RB - Traditional Salmon Halibut Hook by John Otness
Alaska Natives fished from small dugout canoes, and they have to be careful not to hook a halibut too large - a monster-sized fish would easily capsize their boat. For this reason, hooks were designed with just enough space between the base and the barb to catch a halibut no bigger than what the canoe could handle.
The Alaska Natives' clever fishing methods came as a result of quietly studying their prey. Observing that halibut inhale their food (rather than bite or nibble at it like salmon and other fish do), they designed a V-shaped hook fitted with a barb. When the halibut sucked in the bait, the barb lodged itself in the fish's cheek. Today, commercial longliners and sport fishermen use circle hooks, which are amazingly similar to the traditional Native halibut hook design concept.Kevin Horne Tsimshian Artist
Kevin Horne is from Metlakatla, Alaska, the only recognized Indian Reservation in Alaska. He is a part of the Wolf Clan and has been carving since 1980. He creates his own carving tools to create native art including bentwood boxes, masks, paddles, moon masks, totem poles and bowls.