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 now these super sharp and strong hooks can help increase your hook up ratio, along with allowing your plastic baits to move more naturally in the water. Hooks come in a wide range of styles, sizes and colors and each one of these hooks has a 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, stick baits, craws, creatures, 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. These hooks both come in standard and a 2x or magnum model, the latter is designed for fishing with braided line or when targeting mongo bass!
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.
Hook manufactures such as Lazer 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, die hard angler or just a weekend fisherman, I urge you to check out these 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: A specific hook for a tube bait is a must as this bait has two walls of plastic to get through when setting the hook. Lazer TroKar has introduced a tube hook that utilizes the TroKar Barb; this barb keeps the tube in place as you are fishing it. The design of this hook also puts the barb of the hook right in the sweet spot, along with allowing it to be rigged smoothly.
- Flipping: Without a doubt one of the most sought after specialty hooks on the market is a flipping hook. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
As you look to stock up your tackle box for that next bass fishing trip, be sure to have a wide variety of hooks for your plastics, the styles above will cover any soft plastic bait that you may have and by keeping hooks in a wide array of sizes, you’ll be able to select the right hook to match the size of your plastic bait.