Today I fished Stillhouse Hollow for white bass with the sole purpose of determining the effectiveness of a new product by Gamakatsu called the G-Stinger. This is an assist hook designed to increase the strike-to-land ratio on baits it is affixed to.
The single hooks fasted to the top of these two 3/4 oz. slabs are the new Gamakatsu G-Stinger assist hooks — the focus of today’s experiment.
I began with four slabs. Two weighed three-quarters of an ounce and two weighed three-eighths of an ounce. On the two that weighed three-quarters, I took the treble hook off of one and affixed an assist hook to the line tie, giving that lure a total of one hook point to catch into a fish’s mouth. On the other, I left the treble hook in place and added the assist hook, giving that lure a total of four hook points to catch into a fish’s mouth. I altered the set of two 3/8-ounce baits in the same manner.
I headed out on Stillhouse Hollow in pursuit of white bass, equipped with four rods equipped with just these four altered lures. I found active white bass feeding under gulls and began jigging with these modified baits. I used the 3/4-ounce bait with the treble hook and assist hook affixed to it first. My aim was to fish until I caught five fish on each lure and compare my results. On this first lure, I caught five fish on six strikes quickly, with three of them hooked by the treble, one of them hooked by the assist hook only, and one of them hooked by both the treble and the assist hook.
I then experimented with the 3/4-ounce lure with only the assist hook affixed to it. Although I caught five fish, I missed a number of strikes and so it took nearly twice as long to catch this “set” of five fish. Next, I used the 3/8-ounce lure with both hooks attached and again put five fish in the boat in short order. This time, three of the fish were hooked with both hooks, and the other two were hooked on the treble hook only. Finally, I experimented with the 3/8-ounce bait with only the assist hook affixed to it. Again, more missed strikes, although it took less time to land five fish on this bait than on the 3/4-ounce bait with only the assist hook attached.
Through this experiment, the number of incidents where the assist hook was firmly set into the fish was convincing to me. Even though my “sample set” was low, the number of fish in which the assist hook was buried, AND ESPECIALLY THE NUMBER OF FISH WHERE THE ASSIST HOOK ALONE WAS BURIED, has convinced me that this very inexpensive and easy to affix addition is well-worth placing on all of my vertical jigging rods, which I have now done.