catching (and losing) trout on pinfish

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catching (and losing) trout on pinfish

Post by geofish »

I went out of St Marks yesterday for a quick morning fishing trip before work. No one had live shrimp, so I was casting artificials and using pinfish under a cork. A few bumps on the soft plastics, but I caught 2 good trout on the pins. I also had two other good trout on, and they seemed to be hooked but came off after their first tussle.
What was weird was that when I cleaned the two trout I caught, the pinfish were all the way in their stomachs, but the fish weren't really hooked. The 3/0 circle hooks were still in the upper back of the pinfish (between the head and the dorsal fin. The hooks were just folded back and fitting smoothly in the stomach. I suspect that that might have happened with the two that I lost, where the pinfish just slipped back out during the fight.
Anyone else have this happen? Is it the way I'm hooking the pins, or should I not be using circle hooks?
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Red Beard
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catching (and losing) trout on pinfish

Post by Red Beard »

If I’m understanding this correctly…you found the pinfish with the hook in their stomach while cleaning them? Meaning you caught ‘em and then cut the line thinking they were gut hooked? (Just making sure I visualize correctly)

I’m not a fan of hooking baits at the tail; I understand it has its pros and cons. But in my mind, fish try to eat fish head first. And those eyes on your bait is where those trout are aiming. Hooking more towards the front allows for a better hook up ratio in “my” experience. I always wait for the rod to bend before I pick the rod up; cork going under is the alarm to pay attention; but I give the fish a second or few to chew his food.

Seems as though your trout may have hit the baits and swallowed them before you could get to the rod. (Assuming you’re fishing while having the drifted bait in a rod holder) And the pinfish’s spines seemed to become the “barbs” and allow you to reel them in. It happens though; usually the bait pulls before it’s landed. But it seems you had luck on your side.

At least you recovered the hooks. Should be automatic on the next outing. Keep using the circle hooks; allows these fish to be caught without gut hooking……Unless in your case where the fish just swallows everything anyway. lol Try moving the hook more forward and seeing if that helps.

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Re: catching (and losing) trout on pinfish

Post by illinoisfisherman »

Nice report. Thank you
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