New Gamakatsu Assist Hooks Designed to Reduce Fish Mortality and Increase Landings

There’s been increasing interest in moving away from treble hooks on plugs, both for the fish and fisherman’s sake. Some anglers have been clipping points off their trebles, or swapping them for inline single hooks, but another option fewer fishermen have considered is replacing those treble hooks for an assist hook.

Assist hooks are most often associated with vertical jigging metals for large pelagic species. By putting a single hook on a short, heavy leader, fishermen were getting better, more secure hook-ups than with the traditional rigging of a treble dangling off the back of the jig. The wider gap of the assist hook had better holding power than the treble, and the short lead to the hook make it difficult for the fish to leverage the lure against the hook to escape.

When Gamakatsu released their new 550 Assist Short Hook, they’ve made it clear that this hook isn’t just for jigs – the short leader makes it effective for plugs as well. Putting it on your favorite striper or tuna plug could lead to better hook-ups and healthier releases.  Read the press release below:

 Replacing the treble hooks on your favorite plug with Gamakatsu’s Assist hooks reduces mortality and increases the odds you’ll get that fish boat side for a safe release.

Conservation-minded anglers have been swapping out trebles for single hooks on plugs for years now. Having a single hook point instead of three has obvious benefits for the fish and the angler. The single hook on Gamakatsu’s Assist 550 finds its way into the corner of a fish’s mouth, thanks to the short PE leader. Limiting the number of hook points that get buried in fish leads to faster releases with less damage. There’s also less of a chance your finger will find a hook point when releasing a fish.

The new Assist 550 Short provides the brawn needed to land pelagic gamefish on lures typically reserved for inshore species. Unlike the long metal shanks on treble hooks, the flexible leader doesn’t act like a lever to give fish a mechanical advantage that can defeat even the stoutest hook hangers. You can replace light-wire trebles with the heavier duty Assist 550 Short and retain the action that makes your favorite plug so effective.

Using the Assist 550 Short in place of trebles on walk-the-dog style surface plugs can enhance their action. With less metal dangling in the water, acting like a keel, the side-to-side action is enhanced.

Rig your plugs with Gamakatsu’s new 550 Assist Short for healthier releases, improved strength and better action.


1 thought on “New Gamakatsu Assist Hooks Designed to Reduce Fish Mortality and Increase Landings

  1. Andy

    Thanks OTW team for this info.
    Do you use a specific knot to connect the braided line to the hook?

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