First off, “Thanks Sammy” for adding me to this distinguished list of Anglers. If Brad is an “Angler in Training”, I would suppose I am maybe a “Guy with a hook in skinny water” and with some of the others…. well I wonder if I even “angle”.
I was sent a number of Mission Fishin’ weighted live bait hooks to try out. Having been a Mission Fishin’ fan from way back, it was like Christmas morning to me. The MF standard jigheads are the only ones I have in my tackle box and the same is true for the weedless jigs. Hands down, they are the best! The weedless hooks from MF, with the wire “screw” to secure a soft plastic, is my first choice when using weedless applications.
I enjoy tossing artificials, but I just love live bait. There is something just so funny about a shrimp doing the “I’m about to get et dance”, which to me much akin to Wile E. Coyote. Also my thoughts are that if a fish hits my line, I would like to offer a reward of a tastey morsel as opposed to a mouthful of plastic. Call me tenderhearted. Another reason I like live bait is many times, as of late, the conditions dictated it – too much grass, warm water temps, etc..
The hooks came is 3 different weights and whereas they were not labeled I would assume they were 1/16, 1/32 and 1/64 ounces. The additional lead was added just before the curve in the circle hook. The hooks are 1.5 inches in length and a gap of .75 inches. The hooks appear to be 2/0. One final attribute was the hooks had a slight offset to assist in the standard corner of the mouth hookup.
My testing of the hooks proved to be a bit aggrivating as I found the catfish loved them also. The first time I used them I did not have live bait with me and tried to use them on a Gulp. This application was not what they were designed for. I found it difficult to thread it properly inline as one may use the other hooks. Although you could certainly hook a Gulp crab with ease or just hook a Glup shrimp as you might a live one.
I finally got on some respectable fish and they worked like a charm. The first fish was a respectable snook under a dock. I had tail hooked the shrimp and it was just too enticing for that snook. I would assume that much would be the case when working a mangrove line for snook, or for that matter, anything as I was able to also catch a small Mangrove snapper. The extra weight assisted in getting just that extra distance you sometimes need with enough weight to get the bait down, and sometimes back where the fish are.
The final test involved my favorite fishing, sight fishing for reds on open flats. The distance I got was pleasing and there was not an alarming entrance splash. The reds gave my final hook a workover but all were hooked in the lip even when I used a ladyfish chunk. I also found the hook beneficial when using a live pinfish. I would assume that the same would be the case for other baitfish.
I could see this hook be very effective when fishing for bonefish or permit with live shrimp on the flats as that you are able to get some distance (thanks to the additional weight) without any alarming entrance splash.
All in all, I was very pleased with the hook and look forward to when they are available at our local tackle stores. One change is requested, Hal, could you make them less catfish friendly.