Hook Selection

Is there a list of hook sizes and rigs for different species of saltwater fish

It would be hard to publish a list, especially if it was to be species specific. Some species like Snappers can be anywhere from half a pound to twenty pounds or more. You would probably better serve to gauge the hook size by the amount of bait being used. Typically however the following hook sizes are recommended per species. Redfish do not have a very big mouth therefore the hook size should be kept small. 1/0 hooks that arte finely sharpened should be a good bet for catching Redfish. Sharks on the other hand requite a large hook. The teeth and excessive jaw strength of a shark can bend a hook quickly. You not only want a somewhat large hook but also a hook that has a thick hardened shank that is difficult to bend. I use anywhere from 4/0 to 13/0 hooks when fishing for sharks. The former when using live bait like large pinfish and the latter when using large chunks of cut bait or large jacks or rays for bait. For Tarpon the question is more quality than size of the hook. Tarpon are a very difficult fish to hook and bring to the boat. You need a hook to be very sharp when fishing for Tarpon. When fishing for Snappers a small hook is much better. Their mouth is not very large in most cases and a smaller hook will result in more successful hookups. Crevalle Jacks are another fish with small but powerful jaws. You will want a small hook for these fish but also a hook with a thick shank that will withstand the power these fish can apply to a hook imbedded in their mouth.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

One Response to “Hook Selection”

  1. Bart Whelan says:

    Going to East Cape Baja in June. Mainly fishing for Yellowfing Tuna and Dorado. The tuna will be anywhere from 15 to 50 lbs. What size hook, type, etc. would be best for live bait fishing? What size for Rooster fish live bait fishing? Any lures or feathers other than hoochies, rapalas could you recommend?

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