How Eagles Catch Fish – And What You Learn From Them
Catch fish like an Eagle.
The names are well-known: Blair Wiggins, Skeet Reese, Tony Roach. These All-Star anglers cover the worldwide water column, from saltwater on the Atlantic to the Gulf, to freshwater in Florida's Bass-packed lakes and rivers, to North America's icy lakes.
Knowledge can be gleaned from accounts of how they catch fish, such as this report from Skeet Reese's victory at a Bassmaster Series.
"The superstar of bass fishing was victorious in the Bassmaster Elite Series West Point Lake Battle after starting the final round in 7th place, 2.5 pounds behind leader Tommy Biffle. Skeet Reese won $100,000 and his 14th Bassmaster Classic qualification."
After the win, Reese talked about his experience.
"I thought if I could win, I'd win on a swimbait," said Reese. "But I couldn't get a bite on a swimbait, and I didn't think I'd be picking up a spinning rod, but I adapted to conditions."
On the last day of the tournament, Reese targeted bedding Bass again, and caught his first two fish of the morning on a Lucky Craft LV100 lipless crankbait, while fishing shallow flats in the backs of ditches. Then he picked up a drop-shot rig with a 4-inch Smoke-purple Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper, and a TK150 Drop Shot hook, which yielded two more keepers.
"In the end, I was just fortunate I had all decent fish today," Reese said.
That's a rather humble statement for a legend, but Reese's attitude is why a company with a reputation as stellar as Eagle Claw (Wright & McGill Co. ) penned an agreement with the B.A.S.S. Elite Series Pro to design a new rod series called the Victory Pro Carbon Series. The series includes 10 new rods and each one is designed for one of Skeet's favorite techniques. There are 7 casting and 3 spinning models, and each one features the new Pro Carbon blank, new guides, new reel seats, all designed to reduce weight and create the ultimate fishing tool.
Victory Pro Carbon rods use the finest 40/36 carbon materials, and to keep weight to an absolute minimum and increase the breaking strength and durability of the rod series, engineers have developed a new taping material called "EBS" (Extreme Binding Substrate) that has a 78% increase in tensile strength. Using a hyper-pressure process, the new "EBS" material encircles the blank after rolling, and under extreme pressures, forces the Nano resins into every possible cavity and space in the carbon material during the baking process.
Victory Pro Carbon rod blanks have a carbon content of 77.5% of the total weight versus normal construction averaging just 67%. This 10.5% reduction in resin content allows for a higher carbon-fiber content and a lighter and stronger blank. MSRP on all 10 new rods is just $159.99.
A River Ran Through It
The story of Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle Co. is a classic tale of American ingenuity. Way back in the 1920s, one of the founders, Drew McGill, was fly-fishing on the upper Colorado River, and was having problems with fish slipping off his hooks. In a moment of stillness and observation during a pipe break, he looked up and saw a Bald Eagle land on a tree branch. It occurred to McGill that the eagle possessed the perfect design in his talons for holding onto slippery fish, and immediately set about modifying some of his hooks right there on the riverbank. They worked, and he returned to his small factory to set about redesigning the hooks that the company manufactured. The owners renamed the company "Eagle Claw," and the rest is fishing history.
This diverse company has grown through the years, inventing new styles of hooks, and expanding its offerings that now include more than 1,500 items for fishing, including rods, reels, fishing line, floats, swivels, sinkers, nets, scales, cricket tubes, tools and many other terminal accessories. One of their most successful product lines is TroKar specialty fish hooks.
Trokar -- Surgically Sharp
TroKar was introduced by the company in 2009 as the world's first Surgically Sharpened fishhook. Created with technology out of the medical supply field, TroKar quickly garnered the recognition as being the sharpest fishhook in the world. The term TroKar comes from the word, Trocar, which is a surgical medical instrument with a sharply pointed end, often three-sided.
TroKar hooks use Surgically Sharpened Technology (SST) to grind and hone a three-sided symmetrical point that is scalpel sharp and capable of penetrating and withstanding the toughest membranes and cartilage. TroKar worked hand-in-hand with one of the worlds leading manufacturers of surgical grade needles to develop and engineer a point specifically designed for fishing. TroKar hooks are proud to be the only premium brand of fishhooks to be made in the United States of America.
The New and Robust TroKar TK619
One of the most impressive hooks to come out of the TroKar production room since their Surgically Sharpened Technology hit the fishing industry four years ago, the "619" is aimed at anglers looking for a beefier and more robust circle hook when using the heaviest gear. The TK619 recently won Best of Show for the Terminal Tackle category at the 2014 ICAST in Orlando, FL.
The "619" is a true brute. Available in a medium wire or a heavy wire magnum size, the TK619 offers the stopping power and backbone to haul in the strongest tuna and game fish in the sea. TroKar is also adding a ringed version to both the medium and heavy wire "619".
The complete range of the "619" hook includes (piece count varies by size):
TK619 – Medium Wire, Offset, 1/0 – 6/0
TK619R – Medium Wire, Ringed, Offset, 1/0 – 6/0
TK619i – Medium Wire, Non-Offset, 1/0 – 6/0
TK619H – Heavy Wire, Offset, 4/0 – 12/0
TK619HR – Heavy Wire, Ringed, Offset 4/0 -12/0
TK619Hi – Heavy Wire, Non-Offset, 1/0 – 6/0
The most impressive aspect of the TK619 is the Surgically Sharpened point. Never before has a point this sharp and durable been achievable on such a heavy wire diameter.
What the Pros Use
Captain Blair Wiggins, host of Addictive Fishing TV, fishes all over the world, and of course, here at home in Florida. His favorite haunts are on the Space Coast, and he also frequents the waters of Jacksonville, Tampa and St. Pete.
When fishing the rough waters on the Space Coast, and when using live bait for those species that he wants to take home, Captain Wiggins uses The Trokar Big Nasty.
"When I want to take home species such as flounder, red snapper, or mangrove snapper, I almost always use the Trokar 2/0 Big Nasty (Model TK11-2/0,)" said Wiggins. I throw out some chum and put a pilchard or a finger mullet on the hook, and free-line it. It works like a charm, and I never lose a fish."
For jigging, Wiggins uses TroKar Jigheads, which he said work well with any plastic.
"When I fish near Jacksonville, I fish the flood tides on the incoming high tide with DOA Cal lures and a TroKar jighead, from a 1/16th to ¼ oz. for redfish when they're tailing in the grass," said Wiggins "The TroKar is simply a superior jighead, and always I use the best," said Wiggins.
When he hits Tampa Bay, he often hunts tarpon and uses TroKar circle hooks. He said he uses anywhere from a 2/0 to 7/0, depending on the size of the fish he's after and the bait he uses.
When he's after trout, Captain Wiggins has a specific lure he uses.
"If I'm trout fishing, I use the MirrOlure MirrOdine twitchbait in Broken Glass Green / Yellow, which now comes packaged with two TroKar treble hooks that are lazer-sharp right out of the package," said Wiggins." This twitchbait is also great for redfish."
The third pro in the trifecta is Tony Roach – known as "T-Roach" to his ice-fishing friends. This famous pro-angler has drilled more holes and caught more fish from frozen lakes than probably anyone alive. Tony regularly appears in national print and broadcast, including Midwest Outdoors, and Ice Guide TV, as well as numerous regional radio, internet and newspaper outlets. He also produces a weekly on-the-water fishing report via youtube and his own website.
T-Roach is a firm proponent of TroKar hooks (as you can see on his hat in the photo below), which are perfect for all water temperatures (including below 32 degrees) because of the superior steel and the surgical precision of the cuts they can make into the lips of a chilly Walleye, a Smallmouth bass, a big pike or a tasty panfish.
"When I first tried TroKar hooks I was amazed a hook could even be that sharp, said Roach. "We face tough conditions up here, strong winds and cold nasty days. A light bite is hard to feel. My clients are now catching fish they never even felt before."
Our Local Pro Speaks on Eagle Claw
Captain David Rieumont – a fishing legend in his own right and the President of The Online Fisherman -- said that Eagle Claw has been a mainstay in his fishing life since day one. He spoke about a hook called the "Circle Sea," which he said was one of the very early circle hooks that was designed with the ingenuity that has come to represent Eagle Claw.
"The Circle Sea was innovative and inexpensive, and had a unique chrome-tint that attracted predator fish better than the circle hooks everybody else back then was making, which were all painted black," said Rieumont. "When I fished in clear water, I could see that the black hooks looked unnatural, like a piece of grass stuck to the baitfish, which deterred the predator fish from grabbing the bait. The chrome-tinted Circle Sea was the answer to that problem."
On another note, Captain Rieumont said that when he goes after the sharp-toothed King or Spanish mackerels, he always uses Eagle Claw 2X-long shank hooks.
"They are the best 2X-long shank hooks made, and Eagle Claw was making them before anybody else, which is why I began using them," said Rieumont. "Over the years, I've tried other companies, but stuck with Eagle Claw because they're simply a better product."
Captain Rieumont said the reason he uses the 2X long shank hooks for mackerel is that if he uses anything shorter, he has to use a wire leader which can cause the fish to avoid the bite. He said that if you use anything but wire as a leader with normal-length hooks, the mackerel's sharp teeth will slash at the bait and catch the leader and you'll lose the hook, bait and the fish.
But if you use a 2X long shank hook, you can then use fluorocarbon as a leader because with the longer hook, most times the fish won't reach the leader when he slashes at the bait. Captain Rieumont also said the 2X long shank hooks in larger aught sizes are also excellent for sharks and other toothy critters.
Rieumont said that another unique hook that Eagle Claw manufactures is the Lazer Sharp L197, made in sizes down to a #8, which is very, very tiny.
"Very few, if any companies make a No.8 hook," said Rieumont. It can be used for pinfish and other small fish. It's made with a super-light wire, which penetrates the fish's mouth faster."
Rieumont said he uses the #8 often in his fishing schools for children because almost every fish can get its mouth around it.
"Thousands of kids have caught their first fish on a #8 gold hook from Eagle Claw," said Rieumont.
Rieumont said another favorite Eagle Claw hook he uses is the Sea Guard Circle hook in red. "The reason for a red hook is that a predator always strikes at the head of its prey where the red gill-plate is, and it also indicates blood, which tells the predator that a wounded target that's easy to attack may be around," said Rieumont.
The Family -- Eagle Claw, TroKar, Lazer Sharp, and Wright & McGill
What a combo. Between these companies in the Eagle Claw family, today's angler can find almost everything he needs and at a price range that won't break the bank. Of course, when you're going after serious fish, and you don't mind spending a few more bucks to make sure that trophy catch stays on your hook, you can buy the best fishing hooks available with the TroKar and Lazer Sharp lineup. But for everyday fishing, there's no better value than the Eagle Claw brand. They are legendary hooks at a moderate price that will serve you well. Every Boy Scout who ever went to camp on a lake knows the famous red-and-white package that represents All-American quality.
Eagle Claw hooks are the only hooks made in the USA and are built with integrity, honesty and 85-plus years of hook-making experience and heritage. The Eagle Claw brand remains the face of the company, and one of the most widely recognized brands in all of fishing. Eagle Claw offers consumers an extremely price-competitive product without compromising quality or attention to detail. Spanning both fresh and saltwater fishing, Eagle Claw provides anglers with numerous choices of hooks and terminal tackle for a whole array of species.
The list of quality hooks made by the Eagle Claw companies include: Single, Double, Treble, Snelled, Precision Saltwater, Snelled Saltwater, Kits, Jigs and Rigs. They also manufacture fishing rods, reels, combos, tackle, tools and many fishing accessories
Be sure to visit all three websites that comprise the Eagle Claw family of quality fishing products. Links are below.
Article by The Online Fisherman