Captain Hook

With so many types of hooks out there how do you pick the right one? Well there is some confusion about circle hooks right now, so if you go offshore I would recommend picking up an assortment of these due to the new laws for reef fish. Even if you don’t plan on fishing on a reef, some fish can be determined as reef fish and cost you a ticket if you have them without having a circle hook tied on. Different sizes and styles of circle hook are now being marketed. I would recommend an assortment as some fish have smaller mouths and need smaller hooks to catch. Price may be higher for these hooks as any time the law gets involved the manufacturer will jack up the price. Local bait shops can help with the species that require circle hooks or you can go to the local fish and wildlife website for a list.

Of coarse most species are not reef fish, especially inshore types. For these you need to determine the best size type and color of hooks to use. For brackish water I recommend Aberdeen color hooks. They blend with water color better and hide well in live bait. Consider your target for size and style. A wire hook may be appropriate for some smaller species, while a good firm hook will do better for larger species.

The jig head hook will do well for many species and redfish and trout love these. Either live bait or soft plastic baits are great on jig heads. Under a cork or just freelined these hooks produce well. color and size depend on the water color depth and movement. You need a bigger size the deeper the water or the faster it is moving. color of your jig head also depends on color o0f the water, you may need a visible color in darker water like chartreuse, while red is popular for clearer water. That being said I have caught a ton ofr redfish in river water with a red headed jig and shrimp.

Often a gold colored hook can add some flash to your lure or live bait, consider the length that sticks out of the bait and can make some flash to attract the fish. Silver hooks don’t produce the same flash and often scare the fish off your bait.

The solution may be to take along several colors and sizes of hooks and switch them up to see what does better in your particular situation. This can get expensive, so try the local tackle shop for some guidance on this issue. The assortment again may be the best deal and allow some experimentation. Sometimes the cheeper option is fine but remember you get what you pay for. See these specials.