By Margie Anderson
Fishing hooks are ancient – our ancient ancestors used sharpened bone or twigs to catch fish, but these were often simply gorges, and when the fish took the bait the fisherman would jerk the line to turn the sharpened bone sideways to lodge in the the throat of the fish. Today, technology and improvements in metals have given modern fishermen unprecedented access to amazing hooks with designs that make rigging, hooking, and keeping fish on the line much easier. Here are five hook designs that will help you fish soft plastic baits effectively.
Making a debut at ICAST this year is Trapper Hooks, a strange looking hook that is designed to keep both the bait and the fish on the hook. Do you have a problem with the baits sliding up or down your hooks? Do your fish ever come off before you can get them in the boat? Trapper Hooks aim to fix those issues and more.
Eddie Johns of Alabama was one of the lucky few to get his hands on some of these hooks before they were introduced publicly. He’s been able to fish them quite extensively and is impressed by the results. He says, “I have been using them for quite a while and my landing ratio has gone way up. It also holds your bait in place so you don’t have to keep readjusting your lure on the hook which translates into more casts per day.”
Sometimes hooks rotate in the fish’s mouth and that ends up making a bigger hole which makes it easier for the fish to throw the hook, but Tapper hooks don’t do that. They also feature a super sharp sticky piercing point to make hooksets quicker. You can get a sample of these new hooks by going to www.trappertackle.com.
CHT DOUBLE WACKY HOOK
Here’s another different-looking hook designed to help you catch more fish. The CHT Double Wacky Hook is a two-pronged wacky hook that is very much like the big double hooks in a frog bait, but these are designed for use with baits like the Yamamoto Senko – they feature an o-ring that allows you to fix the bait to the hook without piercing the bait, and they allow for a lot more hook-ups than the traditional methods of baiting wacky rigs. They were conceived by Zack Thompson and are available in two models – vertical or horizontal and both are available standard or weedless.
This rig leaves the hooks exposed instead of having just the point sticking out of the Senko, which makes hooksets much easier since the bait isn’t in the way. Wacky rigs are notorious for lots of bites but also lots of fish getting away. These hooks really help with the landing ratio. They are available in 1 and 1/0, but they say that their size 1 is unique to them and may not be the same as other size 1 hooks.
Yamamoto pro Gary Dobyns swears by Rebarb hooks. These are super fine and sharp Gamakatsu Hooks with a molded plastic “keeper” that butts up against the worm to keep it in place. That alone is a good reason to take a closer look at these hooks, but Gary also loves the fact that the Rebarb, when properly rigged, puts the point of the hook an inch and a half or so back down the worm, which means he hardly misses any hooksets. Gary says he fishes with a lot of different guys all the time, and every time his partner is missing a lot of fish, Gary gives them some Rebarbs to try. It’s amazing how many people still don’t know about these hooks, he says. When you catch a fish, it totally wrecks the bait, but that doesn’t bother Dobyns one bit. Who cares if you use one bait per fish? These hooks come in sizes from #2 to 4/0.
OWNER JIG RIG
This is fantastic hook for fishing Yamamoto Double Tail Grubs and Hulu Grubs on the bottom. The weight dangles and spins freely, allowing the bait to move around unencumbered. Because of the shape of the weight, it will slide right through brush and it will glide over rocks and debris without getting the hook stuck. Also, the weight flies forward on each cast, so casts are longer and more accurate. You can rig the Hula Grub open for rocks or Texas if you need it weedless.
One more thing about this hook – you can change or add weights to the rig without retying by simply adding or changing weights on the split ring. They are made with extra wide gap Super Needle Point hooks, perfect for those chubby little Hula Grubs.
OWNER SHAKY HEAD HOOKS
There are many many shaky head hooks on the market, but Owner Shaky Heads stand out because of the TwistLOCK Centering Pin Spring that is molded into the lead. This lets you screw your Yamamoto Kut Worms onto the head for perfect rigging every time. Because of the way the jig is poured, it rocks forward so the bait is presented very enticingly. They are made with round bend light-wire hooks with a Super Needle point and they come in Natural, Green Pumpkin, and Brown.
There you have it. If you’re going to fish the best baits, rig them on the best hooks you can get your hands on. Try these five specialty hooks next time you’re on the water, and see if they don’t help you fish your Yamamoto Baits to their fullest potential.