What Size Of Fishing Hooks To Use? Guide to Choosing the Right One

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: May 9, 2020

Anglers have embraced online shopping when buying fishing gear anywhere anytime. However, if you want to order a hook, you need to understand the different types and sizes available. It should as well go hand in hand with the kind of fishing you do. You do not want to save money through online shopping only to end up in the wrong hook size.

Fishing hooks are sized differently. As sizes get larger, the fishing hooks get smaller. On the other hand, as aught gets larger, the fishing hooks get bigger.

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As seen in diagram size, #12 has a small hook compared to size#2 with a larger hook. Conversely, #1/0 is small compared to #5/0 that is large.

Here you will get to understand everything about fishing hooks sizes and how to choose one.

The Size (#) and the Aught (/) Of the Fishing Hook

Size and Aught are used to represent the hook’s measurements. Aught is larger, while sizes are smaller. The medium of the scale is 1/0, which is read one-Aught.  The range of fishing hook measurements is from #10 to 10/0. This means the smallest hook in the spectrum is size 10, while the largest is the ten-Aught (10/0). For instance, a 6/0 hook is ten times bigger than size #6 hook. You will use 6/0 to catch sturgeon while size #6 would fish Panfish species.

How to Pair Hooks Of Different Types and Sizes with Suitable Baits

Baitholder Hook for Beginners

The best fishing hook that offers you much versatility to get started is the baitholder types.  It has two barbs on the shank and thus great for natural baits as they are kept securely in place.

For Perch, Crappie and Sunfish use #4 Baitholder hook and pair it with 1² cut of the worm. You can also use a balled piece of bread, a hotdog slice, or 3-4 kernel of corn in place of worms. 

If targeting pesky panfish, you can go for size #6 though it can be challenging to bait and unhook for beginners. Larger baitholder hooks of size #2 are suitable for fishing Walleye using full nightcrawler bait, while you can move up to 1/0 for bass fishing. You should use Carolina rigs or Texas rig with full Nightcrawler to catch a bass.

Octopus Hook for Live Leeches and Minnows

The short shank that had a wide gap makes Octopus Hook the best for catching big fish. It works great when paired with live leeches and minnows. When targeting Crappie and Perch species using 1-2² pick smaller octopus hooks of size #6 or #4.

For Walleye using jumbo leeches and Minnows of 3-4², choose medium size hooks of #4 and #2 for great results. The bigger size of 1/0 hooks is ideal for bass and Pike fishing paired with 4-6² minnows. Octopus hooks sink deeper in water and are generally red.

Circle Hooks

For catch and release fishing, circular hooks are the best. A 5/0 circle hook is ideal for Catfish paired with cut pieces of carp or Shad. These types of hooks are common in saltwater fishing due to the use of Cut-Bait. 

Aberdeen Hook for Fragile Baits and Removal

These hooks are thin with long shanks making them best for pairing with fragile baits such as insects.  Removal of swallowed hooks and freeing up fishing lines from snag can also be done using Aberdeen hooks. Great when used for bottom fishing cats due to thin wire design. They bend and twist that make them uniquely suitable for their intended purpose and more natural release.

When using insects such as grasshoppers and crickets, you should choose smaller hooks of size #4 to catch Panfish and Trout. Conversely, when targeting Catfish using the ball of Nightcrawlers, use hook size #2 and 1/0.

Treble Hook for Lures and Dough Bait

Though Treble hooks are often used with lures such as spinners, spoons, and a Crankbaits, they are also suitable for Nuggets and Dough bait. The hook has three prongs that hold the soluble baits longer compared to single barbed hooks.

Use Dough Bait with size #4 Treble hook when pursuing a catfish. Nuggets can be secured using small hooks of size #12 when fishing Trout. Lures, on the other hand, mostly come already attached with Treble hooks of size #6, which offers excellent versatility. However, have some extra for replacement in case your get dull or rusty.

Wide Gaps Hooks

These are less common hooks but are ideal for Cut-Bait or Minnows. They resemble circular hook but are narrower to keep the tighter profile. When targeting large species such as Largemouth Bass and big Cats, use hooks of size 2/0.

Worm Hook Paired With Soft Plastic Baits

Bass fishers prefer worm hooks that are paired with soft plastic baits measuring 4-8². EWG worm hook is the most popular, and the sizes range from 2/0 to 4/0. However, the majority of soft bait for bass fishing works well with size 3/0 EWG worm hook.

For finesse fishing, use rigs attached to slender plastic worms on a 1/0 round bend hook for those measuring 6-7 inches. The worms that measure 8-10 inches use 2/0 round bend hooks.

Final Take

Evidently, you need to pick the right size of the fishing hook for the target catch. Any mismatch can cause you to go back home empty-handed. Use our guidelines by going through popular hooks and the recommended sizes for different types of fish. Always keep in mind that hooks in the # size get smaller as the number increases. Conversely, those in / Aught category get large as numbers increases.

If you are starting, buy baitholder hooks, which are much versatile for different fishing species. As you advance your skills, choose the other types of hooks keeping their sizes in mind. Some manufacturers sell the hooks as a package that comes with different sizes. These may be ideal if you fish for different species. 

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