How to choose the right hook (Selecting The Right Hook)

How to choose the right hook (Selecting The Right Hook)

by | Jun 2, 2017 | Gear and Tackle, Hooks | 0 comments

How to choose the right hook can be a very difficult decision especially for those who have taken a quick look online or at a retail location and have noticed hundreds of different hook style and sizes.   We are going to discuss some of the most basic style of hooks and how to choose the right hook for your situation.

J-Hooks, Circle Hooks, And Treble Hooks

How to choose the right hook

J-hooks are the most used hooks when it comes to recreational fisherman.  There shaped like a J and come in many sizes and styles.  When fishing with a J-hook and you get a bite you want to set the hook to penetrate the fishes mouth.  This is not so for circle hooks.  We will discuss this later.


How to choose the right hook

Circle Hooks are considered to be more friendly in terms of hooking and then releasing fish with less damage.  Circle hooks have been around for sometime and are popular among commercial fisherman, and in recent years with more recreational fisherman.

Unlike J-hooks when a fish eats you do not need to forcefully set the hook.  You simply need to reel and when the fish takes off the circle hook will penetrate the side of the fishes mouth.

In certain times of the year we will exclusively fish circle hooks for snook as we feel it is safer on the fish for their release.  Same when fishing live pilchard or sardines for yellow fin tuna offshore.  We exclusively fish circle hooks on stand up gear.  This fish strike so fast and violently that circles hooks almost always hook these fish in the corner of the mouth without having to set the hook..

Treble Hooks

Treble hooks will have a set of three hooks with a single eye.  These hooks are very popular on artificial hard body lures.   Treble hooks come in all different sizes and a lot of pro fisherman will opt to swap out the manufactured treble hooks for larger size trebles on there baits of choice.

These pros like to run a treble as large as they can without killing the action of the bait.  Unlike fishing in freshwater, saltwater use of this lures can cause rust  to your hooks over time.  Be sure to check these treble hooks for rust or corrosion from time to time.

How to choose the right hook based of your size of bait

There is a simple rule to this.  Match your hook to the size of live bait your using.  Don’t be afraid to scale the hook size down rather then up when using live bait.  A large hook on a small bait will get you no bites if it hampers the live baits action and ability to swim correct.

Using a larger hook could affect the way your bait performs while swimming.  Your bait will not look natural, the predatory fish could easily see your hook causing it to not eat your bait and really just cause for overall lack of catching fish.

Same with leader and line material, you should learn how to choose the right fishing line to catch more fish.  Always try and match your bait with the right size hook.

What hook size numbers mean?

Hook sizing goes by numbers.  A size 4 hook will be much smaller then a 4/0 hook.  Let us take a look at the difference in sizing.  How to choose the right hook can make a big difference in your production on the water.  So in terms of numbers you can see how they work in terms of size.  These numbers also get smaller and larger they do not stop at a #5/0 hook or a #10 size hook you can get larger and smaller.


Different types of hooks for different types of fishing situations

There are all kinds of hooks for almost every kind of fishing situation, and some hooks can blend over and work in multiple situations.  Let us take a look at some of the most common kind of hooks and what they are used for.

Worm hooks

Worm hooks are designed to be rigged with a plastic or fake worm.   They come in all sizes and gaps.

Live bait Hooks

Live bait hooks are made for hooking live bait.  This hooks also come in many different sizes.  Both in J-hooks and Circle styles can be used for live bait.


live bait for freshwater fishing

Jig Heads

Jig heads are a versatile hook system that has the weight and hook built into one.   The heads can come in many colors, and shapes.   These can be used on many soft plastic baits and also used with live bait like pilchard and shrimp to be fished off the bottom.

Keep your hooks sharp

Today’s hook manufactures are able to create a razor sharp hook right out of the package.  However you should get into the habit of checking your hook point after each catch or snag.

Hook points will become less sharp overtime.  If you see your point is not as sharp you can re sharpen the hook.  If your point is bent you will want to discard your hook and tie another.

Check out this video on how to sharpen your hook.

In Closing

How to choose the right hook can be somewhat confusing.  However after learning what these hooks are best used for things will become much clearer.

Remember to match your baits with the proper hook size, check to make sure your hooks aren’t dull, if so sharpen them and you will have more success on your next fishing trip.

About The Author

Anthony Arcodia

A Florida Native, Anthony has been a lifelong fisherman and outdoorsman. As a child, he started fishing lakes around the South Florida area chasing bass which quickly spread to chasing snook and tarpon in the 10 thousand islands. Anthony has passed his love of the outdoors and fishing to his son and both continue to enjoy the great outdoors together while pursuing their passion of fishing.

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