Change hook baiting technique
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
How bait is connected to a hook may affect the likelihood of reptiles swallowing the bait and hook together. Changing the baiting technique may involve using whole bait instead of smaller chunks or changing the way that the bait is threaded onto a hook. Single baiting involves putting a fishing hook once through the bait item, whereas thread baiting involves threading the hook through the bait multiple times. As a result, it may be easier for reptiles to strip bait off fishing gear without swallowing the hooks when single baiting is used. Similarly, whole bait rather than chunks of bait may be more easily removed by reptiles.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 2004–2005 in laboratory conditions in Texas, USA (Stokes et al. 2011) found that loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta were more likely to attempt to swallow thread-baited than single-baited hooks. The odds that loggerhead turtles would attempt to swallow thread-baited hooks were 2.5 times higher than the odds that they would attempt to swallow single-baited hooks, regardless of bait type used or hook size (results presented as model outputs, see paper for details). Turtle responses to individual baited hooks suspended in their tanks were video recorded (each hook presentation = 1 trial). Sixty 45 cm long captive-reared turtles participated in trials, of which 30 turtles participated again when they reached 55 cm and 65 cm long. Trials were carried out in April and October 2004, and May 2005. Modified circle hooks of different sizes (see paper for details) were baited with whole squid Illex illecebrosus or sardines Sardinella aurita and either single-baited or thread-baited.Study and other actions tested