How to Stop a Fish From Swallowing Your Lure

by Lanh Ma
Fish that swallow lures usually die of their injuries.

Fish that swallow lures usually die of their injuries.

Kim Carson/Photodisc/Getty Images

In most cases, it's best if a fish catches your fishhook or lure through its lip rather than swallowing it. If you are participating in a catch-and-release program, it is important to take steps to prevent the fish from swallowing your hook, as this invariably kills the fish. While it isn't possible to always prevent fish from swallowing your hooks, there are some preventative steps you can take.

Items you will need

  • Fishing rod
  • Circle hook
  • Plastic lures
Step 1

Tie a circle hook to your fishing line rather than a standard hook. A circle hook has a broad curve in it that prevents it from getting lodged in a fish's body. The fish swallows the hook, but as the fish swims away, the hook catches instead on the fish's lip, allowing you to hook it.

Step 2

Bait your hook with plastic lures rather than with live bait. Hungry fish swallow live bait immediately, which they are less inclined to do with lures.

Step 3

Set the hook immediately after the fish strikes by removing all the slack from the fishing line and giving the line a sharp pull. This gives the fish less time to swallow the hook and it does not exhaust the fish.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may also use barbless hooks, which are more easily removed than barbed hooks, to facilitate a successful capture and release.

Photo Credits

  • Kim Carson/Photodisc/Getty Images