No matter how many soft plastic baits are out on the market or in your tackle box, they are worthless without a good hook. The hook itself has developed and evolved over the years and the high performance hooks anglers are using now could’ve been used in medical applications years ago. Hooks come in a huge selection of styles, sizes, and colors and each one of these hooks has specific plastic bait and fishing application that it will shine in.
When discussing hooks for bass fishing applications, there are three core groups that a hook can fall into:
- Extra wide gap: This has become a staple in all bass fisherman’s tackle boxes and works well when using a wide variety of soft plastic baits such as Senkos, craws, Beavers, Flukes, and lizards. The key characteristic of the extra wide gap is that when you rig a bulky plastic lure on the hook there will still be room on the hook for the plastic to shift when you set the hook on a bass. This ensures that you get the best possible hook up on that hook set.
- Worm hook: This style of hook is what paved the way for plastic worm fishing and is still used by anglers when rigging up a worm on a Texas or Carolina rig. A worm hook usually has a longer shaft, which puts the hook point further down your worm. When fishing a Texas rig this is important since a bass will be tempted to hit the tail of the worm because of its enticing action.
- Specialty: Hook manufactures such as TroKar have developed their line of hooks based off of input from anglers on creating specific hooks for a given technique used to catch bass. Regardless if you are a tournament bass angler, a die-hard angler, or just a weekend fisherman, I urge you to check out specialty hooks because they will allow your plastic baits to perform better in the water and will increase your hooking percentage greatly. Here is a brief rundown of some popular technique specific hooks:
- Tube baits: For years and years, I’ve written about tubes being one of my key baits for bass fishing and how the Eagle Claw HP Tube hook was so vital to my success. Well now TroKar has introduced a tube hook that utilizes the same hook design as the HP, but the TroKar Barb is being used. Using a hook such as this or another hook designed for tubes is important since a tube has two walls of plastic for the hook to go through.
- Swimbait: The soft plastic swimbait has grown to be a mainstay lure in many bass anglers’ arsenal. The two key characteristics of a swimbait hook is some sort of a plastic keeper, an angled hook eye and possibly a weight on the bend of the hook.
- Flipping: Without a doubt one of the most sought after specialty hooks on the market is a flipping hook. I rely on the TroKar TK130 day in and day out because flipping soft plastics for bass is such an important presentation to use. These stout hooks, are straight shank hooks, which increases the hook up percentage when flipping. Securing the bait on the hook is very important because the proper presentation is crucial when dropping a bait in front of bass’s face.
- Drop shot: Finesse fishing for bass is becoming more crucial for an angler’s success, primarily because bass are seeing more and more pressure on our lakes and rivers. Since these hooks are predominately small in size (I use a 1 or 1/0) an extremely sharp hook is even more important now than ever.
My other piece of advice is that once a hook loses its originally sharpness, it will never get back to 100 percent no matter what sharpener you have. So what I do is keep new hooks ready to go for tournament day and previously used hooks in a box that I use for pre-fishing.