Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:48 pm

well thats the great thing with this method - if the hook is in the stomach when your turn the eye of the hook towards you, it is easy to pop it out of the stomach, once the point and the barb are facing away from the mouth

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:57 pm

A good post and very helpful. I'd normally try and get the hook out via the gill but just cut the hook of the snood after that. I don't bother trying to thread the hook back through gills as I'm just happy to get hook out and fish back in water. Tying a new snood/hook doesn't take that long to do anyways, though I suppose in a comp the few extra mins can make all the difference.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:40 am

If competition competitors or those who organise and/or host competitions are interested in Fish welfare and the protection of stocks then Circle hooks should be made mandatory in said competitions IMHO. I use them a lot and have caught plenty of Flounder in the side of the mouth...

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:08 am

Kaner wrote:If competition competitors or those who organise and/or host competitions are interested in Fish welfare and the protection of stocks then Circle hooks should be made mandatory in said competitions IMHO. I use them a lot and have caught plenty of Flounder in the side of the mouth...


Circle hooks are no good for presenting bait properly.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:51 am

Circle hooks are no good for presenting bait properly.


:roll: :roll: :roll: Tell that to the fish that I catch ...

If you can't use full circle then try to use the semi circle hooks..

What bait do you have issues with ? Yes I admit its a little more difficult to get worms on but with practice it easy like anything in this life.

I've had everything from Dabs to Huss on them. I have also had Sea Trout on them with Muscle and its a joy to do C & R ...

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:41 pm

Circle hooks suit some applications but not all and are certainly not suitable for match angling. I wouldnt even use em for pleasure angling to be honest, tried them a few years ago when we were being plagued with Coalies on the beaches, it didnt stop them swallowing hooks.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:24 pm

Kaner wrote:
Circle hooks are no good for presenting bait properly.


:roll: :roll: :roll: Tell that to the fish that I catch ...

If you can't use full circle then try to use the semi circle hooks..

What bait do you have issues with ? Yes I admit its a little more difficult to get worms on but with practice it easy like anything in this life.

I've had everything from Dabs to Huss on them. I have also had Sea Trout on them with Muscle and its a joy to do C & R ...


If it works for you fairplay but I find the only bait that looks ok on them are mackeral strips, Worm/Crab etc would be better siuted to standard stlye hooks. I personally would not use them for any of my fishing especially during a comp
but different strokes for different folks :wink:

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:32 pm

keith wrote: but different strokes for different folks :wink:


What you talking about Willis :lol:

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:54 pm

Circle hooks suit some applications but not all and are certainly not suitable for match angling. I wouldnt even use em for pleasure angling to be honest, tried them a few years ago when we were being plagued with Coalies on the beaches, it didnt stop them swallowing hooks.


That's disappointing Pete. I would suggest that the reason why the Coalies swallowed them is due to incorrect hook size or the fact that you did not allow the fish to hook itself when it turned away with the bait. Why do you deem that they would not suit match angling ? These type of hooks ensure extra fast C & R with very little damage to the fish. Surely there would be room on the competition circuit for one Circle/Semi Circle Hook only comp? It would be an interesting experiment indeed. We need to cop on and start to protect our inshore stocks for future generations. They used to kill Skate did they not in boat comps ? I'm sure at the time that was deemed fine but times and attitudes change. I'm sorry for hijacking your excellent post BTW but It just seems that competition anglers are all about points and prizes and tables and medals and self back clapping with little or no regard for their actual quarry. Was it not Eric who posted ages ago that after big comps you would see loads of dead fish at the marks afterward ?? If ye had at least one comp where they were compulsory then at least everyone concerned could get a chance to use them and see how they get on.. OK the catch may be down a little but its guaranteed that the dead fish would also be down.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:33 pm

Kaner wrote:
Circle hooks suit some applications but not all and are certainly not suitable for match angling. I wouldnt even use em for pleasure angling to be honest, tried them a few years ago when we were being plagued with Coalies on the beaches, it didnt stop them swallowing hooks.


That's disappointing Pete. I would suggest that the reason why the Coalies swallowed them is due to incorrect hook size or the fact that you did not allow the fish to hook itself when it turned away with the bait. Why do you deem that they would not suit match angling ? These type of hooks ensure extra fast C & R with very little damage to the fish. Surely there would be room on the competition circuit for one Circle/Semi Circle Hook only comp? It would be an interesting experiment indeed. We need to cop on and start to protect our inshore stocks for future generations. They used to kill Skate did they not in boat comps ? I'm sure at the time that was deemed fine but times and attitudes change. I'm sorry for hijacking your excellent post BTW but It just seems that competition anglers are all about points and prizes and tables and medals and self back clapping with little or no regard for their actual quarry. Was it not Eric who posted ages ago that after big comps you would see loads of dead fish at the marks afterward ?? If ye had at least one comp where they were compulsory then at least everyone concerned could get a chance to use them and see how they get on.. OK the catch may be down a little but its guaranteed that the dead fish would also be down.



yep i did say that, and most of this comes from ignorance and stupidity on the anglers part ripping hooks out of flats with no regard for them. il admit i used to do it myself but have since in the last year reverted to using the method shown here. and it works nearly all of the times. very rarely does the fish look worse for wear. no blood, minute damage and the fish swims off strongly every time. no need for circle hooks. for other species likely encountered during a comp such as whiting and small codling the circle will not help with a succesfull recovery one bit. ive lipped hooked these types of fish before with standard aberdeens and they nearly always die, even though there is little damage done to them. the likes of dogs are bullet proof so circle hook or no circle hook they'l be fine as always.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:01 pm

To respond, Circle hooks are not suitable for match fishing as put simply, they are not the best tool for the job. They have a reduced hook up ratio to other patterns, bait presentation on them is inferior also. If they were the best tool for the job, then the top anglers in the country would be using them, they dont. I hear what you're saying, dont get me wrong, but its not feasible for a match angler to use these.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:07 pm

brilliant pete..

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:08 pm

Great Pics Pete, when i am at competitions we use the slamo disgorgers that i would us for coarse fishing in the same way!! :D

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:31 am

Not familiar with them (or coarse fishing for that matter!) can you post a pic of one for us Dan?

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:47 am

petekd wrote:Not familiar with them (or coarse fishing for that matter!) can you post a pic of one for us Dan?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:59 pm

These things take a little bit of getting used to but they are great for size 4s and below. Highly recommended.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:55 pm

Good stuff, great advice lads.

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:09 pm

brilliant step by step pictures pete,and ive got to say that since i learned to use the wire tool,99% of the flatties i catch are returned safely to the water,except the ones for dinner!

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:19 am

nice one lads. Thanks for the mention on the pics Pete - sandy fish are my m├ętier.

Really is the easiest way I've seen for unhooking flats. Think we are all obliged to do our best for a fish we have hauled out the water where it was minding its own business whatever species it is and the beauty of the over the gill methods mentioned here, for the flats, is that the there is actually no real effort involved. So the fish "wins" and the angler wins.
Showed it to a friend of mine the other day and he tried it out on his very next fish - a deep hooked codling - successfully to my surprise.

I know it seems counter-intuitive to bring the hook out "backwards" and especially going over the gills, but does seem to be the simplest and least detrimental to the fish.

Anyway, more guides like this needed and possibly move the morality discussion side of them to another post. Technique is what we're after and perhaps confusing with all these other comments after which aren't so much about the efficacy of the technique.

P.S. Pete do one on unhooking ray please - no sense in anyone else getting the top ripped off their fingers :oops:

Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:17 am

thescotsman wrote:
P.S. Pete do one on unhooking ray please - no sense in anyone else getting the top ripped off their fingers :oops:
I would also like to see what methods people have for unhooking ray,I always used my fingers as I found it to be the quickest way of unhooking them until I met martin from England and seen what damage a ray can do to a lads finger

great tips for unhooking the flat fish,one thing I would like to add is if I can get the hook out through the gill I then snip the line and just pull the line out and retie the hook after,it might save the fish's gills getting damaged from the disgorger or forceps when you try push it back and out the mouth