Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

hook and barrel weird news

A Mix of Eclectic News & Notables for Outdoorsmen

What Is The Hook & Barrel “Hook Up?”

hook and barrel hookup giveaway

Nope, it has nothing at all to do with meeting the next love of your life. The Hook Up is pretty straightforward. Every month Hook & Barrel Magazine is giving our audience a crack at winning a collection of very cool gear… It doesn’t cost you a dime to enter. Simply click on the link below to enter The Hook Up Giveaway. C’mon, don’t be shy. Winning FREE OUTDOORS GEAR is what all the cool kids are doing. Go and get you some!

And in other news…

Unicorn Sailfish Gets Caught Off Guatemala

The Billfish Unicorn—a silver/white sailfish—one in a million, or an albino sailfish?

Call it what you will, but know this, it’s a sight you will never forget if you are lucky enough to see it. Congrats to Paul Renfro and his group for releasing a leucistic sailfish (proper scientific name). Leucistic animals do not have the pink eye that’s found on true albino animals.

unicorn sailfish

According to the folks at Pacific Fin Resort, “Mr. Renfro and his group were fishing on our new boat, Libertad (40’ G&S).” Wow, that’s a helluva boat name! They continued, “Guatemala is known as the sailfish capital of the world, but with the thousands of sails released each year, it’s a rare catch for sure. The last time this happened was in 2018 when another leucistic sailfish was caught in our waters.” Feast your eyes and learn more at pacificfinsresort.com.

Go Bananas for Banana Trout

We’re told that bananas are really good at supporting heart health, and they’re a great source of energy. Not sure that we can say the same with regard to banana trout, but that’s a story for another day. Here’s a quick note about banana trout that some might find a bit strange…

Back by popular demand, Idaho Fish and Game will stock banana trout in Mann Lake beginning in March 2024. For those who went bananas for these fish last year, keep an eye on the Clearwater regional stocking page.

banana trout

Banana Trout Fun Facts: Like albinism, the color variant of a rainbow trout lacks the melanin pigment, which gives them their yellow coloration. This vibrant yellow coloration and the elongated shape of a trout’s body resembles a banana, hence the nickname.

According to Clearwater staff, “We heard from numerous excited anglers last year, asking Fish and Game to stock banana trout in many other fisheries. However, because banana trout are rainbow trout, they can reproduce with wild fish, such as steelhead. Therefore, we are limited to where we can stock these fish. Mann Lake in Lewiston and Hordemann Pond in Moscow are the only two fisheries we will stock banana trout.”

For any questions, or to share fun stories of your banana trout experience, contact the Clearwater Regional office at 208-799-5010.

Lake Picachos’s New Trophy Bass Record

That’s right, y’all, an Anglers Inn Angler has set an ew Lake Picachos’s Trophy Bass record with a 14-pound, 14-ounce lunker.

Mexico’s Lake Picachos, often considered the best bass numbers lake in the world, now excels at producing huge largemouth bass. Case in point, Mark Owens of Southern California just broke the lake record for the biggest largemouth bass. His 14-pound, 14-ounce catch exceeded the old record by more than two pounds.

Owens and his wife Kimi are no strangers to Anglers Inn International lodges on Lake El Salto and Lake Picachos. The couple have visited both lakes numerous times over the past 20 years. But their January 2024 trip exceeded all their expectations.

bass fishing on lake picachos

“I caught my big fish on the last cast of the last day,” exclaimed Owens.“My guide was more excited than me if you can believe that. Best fishing of my life.”

The retired general contractor and wife targeted pockets and secondary points with 8-foot to 10-foot water using medium-diving fire-tiger-colored crankbaits. The couple were fishing their last morning of the trip and the record breaker was caught just before noon. The pair landed nearly 900 bass during their 4.5 days of fishing.

And now a message from the Anglers Inn sponsors…Abu Garcia, Berkley, Fishing Tackle Retailer Magazine, Huk, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak, Old Town, PENN, Plano and St. Croix Rod. More intel can be had at anglersinn.com.

USA Ice Fishing Team—Mongolia Bound

What’s that you say, you didn’t know that we have a USA Ice Fishing Team? Well, we do, and they recently headed to Mongolia for the World Ice Fishing Championship

Their trip spans over 6,000 miles, to participate in the 20th World Ice Fishing Championship (WIFC) in Kharkhorum, Mongolia. This prestigious event is scheduled for March 9-10, 2024. The journey to Mongolia involves a combination of trains, planes, and automobiles, traversing vast distances and diverse landscapes. The competitors will face not only the physical challenges of travel but also the extreme weather conditions characteristic of this remote region.

Think you can hack this? Weather conditions in Mongolia during this time of year can be brutal. The Ukraine Team, who has been practicing fishing at the venue for the past two weeks, reported temperatures as low as -60 degrees.

team usa ice fishing

Here’s how the ice breaketh…Dedicating time to compete and practice for a competition that includes perch and roach in Mongolia has its challenges for the US Team. Perch are available in several of the lakes the team has competed on, but roach is the unfamiliar species that will be the challenge. Both fish can be convinced to visit your bait under 1.5 meters of ice with ground baiting techniques.

Ground baiting is a system that involves using ground natural materials placed in the water to attract fish. Think of fish blood and guts as chum in Jaws. But legal freshwater ground baiting cannot contain fish parts and must dissipate otherwise it can be considered littering which comes with a hefty fine. In Mongolia the ground bait will likely not be the only determining factor in this WIFC. Freshwater Fishing Director, Mike McNett agrees, “This year the championship will be won with precise drilling and feeding techniques. I can’t imagine drilling more than ten holes during the three-hour event. I’m not even sure I could start the drill without standing on a fish box.”

No shanties allowed? Are you outta your mind? According to McNett, “Below zero weather conditions and 1.5 meters ice thickness will be the struggle for the athletes. “Yes, I said over 4 feet of ice will have to be drilled by hand to reach the fish. Shanties are NOT allowed so the anglers will be exposed to the harsh elements.”

If you want to watch the 20th World Ice Fishing Championship 2024 Live, you can hammer this link below: 

For more info about this and other somewhat strange fishing news, visit usangling.org.

Boneheaded Boating Videos

The Water World Wire’s Frank Sargeant got us thinking about Boating Disasters and viral-ish videos and stories we can all learn from… as in get a real idea of what NOT TO DO when you’re out in the water in your fishing or leisure vessel.

boneheaded boaters series

From Frank’s mouth to God’s ears… “The incredibly successful ‘Boneheaded Boaters’ video series has made the fumbles, faux pas, and general mistakes of boating into a big money business, and if you’ve never seen it, you’ll be sure to get a few chuckles, and maybe a painful insight into some of your own past mistakes by watching. See it here: https://www.youtube.com/@broncosguru.

And then that made us think about this Instagram fan favorite—The Qualified Captain

Vist that link to get an eyeful of boating and other mishaps, or simply get fully hooked into The Qualified Captain by smashing this here link: https://linktr.ee/thequalifiedcaptain

Youngest Bassmaster Winner—World’s Best Bass Lake?

All of you ol’ timers better keep your eyes peeled for this dynamic teen angler…Trey McKinney became the youngest Bassmaster Elite winner in history with his incredible four-day catch of over 130 pounds on Texas’ Lake Fork last week. (B.A.S.S.)

Trey McKinney, who is 19 years old, not only won the Bassmaster Elite event at Lake Fork, he won it with a near-record catch of 130 pounds, 15 ounces over the four days.

The Carbondale, Illinois native, exactly one week removed from his 19th birthday, finished with a four-day total of 20 bass weighing 130 pounds, 15 ounces, outlasting the field of 103 anglers in what was one of the most productive tournaments in the history of competitive bass fishing.

Trey’s good, no doubt, but how about the Lake Fork? Lake Fork turned out multiple bags over 100 pounds for four days of fishing. Lake Fork is now arguably the best big bass lake on the planet. The 27,700-acre lake east of Dallas turned out more giant fish during the four-day event than any other lake, ever, with the exception of Falcon Lake on the Mexican border, in 2008 when it was near-new. (Source: Frank Sargeant, Water World Wire)

10 Weird Game Laws
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