Hook-and-line

Page - August 9, 2008
Hook-and-line is a general term used for a range of fishing methods that employ short fishing lines with hooks in one form or another (as opposed to long-lines). It includes hand-lines, hand-reels, powered reels, rod/pole-and-line, drop lines, and troll lines, all using bait or lures in various ways to attract target species.

Hook and line

Target

A wide variety of fish, squid and cuttlefish ranging from open ocean swimmers to bottom dwellers.

How it works

Hook-and-line is a general term used for a range of fishing methods that employ short fishing lines with hooks in one form or another (as opposed to long-lines). It includes hand-lines, hand-reels, powered reels, rod/pole-and-line, drop lines, and troll lines, all using bait or lures in various ways to attract target species.

Hand-lines use lines and baited hooks from a stationary or moving boat. Because hauling is slow, mechanised systems have been developed to allow more lines to be worked by a smaller crew.

Pole-and-line, or 'bait-boat' fishing, attracts surface-schooling fish to the vessel, where they are driven into a 'feeding frenzy' by the throwing of live or dead bait into the water and the spraying of water onto the sea surface to simulate the escape of small prey. Lines are used to hook the fish, which are then pulled on board by manual or powered devices. This method is used to capture surface-schooling tuna such as skipjack and albacore.

Trolling uses lines fitted with baits or lures that are trailed near the surface or at a certain depth by a vessel. Several lines are usually towed at the same time. These are commonly used for tuna and marlin.

Jigging uses lures on a vertical line moved up and down (jigged) by hand or mechanically. When used at night, this method is highly efficient for catching oceanic squid, which are attracted by lights.

Advantages

Hook and line fishing is more selective than other types of fishing in terms of species and size, and provides high quality fish. The method can be used on spawning fish as they normally only bite after completion of spawning. Lines are set for a relatively short time so that any unwanted species can often be returned live to the sea.

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