Multiple Hooks Raise Questions
Inside the Outdoors, March 20
, 2014

Before I get into the specifications that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has noted in its 2014 Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws, I want to touch upon a subject that caught not only others by surprise, but me as well.

I was taken aback or surprised by something unexpected when I learned that one cannot put plastic in the recycle mobile containers that the city of Latrobe recently provided to its residents. I have to admit, I was one of the guilty who assumed that one could deposit plastic bags such as those given out by most retailers these days, including Shop ‘n Save, Giant Eagle and Walmart, into those mobile units.

When I checked with Alex Graziani, city manager of Latrobe, he sent back an email stating “NO PLASTIC” in recycle bins.

So what do we do with these bags? I was told that we take them back to where we got them and return them as these stores are supposed to have places that we can put these bags, or, simply reuse them.


While at the Cooperstown Event Center recently upon selling a fishing item to a young man, he asked me a question about whether a person needs a fishing license while helping a youngster fish.

When I returned home, I got out the PFBC’s summary booklet where I read the full scope of the law. It said: “An adult who assists a child (12 years of age and under) by casting or retrieving a fishing line or fishing rod is not required to possess a valid fishing license provided that the child remains within arms’ reach of the assisting adult and is actively involved in the fishing activity. An adult may assist a child by baiting hooks, removing fish from the line, netting fish, preparing the fishing rod for use and untangling the line without possessing a valid fishing license. An adult is required to possess a fishing license if he or she intends to set the hook for the child.”

Many people who come to my table at the CEC are talking about the PFBC’s new ruling concerning “no restriction on the number of hooks.” Upon selling a four-hook rig to a customer, I recalled an incident that took place years ago while using two hooks on one lure. I related to him my story.

One of my favorite places to fish was along the Loyalhanna Creek just below the location of the Latrobe Sewage Plant. I found that this was certainly a great place for all species of fish to hang out (and fishermen, too, as far as that goes).

I had waded into the water half way below the middle of driveway to the plant. Tossing a black and silver 7S Rapala, I threw it downstream about 2 o’clock and slowly retrieved it. Since it had been a lure that has always produced, I had high hopes. When I felt something slam it, I began to take on the challenge of reeling it in. I was taken aback by the fact that this wasn’t the usual reaction for any kind of fish I had ever tagged. As I tugged on the line, I saw it go one direction and abruptly change, going the other way.

Something wasn’t right.

When I finally saw my catch some three feet from my legs, I couldn’t believe my eyes. On the front treble hook was a 14-inch largemouth bass, and on the back treble, a 14-inch smallmouth.

Now tell me, what is the chance of that happening ever again?

Can you understand how this little story ties into the recent state’s ruling of having numerous amounts of hooks on one line? There are various questions that crop up here. Will one require the usage of a heavier pound test line? Will the fish see the line and hesitate going for the bait? If one catches a multiple amount of fish, will they swim in such a direction opposite other fish on the line whereby the line gets tangled with another angler’s? What a revolting development that would be!

When I caught the two bass on my one plug, I was using six-pound test line. But what would be the weight demand of a six-hooked rig? I guess there is only one way to find out – start with six, for example, and if the line breaks, up it to seven (some companies do make that weight) or eight. Just remember, it’s not a natural presentation if the fish can see the line. Then it goes without question, fluorocarbon line is the best pick.

My suggestion – keep to two hooks maximum and stick to 4 – 6 lb. line unless one is fishing for big cats, musky or carp. Then stick with 8 lb. test.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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