McLaughlin has always had a knack for introducing youngsters to fishing and helping their parents understand the sport and how to make it a family activity.
No telling how many bass the famed Rat-L-Trap has put in the boat but we would not have it without Bill Lewis.
The deal will link two of the major players in the bass fishing biz through 2028, making BPS the exclusive sporting goods retailer and Nitro/Ranger/Triton as the exclusive boat brands of the major MLF events.
In this educational video from Into the Outdoors Education Network, and sponsored by the Future Angler Foundation (FAF),, and Discover Boating, our young sleuths get an education about stopping the spread of aquatic invasive plants.
NOAA is now taking an "ecosystem approach" to manage Gulf menhaden, taking into account their enormous importance in the life cycle of the many fish that prey on them.
Al's Goldfish--70 years of catching fish--is still whacking them. See the lures and get some tips on fishing them at this event in Providence, R.I. this weekend.
Designed to fish fast and aggressively to attract the biggest and baddest blue-water predators, this new saltwater X-Rap lure, nearly 7 inches long, swims in wide, pronounced “S” curves.
A tackle bag with two rod holders? What's not to like for 'yak anglers?
Bass fishing fans will find a better-kept Tennessee River when the Bassmaster Classic launches March 24-26, 2023, due to an extensive clean-up event led by Hobie® Eyewear fishing pro and Classic qualifier Carl Jocumsen.
Fishing Tom’s Guide Service will be offering a “show-only” special for three that includes one night lodging before fishing, one full day of fishing, three meals including a gourmet Cajun dinner, hot breakfast in the morning and a sack lunch for the boat--plus that spectacular redfish and trout action for which the bayou country is famed.
Abu Garcia Revo reels and Fantasista X rods play big in a Bassmaster Elite Series win--see how.
The B-100 series will provide years of solid use, designed for the harshest marine environments with no plastic components.
Fishing Tom Guide Service is now offering a unique cast & blast adventure that allows clients the best of both worlds – Louisiana’s world-class waterfowl hunting and unparalleled fishing for redfish, flounder, sheepshead, tripletail, trout, large and smallmouth bass and other prized saltwater and freshwater species.
Check out the action on these heat-compressed balsa models-- walleyes, bass, and other gamefish find their unique roll and tight action irresistible.
Now is the time for those amazing double-digit largemouths from the Lone Star State--details here.
The right rod combined with the right lure helped Hudnall finish in the top 5 on Lake Seminole--see how here.
With a titanium shaft (!) and a reported 30 percent more power than any trolling motor currently on the market, the Power-Pole MOVE Brushless Trolling Motor is extremely pricey at up to $5,000, but for those who can afford it, will be the ultimate in silent electric power up front.
The partnership between Fly Rod Chronicles and Huk is an excellent match as the team participates in diverse fishing environments, including fresh and saltwater fishing in streams, rivers, lakes, bays, and oceans.
The state passed a rule mirroring federal regulations to improve survival of grouper, snapper and other species when released.
VMC’s new RedLine Series is comprised of eight hooks, designed for tournament bass anglers who need to turn up the heat from a “10” to an “11.”

Saying “No” to Debarbed Hooks for Bass

We love Jay Kumar’s media work, and religiously read his Bassblaster newsletter weekly. If you’re into bass fishing, you should, too—sign up here:

Jay not only gets interviews with all the top tournament anglers the week after top events to reveal most of their secrets—including photos of their winning lures—but he also makes the whole thing totally wacky and fun to read.

However, Jay quoted our recent TWW item from the University of Florida Marine Sciences Department to take a shot at the researchers for suggesting we fish with basically debarbed hooks for saltwater spotted seatrout, or just plain “trout” as all of us in the Southeast call them.

Jay expressed concern that the seatrout study could also be redirected at freshwater bass, which we all agree can  deal with being hooked and released pretty well.

Not to worry, scientists are pretty specific about this stuff, by nature and also nurture, and are not about to extrapolate a saltwater trout study to a freshwater bass rule.

That’s not to say that some overzealous Nature Firsters might not glom on to the study and try to push something like the reduced or debarbed hooks on all of us—many of them would like to put an end to recreational fishing all together--but in terms of any likelihood of regulations in the foreseeable future, it’s not gonna happen.

And there is a problem on catch and release trout, well documented and understood by experienced inshore anglers. They are a delicate species. There are never any weigh-in/release sea trout tournaments for this reason—if trout were put in a livewell and transported to weigh in, every one of them would be dead at the scales.

Trout are soft-bodied fish with tiny bone structure, much less robust than largemouths and smallmouths—or than redfish and snook, for that matter.

They have a hard time surviving the usual catch and release process in warm weather. If you catch them on a topwater with multiple trebles, dehooking can take several minutes, and that’s way too long for a trout to survive out of water, particularly in summer.

Even when caught on jigs or other single-hook lures, or on live bait on a standard live bait hook or octopus style, they sometimes don’t make it if you grab them with a dry hand and put any pressure on them as you work the hook out.

It’s not uncommon for trout anglers to leave a string of dying trout floating in their wake when they get on the big schools over the deep grass flats in summer in some areas. This not only wastes the resource, it could impact the fishery since all those casualties will not be around next year as keeper-size fish.

(There’s a whole other, unrelated problem in the trout fishery, at least in Florida, where we have accidentally trained the cormorants and bottle-nosed dolphin to dog trout fishing boats and pick off the releases. In some areas, these fish-gulpers literally follow the boats from spot to spot, and few released fish escape. But that’s a story for another time.)

In any case, the reduced hooks, which basically have no barb, work really well for quickly releasing trout or other species—but you can be sure there are also plenty of “Palm Beach releases”, in which the fish gets off before it even gets close to the boat. Not something you want to see when the gator-trout of your life happens to take hold, to be sure.

There is no documented problem with catch and release largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass, particularly in the weigh-and-release formats now possible. Even hauling them back to a central weigh-in point causes very limited mortality, except in the dead of summer where water temperatures are approaching their survival limit. That’s why most of the big national tournaments requiring centralized weigh-in are held during the cooler months.

And we certainly agree with Jay that using hooks that don’t work as well is a non-starter for bassheads. This is particularly true for the thousands of anglers who cast for cash, both in the big national tournaments and in the friendly Friday night competitions where everybody throws 10 bucks in the pot.

In fact, companies that produce bass hooks do everything they can to make sure fish DON’T come off their hooks prematurely, and that’s as it should be.

Bottom line is that reduced or debarbed hooks may be a noble effort for spotted seatrout, but are neither needed nor practical for freshwater bass fishing.

-- Frank Sargeant

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