When it comes to avoiding gut hooking bullheads up until now the best I was always able to do is keep the rod in hand, strike fast and use long shanked hooks and that doesn’t always work, plus a man just has to drink a beer now and again while fishing.
It never fails the bite has gone down, you set the rod in a holder or on a bucket and wham, you either have stolen bait or that cats got the dang hook down his gullet.
It is just how they eat mind you, they suck in bait and swallow it. I think we forget that bullheads are not just scavengers, they are predators. You know that little pond with thousands of bulls in it? Yea if they we all scavengers they would all starve to death.
They eat a lot of minnows and a lot of small sunfish as we reported in this article here. And such critters don’t sit around waiting to be eaten like that piece of hotdog, cut bait or night crawler you have sitting there on the bottom. There is also almost never one bullhead in one place by himself or herself, they are shoaling fish. Translation not only does prey escape, your buddy is gonna eat your find if you don’t get it first.
Today I came across this video, the concept is to use a lead head jig hook when fishing for bullheads. As this will let you easily tight line and keep a very sensitive feel it should be dang useful for that alone. I have never tried this but hope to give it a shot this weekend and I will report back on it. It does seem to make a lot of sense though. Bulls are far from hook or even thick line shy and it should at least discourage very deep hook sets.
Check out this fellows video and if you have tried this or any other method to reduce deep hookups with bullheads, please tell us about it in the comments below.
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