How To Avoid Gut Hooking Fish With Artificial Lures


If you hook a fish deep in their mouth or throat, it can be deadly.

This is why most people use circle hooks with live bait — they help you hook fish in the lips.

But what about when you’re using artificial lures?

Circle hooks aren’t very effective with lures so when you use lures you’ll be using j hooks.

And in this video, I’ll show you two ways to avoid gut hooking fish with them.

These tips will not only help the fish survive, but will also help you catch more fish, too.

How To Avoid Gut Hooking Fish With Artificial Lures [VIDEO]

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There are two main mistakes people make that cause them to gut hook fish with artificial lures:

Mistake #1: Leaving too much slack in the line

When people set down their rod or check their phone, slack can get in the line, especially if there’s a strong current.

Also, if you’re retrieving your lure with a twitch-twitch-pause retrieve, some slack may get in the line when you pause.

When a fish hits your lure when slack is in the line, they’re much more likely to swallow it and get gut hooked.

To stop this from happening, always reel your line in tight to your lure, even if you’re pausing during a retrieve.

This will not only help you gut hook fish less, but will also help you catch more fish as you’ll immediately feel the bite and you can set the hook then.

Which leads us to the next mistake…

Mistake #2: Not setting the hook immediately

When you feel a bite, you need to set the hook immediately (yes, even with flounder!).

When fish strike, they’re trying to eat your lure, so set the hook right then and there.

This will also help you catch more fish because you’ll hook them immediately, instead of giving them time to decide if your lure is real or not.


snook on slam shady

To avoid gut hooking fish with artificial lures, be sure to reel in any slack and set the hook immediately.

These tips will help you hook the fish in the mouth and will also help you catch more fish in general.

Have any other tips to avoid gut hooking fish?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who gut hooks too many fish, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Mark E Keller
11 months ago

The biggest fish that I’ve caught all swallowed the lure whole and typically are gut hooked. So how do manage the fish when it becomes gut hooked?

Joshua Fuente
11 months ago

I more frequently have this issue with the smaller fish… I would think that is because you may miss the strike from such a small fish. Its a bummer for sure.


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