If you walk down the “fishing hook” isle at any tackle shop or search any sporting goods website for fishing hooks, the choices can seem almost unlimited. Deciding on the proper size and style of hook to use for your favorite style of fishing can be a difficult task, but at the same time is one of the most important aspects to experiencing success on the water.
I am a trout fisherman and have been fishing for trout for over 20 years and one of the questions that I get asked more often than any other is, “what is the best size fishing hook for trout?” The problem with this question is that there is no one answer, other than of course as small as possible, but at the end of the day this answer doesn’t do anyone much good. Below, I will answer this question by listing the 3 most popular types of fishing hooks that are used for trout fishing, along with the sizes that are the most effective within each style of hook. Depending on your favorite style of trout fishing, you can then use this information to determine the best size hook for you.
- Treble Hooks
- Treble hooks are very popular among trout fishermen who like to use dough style trout baits such as Powerbait when fishing for trout. Treble hooks can also be used when trout fishing with soft cheese (such as Velveeta) or even marshmallows as well. Many anglers tend to use treble hooks that are entirely too large under the mistaken assumption that “the bigger the bait, the bigger the fish”, when in truth a # 12 or #18 treble hook is all that you need to use when fishing for trout.
- Gang Hooks
- This style of fishing hook is not known by a lot of trout fishermen, but it should be. A set of gang hooks is a pair of fishing hooks tied in tandem and is an excellent choice when fishing for trout with live bait. This fact is especially true if a technique such as drift fishing is being employed. The best sizes of gang hooks to use when trout fishing would be #8 or #10.
- Single Hooks
- Single fishing hooks are used by many anglers when fishing for trout. The most popular and effective styles of single hooks for trout fishing are salmon egg and bait holder. Again the bottom line here is “smaller is better” and the best sizes to use when fishing for trout would be #10 or even #12. Single trout fishing hooks are also available that are painted red, which is an option that many trout fishermen swear by when it comes to single fishing hooks for trout.
Armed with this information you should never again have to ask or wonder when the best size hook is for trout fishing. Even though the saying isn’t that helpful in choosing the best hook option for you and your favorite trout fishing style, it is nonetheless worth keeping in the back of your mind that “the smaller the better” when it comes to any type of effective trout fishing hook. The reason for this is because trout are a species of fish that are generally used to eating many small meals throughout a day, so matching your trout fishing bait to the size of the meals that the trout are used to eating is never a bad idea and will generally result in more bites from hungry trout.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com a website focused on river and stream fishing with a focus on fishing for trout. He has more than 25 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and has spent much of that time fishing for the beautiful fish called trout.
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