One of the worst things about fishing with soft plastics is that bass often swallow the bait so quickly it becomes hooked deep in their gullet. This is a very frustrating situation because you can't pull it out without harming the bass. I used to cut the line as close to the hook as possible and release it. I was always told that the hooks would rust out quickly and not harm the bass.
After doing some research online and on the water I have found that the hooks actually rust out very slowly and often get in the way of bass trying to eat. This was pretty sad news for me. I caught a bass this fall that was very skinny and noticed it had a rusty hook sticking out of it's rear. I assume not being able to get rid of this hook made it so skinny. So what's the best way to get hook out without killing the fish or starving it?
I now carry a pair of pliers that will clip the hook and also remove the hook. I tried it this afternoon and it worked perfectly. I ended up wasting a good hook, but at least I didn't kill a bass. I clipped the top of the hook and then used the pliers to pull it out backwords. It worked like a charm and saved the life of a bass.