It’s frustrating when you have done the hard work by attracting the fish into your peg and then you start the problem of foul hooked fish. It’s something that happens to every fisherman at some point. The question is, how do you stop this? In this article, we will investigate why it’s happening and some possible solutions.
The reason why you are likely to foul hook fish is that you are feeding too much and getting the fish acting in a feeding frenzy.
The Reasons They Are Foul Hooked
Feeding too much
For me, this is the number one reason for people foul hooking fish.
The more you feed, then the more fish you will have in your swim (not 100% of the time, otherwise we would all bag up).
The best way to describe this is by looking at another analogy. If you were a cafe owner and started offering free food before you know it, the shop would be swamped and you would be overrun. The place would be chaos. This is what it can be like when you throw in too much bait.
The best way to sort this is to regulate your feeding. Again, imagine if you were a cafe owner and wanted to be consistently busy. Busy enough that you keep everyone happy and that there’s a constant flow of fish (flow of customers). You want to maybe have an offer on in the morning for breakfast, then maybe a lunchtime special for the OAPS then maybe a set menu for early evening diners. Think of this as feeding your swim “little and often”. This keeps the place busy, keeps you happy with a few fish (catching fish moving into your swim), and avoids it becoming overcrowded.
Feeding little and often is hopefully a way of stopping the chaos of having your swim too full of fish, but busy enough that they will feed without being chaotic. Of course, it’s still going to happen from time to time but that’s part of fishing, but it should reduce the likely hood of foul hooked fish.
When fishing in the margins you want to think about your shotting. Adding a bulk of shots to the bottom of your rig will help keep the bait steady and keep the bait planted on the bottom.
If you used a strung-out bulk in the margin then there is a chance the bait will waft about more in the water. This is caused by the fish creating turbulence when they come into the swim by their tails. This, in turn, lifts the bait up off the bottom and causes the foul hooking.
Also with margins its best to dump 1 bigger lump of bait down to the bottom to keep them down there.
What About Fishing Shallow Up In The Water?
When fishing up in the water there is a good chance that you will come into contact with some foul hooked fish, especially when you are match fishing. This is because it’s very likely the fish will be very competitive when fishing shallow.
If this happens the best way to stop this is to shallow up. At first shallow up by 2 to 3 inches. If it continues to happen then shallow up again even further until you stop foul hooking them.
What About People Intentionally Trying To Foul Hook Fish?
I have heard of this happening in matches where people feed up the margins to the point where the fish are swirling and then going in and trying to hook a fish anywhere they can just to get it in the net.
Not only is this unsporting, but playing a foul-hooked carp is twice as hard as normal, putting your pole, elastic, hook, and line under incredible pressure that often ends in disaster.
You Could Try Mugging The Fish
In the summer to stop foul hooked fish and to try and keep everything calmer, certain anglers do what’s called “mugging”. Essentially, it’s like stalking carp but using a pole. You use 1 big hook bait and then try and place it right in front of the cruising fish’s nose.
The hope is that the carp follows the pellet and takes the bait. With it just being that one fish, there’s less chance you are going to foul hook it.
What Should You Do If You Foul Hook a Fish?
There isn’t much you can do. The chance of landing it is much smaller as it won’t be hooked as well as if it’s in the mouth.