June 23, 2014 Share

Which Hook, When

Originally Published on Oct 19, 2011 “From the Docks” NBC Sports

Pick up Cabela’s Spring Catalog and page through the hooks for an education on fishing terms. Some are simple and self explanatory (wide gap, offset, plain shank), but then you can break into some really interesting ones like Southern Sproat, Kahle and my favorite “Aberdeen light-wire ringed-eye crappie hook.” So, which hook, when?

We only have a short time together so we aren’t going to go too deep into hooks here, but I did want to discuss hooks for plastic worms.

In my view, there are three primary options for worms if you leave out wacky rigging:

1. Straight shank
2. Standard gap, offset shank
3. Extra wide gap, offset shank
4. Bait gripper (uses corkscrew or other device to hold bait on hook.

I’ll cut to the chase: I am not a fan of the straight shank or bait gripper models, and I’ll tell you why. I find it is hard to keep a bait straight on the straight shank model and the bait grippers I’ve used to date all seem to fail at just the wrong time (like when a fish swipes at the bait, but doesn’t take it leaving me with a hunk of plastic dangling from the hook point).

That leaves the extra-wide and standard gap, offset shank models. Here’s where things get muddy. After year of fishing various models of extra wide-gap models I found myself migrating back to the standard gap models (upsizing to ensure I have enough throat to cover bait thickness. I made the switch for a couple reasons: 1. the bait seems to not only fall straighter on the standard gap hook, it seems to hang up less in heavy cover (I a lot of milfoil) and hooking percentage seems better.

A lot of baloney? Possibly, but I continue to explore the pros and cons of each.