Hooked on Hook Selection

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Many Ontario bass anglers will tell you the secret to success with soft plastic lure
fishing is all in the hook selection process. Seasoned fishermen will emphasize the fact
that a properly sized hook should match the type of lure you are fishing.

Why such an emphasis on hook selection? With advanced lures built to imitate the original
creature as close as possible veteran anglers and pros will advise you that the proper
hook is just as important. Why you ask? The properly sized hook ensures that the lure
presentation will be as the manufacturer intended therby increasing the effectiveness of
the lure which in turn increases your catch rate.

A number of factors should be considered when matching a hook to a soft plastic bait.
First off is the thickness of the bait. Second are the tactics to be used when presenting
the lure. Casting a thin wire hook into a large bass infected cove can be suicide with
increased biteoffs and damage to the hook. Using a heavier hook in a lake inhabited by
big bass will greatly increase your success.

Large bulky lures like Berkley Gulp, Senko and sinking minnows require larger wide gap
hooks. Not just for increasing the overall strength and catchability of the lure but
just to cleanly cut through the meat of the lure for proper baiting and presentation.
Wide gap hooks such as the Gamakatsu EWG, Mustad Ultrapoint and Eagle Claw Lazer are
good choices that will match many beefy softplastic lures. A wide gap hook guarantees
that it can work through the soft body of the lure and provide a solid hookset.

Another advantage with the wide gap hook is in the shape. Perfectly engineered these hooks
lay extremely flat on the bait and provide extra weight for choppy water and windy conditions.
Different fishing applications also require different hooks. For example, Texas rigging
a ribbon tail or powerworm in open water generally requires a 3/0 hook like a Gamakatsu
straight shank worm hook whereas a Carolina rig would require a widegap offset 4/0 or 5/0
hook to prevent fouling of the lure on casting. For heavy forage and cover and flipping
applications many prefer a 4/0 or 5/0 Superline EWG or Eagle Claw hook.

Experiment with the many combinations of hook styles and lures to find out your own
personal preference. This is one of the cheapest alternatives to gaining thousands of
different lure types and presentations without spending a fortune. The best part of it
all is that once you have found a combination that works you can still experiment with
colour and scent variations of the same type and shape knowing that its physical
characteristics will remain the same.


This article was written by the
contributing staff of OFT and its
group of amateur and pro Ontario anglers.

Copyright 2007. Ontario Fish Trips .

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