Like Rodney Dangerfield, fishing hooks get no respect. With all the flash, glitz and glamor of lures, rods and reels, an angler rarely thinks about how to choose his fishing hooks. In truth, nothing is more important for ultimate success in the fishing game than the steel at the end of the line. These pros put years of trial and error into choosing the sharpest sword for their arsenal. Here are their top picks for the best hook-up.


Red Snapper

Brandon Barton // Florida Gulf Coast

Bait/Lure: Cigar Minnow or Egg Sinker Rig

Hook: Owner Mutu Circle

Size: 5/0 to 7/0

Right Hook: Super sharp and extra strong

Knot: Improved clinch knot

Best Practices: Let the fish pull your rod tip down, then lift steadily but not too quickly.


Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder

Danny Wray // Grand Isle, Louisiana

Bait/Lure: Live shrimp and popping cork

Hook: Kahle

Size: 2/0 to 4/0

Right Hook: Lots of bite. Responds to strong hookset needed with popping cork.

Knot: Improved clinch knot

Best Practices: Hook the shrimp through the horn just above the eyes.


Striped Bass

Jeff Little // Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Bait/Lure: 1.5-ounce blade bait

Hook: Owner Treble

Size: 1/0

Right Hook: Thin wire and small size do not affect lure action.

Knot: Palomar knot

Best Practices: Kayak anglers can get away with a thin-wire hook because we don’t put as much drag pressure on the fish.

Jeff Little cycled through several hooks to find the perfect treble for his blade bait. | Photo: Jeff Little

Bluegill

Brad Wiegmann // Beaver Lake, Arkansas

Bait/Lure: Live minnow under cork

Hook: Tru Turn Aberdeen 856ZS

Size: #2 to #6

Right Hook: Small to fit in bluegill’s mouth and tacky-sharp to penetrate bony jaws.

Knot: Palomar knot

Best Practices: Wait until the cork goes completely under and the fish is swimming off before setting hook.


Smallmouth Bass

Juan Veruete // Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania

Bait/Lure: Winco Flutter Head

Hook: 28-degree Mustad Hook with a coil keeper

Size: 1/4 ounce, 3/0

Right Hook: Small and compact hook for jigging heavy cover. Strong and sharp.

Knot: Improved clinch knot

Best Practices: When I feel a tap, I point the rod tip at the fish, reel up slack and lift the rod tip to 12 o’clock.


Blackfin Tuna, King Mackerel, Amberjack

Kwanza Henderson // Southeast Florida

Bait/Lure: Live goggle-eye

Hook: Gamakatsu Live Bait Circle

Size: 5/0 to 7/0

Right Hook: Prevents gut-hooking fish with live bait.

Knot: Loop knot

Best Practices: Use biggest hook that doesn’t hinder the action of the bait.

detail shot of a gold treble fishing hook
With all the flash, glitz and glamor of lures, rods and reels, an angler rarely thinks about how to choose his fishing hooks. | Feature photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

This article was first published in the Early Summer 2015 issue of Kayak Angler Magazine. Subscribe to Kayak Angler Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.


With all the flash, glitz and glamor of lures, rods and reels, an angler rarely thinks about how to choose his fishing hooks. | Feature photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here