I realize i have not been doing much fishing blogging lately for which i apologize! But i do have a very good excuse, all my free time has been spent actually fishing!
Since December i have been going out every day possible and one day in early December had 7 hits from Marlin! - one little guy hit my lures 5 times before giving up in exasperation.
In chatting with the locals two things came up as the cause: my drags were set for the 100KG+ marlin caught off Sydney and my mustad hooks while VERY sharp where just too thick for the fish to drive their bills down to the barb. The local shop recommended these wicked things called Gamakatsu "Saltwater Fly" hoos. I must admit i was pretty skeptical of the thin gauge steel but immediately was shown respect for those tips as they drew blood about 4 times while rerigging my ~15 marlin lures with these hooks in #9/0 size. (The box of 50 was only $50)
First trip with the new hooks we got three hits and brought home three Wahoo(10,12 and 11KG)- and some really beat up lures!.
Despite this the hooks held fine!
Next trip 4 strikes and 4 Wahoo, where i found to release fish with these hooks all you need to do is grab the trace and lift/bounce the fish on the hooks and the ~15KB of weight will open the gap enough to the let the fish go.
My last trip (last week) I had a strike and lost the fish. Luckily i saw exactly what happened a huge Wahoo (20KG+) hit the lure and came flying out of the water with the head of the lure in its mouth and the fish literally spat the lure out before it hit the water...That lure was practically a write off (hooks never got touched). Later the same trip got a huge strike with nice 50KG black marlin was trying to shake the hooks out of its bill....Unfortunately for him the SL12S's weren't going to let go and 20 minutes later we were releasing my first Black Marlin!-Yahoo!! This fish had to be the ulitimate test for a hook, as the trace wrapped around the fishes bill (see picture below). While the marlin did bend the heck of the shaft of the hook, it is pretty obvious that the hook was going to last a lot longer than the trace which was just about finished(see the trace right above the crimp). I am guessing the line had about 2 more minutes of rubbing before it was gone.