By Becky Gardhouse -
There are so many hooks to choose from when you visit your local tackle store that it’s easy for some anglers to get overwhelmed. Hooks are hooks in some people’s minds. When choosing hooks they figure they either need a big one or a small one depending on the fish they are pursuing. Many anglers miss the importance of not only using the proper size hook, but also the importance of selecting the right type of hook for what they are fishing for.
Once you’ve made a decision on a hook brand it’s time to look at all of the available options and sizes in relation to what you will be fishing for and the technique you will be using. You wouldn’t want to use a light worm hook to rig up a 5” tube!
To properly select the hook for your presentation you need to take into account the physical characteristics of the fish. The size of the barb on the hook is also an important thing to consider. A larger gauge hook with a large barb can actually impede your hook set as it cannot penetrate as well as a thinner wire hook. Some hook companies have designed a new lower profile barb that is designed to pierce easier but give you the ultimate holding power.
We’ve all heard the stories & had days on the water where we can pull huge fish out using light line & smaller hooks. On any given day you may need to downsize your presentation to get those finicky fish to commit.
The trick with that is to match your tackle & line with a reel that has a good drag to put you on a level playing field. Bait selection plays an integral role in hook selection as well. Whether you are working with live or artificial bait, you need to select a size that is both going to compliment the presentation & get the job done while not being overkill. The hook you use needs to be big enough to be able to hold the bait and hook the fish, yet small enough that it doesn’t overpower the bait.
Two of my personal favorites that I use the most are:
Extra wide gap worm hooks
These hooks put it all together and change the game. I rig these up with a variety of worms & soft plastics and these stout hooks allow for uncompromising hook sets & strong fights.
Tubes are a tournament day staple for me. I prefer to sit in 10-12 (feet of water) FOW and cast in to 7-8 FOW and work that presentation back to the boat. These hooks have just the right amount of flex to resist breaking even on aggressive hook sets.
The bottom line to hook selection is really using common sense & spending time on the water. Experimenting is the only effective way to learn how hook sizes and styles affect each different bait’s presentation & profile in the water.
So the next time you’re standing in the tackle shop pondering what hooks to buy, make sure you take the time to evaluate all the different options as so many hooks on the market have the resilience to be tough enough to pull even the most cantankerous bucket out of the weeds. Having the proper style of hook & size tied on your line the next time you are out fishing will definitely help change those fishing stories about the one that got away, to a fishing memory & potentially a fish of a lifetime!
Tight lines everyone!
About Becky Gardhouse:
Becky Gardhouse is a long time angler that began rookie tournament fishing in 2012 competing in the CSFL BM100 division. She is an avid bass angler and has a passion for pursuing trophy Walleye, Pike & Musky. She is a Pro Staff Member of: Fishbum Outfitters www.fishbumoutfitters.com, Maui Jim www.mauijim.com, Lazer Trokar www.lazertrokar.com Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle www.eagleclaw.com, Denali Rods www.denalirods.com and Scotty Products www.scotty.com
Becky can be found on Twitter: @chasin_bass
Becky can also be found on National Pro Staff: http://www.nationalprostaff.com/users/2382/Becky+Gardhouse
Featured Image credit Hooks by 123rf.com