Wild Northerner Magazine Summer 2017 - Page 32

BY SCOTT HADDOW

Wild Northerner staff

Last year, I was fishing with Wild Northerner contributor James Hodgins in the spring, when I hooked into a decent 30-inch northern pike. The fish came in rolling and twisting in the rubber-mesh net as only a pike can do. It had inhaled my crankbait, with one set of trebles buried inside the pike’s mouth and the other set with two in the pike’s lower jaw and one through the rubber meshing. It had wrapped violently into a bundle of braid line.

I let out an “Ugh” as I reached into my tackle bag to retrieve my pliers, immediately thinking about the mess I had to fix as fast as possible to get the fish going on its way.

Hodgins instructed me to wait as he went into his gear bag and produced the Bill Dance hook remover tool. This tool has been out on the market for a while, but it was the first time I had seen another person with one in their hands. In seconds and to my astonishment, Hodgins got the hooks out of the pike no problem and it was free from the jackpot.

We both looked at each other and were impressed. I laughed because Hodgins was just as amazed as I was. I thought he had been using the tool for years – he hadn’t. He chuckled and told me he got the device the year before, but never used it.

bass and some of the fish were engulfing the cranks. We went to the Bill Dance hook remover every time. It made our release times faster and more efficient, which was better for the fish since we were practicing catch and release.

I’m not sure how many times I stated that day I was buying one of those tools as soon as I got back to town. I was true to my word as I stopped at Moxy’s Bait and Tackle Shop later that day and bought myself one.

If you have never used one, and you fish a lot, I can’t recommend the Bill Dance hook remover enough.

There’s not much to it, but that simplicity is the ultimate design. It removes hooks from any fish, no matter how bad they are stuck and faster than any other method or tool I’ve ever seen before.

It is less than $20 and features steel and plastic construction. It measures eight-inches in length and has a spring-loaded hook at the end that slides in and out of a slim, steel sleeve. You squeeze the trigger handle up with two fingers and it exposes the hook, which you grab onto one of the hooks on the lure. With a quick twist or turn, the hook pops right out. It also sports a line cutter integrated into the handle.

I’ve used it on bass, pike, walleye and trout. Every other person I’ve fished with since and has seen me deploy the hook remover was blown away just like I was, and many went out immediately and bought their own.

It’s for good reason.

Any level of angler can use this tool to enhance their fishing experience.

Hook removal made easy