For most anglers, hook sizes aren’t taken very seriously. They feel that they either need a big or a small hook, and that is about as much as they think about the issue. The fact of the matter is, most anglers completely miss out on the purpose of using the right hook size and type.
Luck is not the only factor that causes some fishers to catch more than others. The hook that you choose can have a surprising effect on how many fish you pull out of the water. If you are going after small fish or fish with small mouths or thin lips, a thick forged hook will not get the job done. A better choice would be a thinner Aberdeen wire hook that penetrates much more rapidly, although better still would be a hook with enough strength that it still holds its shape.
When buying hooks, the first thing that you should think about is hook size. It takes some time learning to fish before you come to an understanding of the subtleties regarding what size of hook works best for which type of fish. If you are looking for tiny freshwater trout, a number 32 will do the trick. If, on the other hand, you are looking for the largest fish you can possibly catch, you will want a 19/0. Sizes get larger as they count down from 32 to 1 and from 1/0 up to 19/0.
If you are fishing for Mackerel, a 1/0 is usually your best bet. 3/0s and 4/0s are good for bottom fishing and Pollack. Since flatfish have smaller mouths than a lot of fish, 1s and 1/0s tend to be more effective for them. All sizes of hooks come with long, short, and regular shank variations. The shank is the area between the tip and the bend of the hook. Your shank choice will depend on what type of bait you are planning to use.
In addition to the size of the hook, there are several different types of hooks. Circle hooks, for example, are designed for catch and release fishing. They are designed so that the hook does not anchor in the gut of the fish. They are built to catch in the corner of the fish’s mouth as they move away from you. Sea fishers sometimes have problems because there is no hook set required. Attempting to set the hook will usually pull the hook right out of the fish’s mouth. Instead, you simply begin reeling when you feel a bite. Reel slowly at first, then faster as the hook catches.
Live bait hooks have a shorter shank than most other hooks. This allows the bait to move around more freely, which makes it more tempting to the fish. They are available both in regular and circle variations. Regular hooks are more likely to be swallowed by the fish and anchored in the gut. Circle hooks provide for a better release.
O’Shaughnessy hooks are generally thought of as the standard. They are built so that the bend in the hook is very strong. This type of hook is most effective for salt water and bottom fishing.
Baitholders are also often used be sea fishers. They are great for worm bait because the shank comes with two barbs that help to hold the worm closer to the ringed eye of the hook.
Aberdeen hooks are made of shaped wire. These hooks are easy to bend. They can be bent many times before they begin to lose strength. Despite the flimsiness of the hook, it holds very well once it has penetrated.
Finally, there are kahle hooks. These are curved in such a way that they are also good for live bait. Like Aberdeen hooks, they are flexible. The design of the hook prevents it from being straightened out once a fish is hooked, however.
Use common sense when choosing a hook size and type. Make sure that the size of the hook matches with the size or type of fish. It will take some trial and error in order to know what type of hook you should be using. Nobody gets good at fishing overnight. It will take practice, and learning from your mistakes.