Even before the appearance of lures (and their attendant trebles) on the bass fishing scene, discussions, regarding the use of trebles whilst fishing for bass, would periodically crop up. In those days it was usually regarding the best way to use crab, especially when float-fishing them . . . some advocated a large treble pushed through the crab from below; this, it was claimed presented the crab in the most ‘natural’ manner to any hunting bass; and I can see the merit in the argument. The problem was the worry that any bass hooked, and then lost, would be left with its jaws stapled together by the treble; a problem that the use of a single should avoid.
In more modern times with many lures having up to three sets of trebles the discussions about trebles have widened – but with most threads discussing replacement trebles (which are the best); what impact using lighter weight/smaller trebles, or even removing a treble altogether have, and ways to mitigate any effect. The concern about the possible damage done to bass by the use of trebles has caused many anglers to look much more seriously at their lures. But with decent bass being fewer in number many anglers are loath to reduce their chances of landing a decent fish by altering the layout of the ‘armament’ on their lures. Nevertheless many bass anglers have at the very least been squeezing the barbs on trebles and this has become more prevalent; even more so in the last few years as anglers from coarse fishing backgrounds have shared their experiences of fishing with barbless hooks.
The above topics referred to above have been discussed numerous times on the BASS Forum. In recent times the topic of replacing trebles with single hooks has cropped up more than once on the BASS Forum. And quite a few appeared to have dabbled with single hooks. And it appears that their usage is not restricted to sub-surface lures . . . even topwater lures are having singles added.
Below are a few photos of some modified lures.
One BASS member who has been replacing the trebles on his lures for sometime recently wrote an article for the BASS Magazine. Keep an eye on the “How to catch bass . . ” section of this website as I’ll be adding his article there shortly.
Of course there are other advantages to both ‘crimping’ the barbs on hooks as well as switching to singles. I doubt that the following painful illustrations would have been quite as bad if the above modifications had been made.