Use a pair of pliers to mash down the barb on your lures when catch-and-release fishing. (lure: Dartspin)
Go Barbless this Season!
Massachusetts-based striper fisherman Hunter Thayer is using his Instagram account @stripedsurvival to promote a message of striped bass conservation that he’s hoping will catch on among anglers.
He’s asking fishermen to use #crushedit when posting striped bass pictures to promote the benefits of crushing the barbs on hooks and lures.
By fishing barbless hooks or crushing the barbs with a pair of pliers, fishermen can minimize the amount of physical damage inflicted by the hook and make it faster and easier to unhook a fish, thereby increasing the odds that released fish survive. (As an added bonus, crushed barbs will also minimize damage to any angler who becomes hooked.)
Fishing with barbless hooks is just one way you can help ensure that striped bass survive being caught and released. Check out our guide for other ways to increase survival of released striped bass.
Consider crushing your barbs, especially when targeting schoolie stripers this spring, and help spread the message by using #crushedit on your social media platforms.