Many trout fishermen don’t pay nearly enough attention to their trout fishing hooks when fishing for the multi colored beauties known as trout. They seem to labor under the delusion that a “fishing hook is a fishing hook”, without ever realizing that their hooks are almost as important as any single piece of fishing gear that they use while trout fishing.
I’ve been fishing for trout for more than 20 years and have learned how important my hooks are to trout fishing. When I was a rookie trout fisherman, just beginning to learn the ropes so to speak, I was introduced to gang hooks. I’ll discuss gang hooks later in this article, but this fishing hook configuration changed the way I looked at trout fishing hooks forever.
The first thing to consider when discussing any fishing hooks is their sharpness. You always want to make sure that your hooks are as sharp as possible. When hooks are purchased they are very sharp, but once they are used for a while they become dulled from baiting up, being drug along the bottom, and fish being caught. Once your fishing hooks become dull it causes you to “miss” fish. It’s a good idea to change your hooks often or carry a hook sharpener to sharpen your hooks from time to time to ensure optimum sharpness. The bottom line is the sharper your hooks are the less fish you will “miss”.
Now for the size of your trout hooks. This rule is for those of you who like to use bait. Many trout fishermen use fishing hooks that are much too large when fishing for trout with bait. As a matter of fact most anglers use hooks that are much too large when fishing with bait in general, not just when fishing for trout. The bottom line is that your fishing hooks should match your bait. The focus of the offering should be the bait, and not the hooks, which means using small hooks.
The problem is that many types of bait aren’t conducive for a single small hook and your bait gets taken by the trout easily. This is where a set of gang hooks come into play. When it comes to trout fishing hooks, gang hooks are a great way to go. This is especially true when trout fishing with live bait such as live worms. These trout fishing hooks are simply a pair of small hooks tied in tandem, which enable a worm to be presented in an outstretched and natural manner.
A common misconception is that small trout hooks (size 8 to 12) aren’t large enough to hook and land large trout. This is simply not true. Very large trout can and are hooked and landed using trout fishing hooks that are quite small. If you don’t believe me, just ask any seasoned fly fisherman. Flea flickers have to use hooks that are very small to match certain hatches. Just as a reference, I regularly hook and land trout in the 3-5 pound range using size 10 gang hooks. When it comes to trout fishing hooks in most instances smaller is better.