Fish Hooks That Get The Job Done "411 Favorites"
By: Mark Romanack
At Fishing 411 we have a lot of favorite fish hooks. Like it or not, fish hooks are not only necessary, choosing the right hook for the job is often critical to fishing success. For those who like the “one size fits all” mentality, now would be a good time to stop reading. To succeed in the fishing game requires not only a lot of different types of hooks, but a host of sizes and even different finishes as well.
Paige’s first chinook salmon was caught on an Trokar hook. Moments like this are so special, only American made hooks are suitable for the job.
SPOONS, CRANKBAITS, BLADEBAITS
When it comes to spoons, crankbaits and bladebaits we are big believers in using treble hooks most of the time. Two different styles of hooks find their way into our tackle box including round bend and wide bend style hooks.
Round bend treble hooks are generally going to get the nod on things like salmon or walleye spoons. Our favorite is hands down the Trokar TK300, which in our opinion is the sharpest hook on the planet. The sizes we stock heavy on are the No. 6, 4 and 2.
For crankbaits, a wide bend style hook like the Trokar TK310 does a better job of keeping hooked fish buttoned up. Wide bends find their way onto most of our crankbaits and blade baits. The same No. 6, 4 and 2 sizes are the most important to have on hand.
We tie and use a lot of stinger hooks for river jigging walleye and also deep water jigging for lake trout. The Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp L960 is a short shank round bend treble hook that is ideally suited to stinger hooks. For walleye we like the No. 10 and No. 8 sizes. For lake trout we typically use the No. 6 and No. 4 sizes. This hook comes in either a red or platinum black finish to suit anyone’s personal tastes.
SLOW DEATH RIGGING
For those who haven’t tried the live bait presentation known as “slow death” I wonder how you put fish in the boat in tough conditions. This unique walleye presentation uses a small chunk of nightcrawler threaded onto a long shank hook with a unique bend that causes the chunk of crawler to spin enticingly in the water. The hook required is so unique you can’t get away with anything less. Our choice is the Trokar TK220 because it hooks fish that literally look at this set up!
The top sizes include the No. 4, No. 2 and No. 1 and this hook is available in both black and red finishes.
When we are tying up Spin n Glo rigs for trout, SpinFish rigs for salmon, flies and salmon meat rigs, we insist on the best hook in the business. The Trokar TK2VP is the ideal octopus style hook for trout and salmon rigs. This hook features little longer shank than the typical octopus hook and is tough enough to handle everything that swims including monster lake trout and adult salmon. The No. 1/0, 2/0 and 3/0 are perfect for every application.
Rare fish like this monster Atlantic salmon caught on the St. Mary’s River are special. Anyone who targets these unique fish is wise to pick a fish hook worthy of the task.
Every walleye rig we tie is typically equipped with the Trokar TK2VP octopus hook. When you’re fishing spinner rigs the boat is moving slowly and the only way to hook light biting fish and keep them hooked is to use the sharpest possible hook. Not other hook on the market hooks the bony mouth of a walleye better than the Trokar TK2VP.
When rigging among weeds, we typically use the No. 4 size. For open water rigging applications, the No. 2 is perfect. Yes, this hook is available in a red finish for those who figure a hook won’t work unless it is red in color.
DROP SHOT RIGGING
Nothing catches more smallmouth bass than a drop shot rig. Because smallmouth are often found in deep water, a drop shot hook has to be ultra sharp to penetrate on those deep water hook sets. The Trokar TK150 is hands down the best drop shot hook available. The two sizes we use often include the No. 4 for small plastics like the Z-Man TRD and the No. 2 for larger plastics.
For those who fish spawn bags for river steelhead, the hook all others are compared to is the Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp L042. This ultra thin wire hook is perfect for drifting spawn, nightcrawler, leaf worms, wigglers and other steelhead and trout bait.
For spawn bags the smaller sizes including the No. 14 and 12 are perfect. When drifting worms a little larger No. 10 or No. 8 makes it a little easier to unhook and release trout unharmed.
This massive Stannard Rock lake trout was caught on a stinger hook! A tiny by comparison No. 4 Trokar TK300 treble hook is all that prevented this fish of a lifetime from escaping.
SUMMING IT UP
There are thousands of hook styles and sizes on the market. The hooks outlined here are the ones we couldn’t live without, but there are a bunch of other special purpose hooks we will save for another blog post.
In case you didn’t already know it, Eagle Claw is the only hook manufacturer who builds their product right here in the USA with American labor and engineering. If that doesn’t impress you, the quality of Eagle Claw, Lazer Sharp and Trokar hooks certainly will. Nothing sticks and holds fish better.