Hook sizing can seem confusing and anglers new to the sport are tempted to believe that large bass requires huge hooks.
An oversized hook is seldom a good idea. A hook that is too big will not work well.
It’s not good to have a gap too small.
What is the best size hook for largemouth?
A 2/0 to 3/0 hook is the norm, but there’s more to it!
Two hook sizing methods are available. Two numbers are used: a “designator” number and an “aught”, or zero. This system uses larger numbers to indicate bigger hooks.
The other uses one number. Contrary to popular belief, smaller numbers can mean larger hooks.
This means that a 1 is smaller than a 1, while a 2 is a lot larger than a 2.
How to choose the right hook size
Largemouth bass will be caught by hooks that range from 1/8 to 6/0. These hook sizes offer enough space to work and will ensure that you have a secure lock-up.
The best option for you will depend on the bait you are throwing. In other words, how big the lure is or the live bait you’re using matters. This is why you need to choose a hook size within this range.
Worms and soft plastics majority of anglers use a 2/0 to 4/0 hook on worms and craws.
Our guide, Best Worms for Bass Fishing, will provide more information about worms that are suitable for bass fishing.
A hook that is too large can cause bass shyness and may stop them from taking the lure seriously. I recommend using the smallest hook possible.
This is what pros do.
Bassmaster’s Gettys Brannon explains that “with smaller worms or creature-style baits the action will be sacrificed by a hook too large. So I stick with either a 2/0, 3/0, or 4/0 hook. Sometimes even smaller. The bulk of the soft plastic will determine the size of your hook. You should use the smallest hook you can, as long as it does not affect the effectiveness of the hook.
This Texas-rigged Worm will virtually run weedless.
Minnows –Minnows, like fatheads, usually cluster around the 2 1/2 to 2 1/2 inch mark. A 2/0 hook is ideal for them. If I have a lot of them, I will run a 1/1.
Nightcrawlers –If you find big, fat nightcrawlers, they can be quite magical! I prefer to use a size 2/0 hook, but I am open to downsizing to a 1/1 if necessary.
For a large nightcrawler, a 1/0 or 2/0 is ideal.
Crawfish –For most crawfish, I use a 3/0. You can go down one size if you have a lot of little guys. A 4/0 to 5/0 is the best size for a monster that looks more like small lobsters.
The hook is larger the bigger the crawfish.
Shad –When I need something larger than a fathead, I will throw shad. I prefer live bait that is roughly the same length as my hand. This is why I start at 4/0 and work my way up to 6/0.
However, I try to keep the hook as small and manageable as possible.
Even large shad need to have a small hook.
Thick vs. Thick vs. Thin
Hooks can be made from different gauges, which dramatically affects how bendable they are. It might seem like you want the strongest hook money has to offer, but that is not always the case.
Soft plastics will require a strong, stiff rod. These hooks are stronger and will easily withstand the jaw of large bass.
However, lighter rods and finesse techniques may mean that the same thick hook won’t penetrate as well. A thinner wire hook will be more effective.
Snags are another consideration.
A light wire hook is a good option if you are fishing in areas where you might get hung up. The wire bends, so you can pull yourself free. Once you have the hook in your hand, it’s easy to bend it back into shape.
Thin wire hooks work well with live bait and keep them alive and kicking for longer.
To summarising, you should use a wire hook to:
- Use light tackle
- You should fish for snags.
- Using live bait
Hook styles for largemouth bass
There are many hooks, but not all hooks are created equal. Here are three basic hook options that bass anglers should know and use. There are other hook types, such as those that are designed for unusual rigging or wide-bend hooks, but these three will do the job perfectly.
It is easy to set up offset hooks weedless.
Offset hooks were named after the bend at the point that brings the shank’s top and bottom in line. These hooks are ideal for rigging in Texas or Carolina.
These hooks can be rigged “weedless” because the point is hidden in the soft plastic body.
Straight shank hooks
Straight shank hooks make excellent live bait choices. They are great for nightcrawlers and crawfish.
The long shank allows you to grip live bait such as nightcrawlers and crawfish with great ease.
Circle hooks or Octopus
Circle hooks have a gap that curves back towards the shank and circles a little more than 180 degrees. This unique design allows for self-hooking. Instead of a traditional hard hookset, the bass will take your bait or lure and you can tighten your line by turning the reel a few times.
Circle hooks are beautiful for their placement. However, I prefer straight shank hooks when fishing minnows and shad.
For wacky rigging of senkos, circle hooks can also be a great choice.
Circle hooks are a great alternative to a hard hookset.
It can be difficult to determine the right hook size, especially for someone new to angling. It’s not as difficult as you might think once you get the basics down.
We hope that this article helped to clarify hook sizing for largemouth. If not, we would love to hear about it.
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