Hook Retention and Survival of Bonefish
Every angler has at some point left a hook in a fish’s mouth. They will rust out within a few days, we’re told, and it seems a better option than damaging the fish’s mouth; however, you never truly know the whens and ifs.
In the recent issue of Fisheries Research, a study group looked at the issue of hook retention and survival of bonefish, specifically. Their findings confirm that hooks are expelled quickly and do not interfere with feeding; barbless hooks especially aid with expulsion, and the researchers strongly urge their use among anglers practicing catch and release.