Fishing: You needn't lose your fish by using barbless hooks

I WAS lucky to get in a day of sport at our sponsor Markle Fishery before the big snow storms arrived.

It has always been one of my favourite venues. I know the blob works very well here and attached an orange and a Tequila, one eight feet apart.

Casting out using the sight indicator was more for my benefit than the fish - it was perishing cold and this was the best way to keep my hands warm.

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I started in the shallows and worked my way round the lochan, just letting the line drift round in the wind and the occasional tweak would soon have a result .?.?. or so I thought.

Although the small pond is good I much prefer the bigger one. To my mind it fishes better and I thought the fish would be down a bit as nothing was moving on the surface.

I managed to catch a glimpse of one cruising below and I could count on my hand the amount of times I saw the indicator disappear below the surface, but when I tightened, the fish slipped the hook.

But there is always a daft fish willing to take your offerings, and so it was for me. The fish fought well as it took off with my tail fly.

I was on barbless hooks and it is a fallacy to say you will lose more fish using this hook, as long as you keep the tension on and rod tip up. It was 3lb and in fine nick and I went on to pick up a further three fish this way.