Fishing hooks

hooked on hooks? Thinking about what to write about this week has highlighted a problem: it sure looks as though I have a hook obsession. Right now, we've got 654 different styles, sizes and models hanging on the wall. Why? Why! Sizes range from diminutive size 14 8mm-long piper hooks, to whopping 16/0 150mm hooks for humongous sharks. Every shape and size you can imagine: circle hooks and octopus hooks, recurve, jig hooks, stainless steel, chemically sharpened and galvanised hooks. Hooks without barbs, hooks with one, two or three points, hooks with small weights attached and some with bits of fluff! There are models for fishing deep and shallow, some for live-baiting with small or big baits, some are attached to lures, some are the lure. In-line eyes, offset eyes, long shank, short shank, you must choose now… now! Let's cut to the chase. Octopus, or J hooks, are the most popular for bait fishing (both stray lining and shallow water 30-40m). They have a good hook up rate, but ensure you use bigger sizes 5/0+ so you don't kill small fish who swallow the hook (if they do swallow it cut the hook off and they will shed it, hopefully). Circle hooks are better for very deep and are fish friendly as they usually connect in the corner of the mouth, they have a cam-like action that sets the hook automatically, as you can't feel them bite, unless you're using braid. The hook that you don't want is the one that breaks or is delivered blunt. Good quality hooks from Owner and Gamakatsu are the best. They are made in Japan, are chemically sharpened, corrosion resistant and they don't cost much more that than budget alternatives. See the big picture: pay a little bit more for quality and you'll hook more fish. How to choose? Pick on quality first, then match the bait or lure size, keeping the line weight in mind to determine hook strength, for hook set.