Since the subject of treble hooks is so big in today’s fishing, I am going to answer some of the questions I’ve received over the past few years. Let me start by saying the answers are my opinions from having many experiences with many hooks over the years.
Question 1: How do you know what size hook to use?
The answer is not only what size hook to use but what style hook is the best for the job. In most top quality lures today the manufacturer has selected the size hook that works best on their baits. Changing the hook with a different size hook can alter the attitude of the lure, but sometimes this is what I’m looking for. A good example is while fishing with one of my old friends from Tennessee, Mr. Tony Marler, I noticed he was getting more bites on his Bomber Long A. I’m not used to anyone out fishing me with that bait so I looked at the bait and noticed he had changed the front two hooks with the same size hook but with the extra heavy type that is much heavier. What this did was make the Long A float back to the surface much slower and that action made a huge difference in the number of bites he was getting. The hooks that come on that bait work great but by adjusting the weight of the hooks made all the difference and now I change the front hooks an all my Long A’s.
Question 2: Which do I use, round bend or EWG hooks (Extra Wide Gap)?
This is something I’ve played around with a lot and I can tell you this makes a huge difference in landing and not losing those big Okeechobee bass. As a rule the fat lures such as the large square bills work much better with the round bends for some reason. One day many years ago while fishing on an Alabama river with square bills, I was losing a lot of fish with the EWG hooks. As soon as I changed back to the round bend hooks that originally came on the lure, I started landing more bass. So I know it made a big difference in hooking and landing fish that day. On the other hand the thin lures such as flat sided crank baits and my favorite lure the hard jerk bait, EWG hooks work much better than the round bend hooks. It might be just that I have more confidence in the EWG’s on my jerk baits but I almost never lose a bass that I really want to catch with those hooks on the jerk bait.
Question 3: Have you ever seen a great lure with bad hooks?
Probably the best answer would be an experience I had with a lure that I made a lot of money with many years ago, it was the Rapala No. 14 suspending Husky Jerk. The early models would suspend perfectly with the nose down in the water. When I won the Wal-Mart FLW event here on the Big O way back in Feb. 2000 it was because I had this weapon in my boat and I knew what to do with it. I fished this lure all over the country and caught thousands of bass on it. Then it happened, Rapala changed hook companies and the lure was never the same again. The lighter hooks made the suspending lure float. This was not all bad, I would add a wrap of lead wire around the shank of the front hook and made it suspend again. You can always make a floating lure sink or suspend but you can’t make a sinking lure float. The fact that the bait floated up slowly was actually good for me, it gave me the opportunity to do a lot of other things with this bait.
Question 4: What company makes the best hooks for today’s anglers?
This is an easy question to answer. Almost all the hooks available today are much better than the hooks of yesterday. With the ultra sharp series, there’s no need to keep a hook file in your pocket any longer, you can’t make them any sharper. If you want to do as the pros do, get all your lures and boxes of different size hooks and go to the nearest swimming pool and start changing the hooks and see how changing the hooks changes the attitude of your favorite lures. This will give you more confidence in your lures and will give you the ability to visualize just what the lures are doing. All the great professional anglers will tell you, you have to be able to visualize what your lures are doing so you will feel like you are going to get a bite on every cast. This is what keeps you focused so you don’t get bored when you haven’t caught anything for a while and you are just going through the motions. I see it almost daily, and it is the hardest part of being a Captain. Keeping anglers focused and their hopes up when the bite slows down.
For more information on the fishing, catch ‘Hooked Up With Steve & Deb’, “the Voice of Okeechobee Fishing”, starting every Friday 4-6pm EST, Saturday & Sunday 10am-noon at www.RenoViolaOutdoors.com, or on the radio Saturdays at 5-7:am on WOKC.con, 100.9fm, and Sundays at 5-7:am on WAFCAMFM.com, 100.5fm. For more information or to go fishing with Steve a 3 time FLW Champion, visit us at www.OkeechobeeProSteveDaniel.com or call (239) 560-2704