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DIY Dehookers for Bonefish

Posted on November 12 2015

Fish dehookers for bonefish.
Buy or Make Your Own. Photo: Kyle Shea.

Dehookers certainly aren’t anything new, but more and more these days we’re seeing our guests using them for bonefish.

A simple dehooking tool not only helps to safely remove stubborn hooks from fish’s mouths, they also allow the fish to be released without ever being handled OR removed from the water.. And that’s a really good thing.

Don’t get us wrong, we totally understand the desire to hold that special fish for a quick photo, but if you’re fishing in an area like South Andros, there’s a good chance you’re not going to feel the need to snap a photo for every single fish you catch. Therefore, a dehooker is a handy little tool to release fish with as little harm as possible.

Dehookers come in many shapes, sizes, and can be found just about anywhere fishing gear is sold. However, we find it just as easy (and more fun) to make our own.. Here’s how.

DIY Dehookers

  1. Cut a short piece of wood (roughly 4 inches) as a handle. We used a dried Casaurina branch found on the beach at Andros South, but any hard branch or dowel will work just as well. Half the fun is customizing your own.. Be creative!
  2. Find a stiff wire material to form the ‘dehooking hook.’ We used the handle from an old paint bucket, but we’ve seen everything from coat hangers to five-gallon bucket handles used. Just make sure whatever material you choose does not have any nicks or sharp areas that could cut the leader.
  3. Using a pair of needle nosed pliers, bend one end of the wire into a loop large enough to pass the head and eyes of the largest fly you plan to fish. Notice the loop is bent ‘off-center’ to allow the leader to pass through the gap in the loop.
  4. Drill a hole in the center of the handle wide and long enough to slide the wire down into.
  5. Mix up some 5-Minute Epoxy and spread into both the hole in the handle and on the handle end of the wire.
  6. Insert wire into handle and allow to cure.
  7. Note: Using a file and/or sand paper, make sure to smooth out any rough edges on the wire that could cause damage to the leader during use.

How to Use

Using the dehooker is extremely simple. To remove hook, follow the steps below.

  1. Once the fish is brought to the side of the boat, grab the leader with one hand and hook the leader with the loop of the dehooker with the other hand.
  2. Slide the dehooker down the leader until the loop reaches the bend of the hook.
  3. Use the leader in hand to apply downward pressure on the eye of the hook, while lifting up on the bend of the hook with the wire loop of the dehooker.
  4. If done correctly, the angle of the hook coupled with the weight of the fish should allow the hook to slide out, safely releasing the fish.

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