Category Navigation:

Hooks - Choosing the best hook for each situation

Hook choice can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Factors such as size, shape and weight of the bait, size of the fish’s mouth, strength of your line and reel drag, and dynamics of your rod will all influence what is the best hook choice for each style of fishing.

To make the decision simpler, the most important attribute of a hook is its sharpness. A hook point must be able to penetrate the fish’s mouth and must also have the strength to hold under the pressure.

Finer gauge hooks achieve sharper points and are the most effective at securing a hook-up, but they’re more susceptible to straightening under pressure and the hook point is more easily damaged. Thick gauge hooks are more suitable for bigger species with hook-bending jaw strength, but when using these an angler must keep in mind that several rod strikes may be necessary to ensure the hook-up is secure.

For fish that weigh less than five kilograms, I choose the smallest hook which is still practical for the size of bait I’m using—remembering you can catch a big fish on a small hook, but it’s hard to catch a small fish on a big hook. Smaller hooks allow for a more natural presentation and weighting of baits. More specific choices are required for fish larger than five kilograms to accommodate the additional pressure on your rigs.

These same principles apply when you’re choosing hooks such as trebles for lures. Moving the hook point across your thumbnail to see if it grabs is a simple sharpness test you can use before your next cast. If your hooks aren’t sharp, you won’t catch fish.