Placing a catfish within the boat or on the financial institution requires an excellent hook. Not simply anyone will do, nonetheless. You want the perfect catfish hooks for the bait and method you’re utilizing, in addition to the scale of the fish you’re focusing on. If every thing else is top-notch, you don’t need the hook to be the weak hyperlink. Veteran catfish anglers know that sturdy hooks with sharp, penetrating factors get the job achieved.
Issues to Think about Earlier than Shopping for Catfish Hooks
Catfish may be caught all through North America, from small bullheads in farm ponds to giant blue, flathead and channel cats that defy creativeness. They are often caught all over the world, besides in Antarctica. Catfish variety is most pronounced within the tropics of South America, Asia and Africa, with virtually 3,000 species worldwide. They vary in dimension from the large Mekong and Wells catfish in Asia and Europe to the tiny, parasitic Candiru within the Amazon Basin. Sit down, take a deep breath and Google the latter earlier than saying a prayer of thanks that they’re not discovered within the U.S.
Catfish are muscular and cautious. Even with an excellent oily, bloody bait tantalizing their many style receptors, catfish received’t pounce and gobble like a bass or pike. They could take a chunk after which hit once more in the event that they assume every thing is copacetic. Then, the battle is on. They’re aggressive fighters as soon as hooked, rolling and charging laborious towards your strain. Smaller bullheads and pond cats caught on gentle sort out are nice sport, rivaling in relative battle their greater cousins in main rivers and legendary catfish haunts. Even the saltwater gafftopsail catfish, discovered from Panama to Cape Cod, places up a battle. I’ve spent a number of nights within the Gulf of Mexico on motherships consuming chilly beer after supper and catching gafftopsails on shrimp head scraps. We would have liked good hooks for them, too, to get via their bony mouths. Irrespective of which species or the placement, your possibilities improve if you happen to’re utilizing the perfect catfish hook potential. Some issues to think about:
Are you going after large blue or flathead catfish in a giant river? Bullheads in a farm pond? Do you’ve gotten youngsters who must catch fish and create recollections? Are you in a event? Think about the scale of the catfish you’re going after and plan accordingly. Most veteran catmen have a big selection of hooks in a sort out field. In case you’re a weekend or occasional angler, do the identical. Choose and separate hooks by dimension for small, medium or massive fish, and for the appropriate bait.
Know Your Hooks
Skilled anglers know that placing a yee-haw hookset on a fish with a circle hook virtually all the time ends in a miss. Novices most likely don’t know that, and wish recommendation. This was hammered residence to me about 20 years in the past whereas night time fishing for tarpon within the Fort Lauderdale ICW with Capt. Carl Ball. He jogged my memory and my buddy to not set the hook, however as a substitute let the circle hook do the work. Ball laughed and mentioned, “You’re not Invoice Dance!” after I missed the primary chunk. Circle hooks slide and grip. Kahle hooks are nice with reside bait or chunks. Treble hooks can deal with a yank. Study what the completely different hooks do, how they work, and how or whether to set the hook once you get a chunk.
Think about the Bait
You need the perfect catfish hook for the catfish bait you’re planning on utilizing, for 2 causes. One is to maintain the bait on the hook when casting, trolling or bumping backside. In case you’re utilizing stinkbait or punchbait, a naked Kahle hook doubtless received’t work nicely. Attempting to string a gob of shad guts or fillet strip on a treble hook is likely to be a troublesome chore. Think about the bait you’re going to make use of and plan accordingly.
Protecting Fish or Releasing?
A dinner of fried catfish, hushpuppies and scorching fries is a tasty deal with. In case you’re planning to maintain fish, you need the appropriate dimension hooks to assist guarantee they make the journey to Deep Fryer Lake. When taking a look at sizes, take into consideration the scale of the fish. Smaller fish, smaller hooks. Medium and huge fish, ditto. It’s possible you’ll get fortunate catch a giant fish on a small hook, however you received’t catch medium or smaller fish on large hooks.
North America has about 45 species of catfish. They’re outlined not by the delicate barbels — generally referred to as whiskers — however as a substitute by the form of their head and scaleless physique. The dorsal and pectoral fins have laborious spines that may be locked into place if the fish is scared or in a defensive or aggressive mode. Venom may be secreted via the spines. Catfish desire clear, flowing and oxygenated waters. That’s one purpose they’re prolific under hydroelectric dams, equivalent to on the Tennessee River or tidal rivers such because the Chesapeake. They’re additionally present in still-water lakes and slow-flowing rivers, too; adaptation is a trademark of the species. Blue catfish can develop to greater than 140 kilos, whereas flathead cats might hit as much as 125 kilos and channel cats about 30 kilos. All catfish have robust pores and skin, bony mouths and thick lips which are delicate and lined with style buds. Their lips and barbels are final sensory mechanisms, offering details about potential meals or hazard.
Why it Made the Minimize
Gamakatsu is trusted and confirmed amongst anglers for all species, from panfish to massive catfish and saltwater species.
- Solid metal wire building
- Offset, precision-sharpened hook level
- Upturned eye for straightforward snelling
- Robust and dependable
- Sharp level simply penetrates robust catfish mouths
- Straightforward to snell
I’ve used Gamakatsu hooks for bass, panfish and catfish for years as a result of they work. The Big Cat circle hook is available in 9 sizes from 1/0 to 10/0 and is designed for catfish. The offset hook is sharpened for higher penetration, which is nice with circle hooks that slide, catch and rotate to hook themselves. All you must do is let the road tighten by itself when the fish takes the bait, then raise the rod and start reeling. The attention is designed for straightforward snelling, which might help with hook penetration.
Why it Made the Minimize
The ample webbing on the hook holds thick pasty stinkbaits or punchbaits for ample scent protection in nonetheless or transferring water.
- Nice dimension for common fish
- Sticky sharp hooks
- Simply holds stanky punchbaits
- Reasonably priced
- Purple hook is an attractant
- Three sizes are nice for pond-size catfish
- Catfish are apt to swallow treble hooks
Punchbaits, often known as stinkbaits, are nice for catching small to average-size fish, and a few bigger ones once in a while. Whether or not for drifting, jugging, trotlines or casting, utilizing stinkbaits is a stable possibility and particularly if you happen to can not discover or catch reside bait. Some punchbaits could also be thick and pasty, lasting a very long time within the water; others could also be extra apt to dissolve faster, particularly in heat summer time temperatures. The advantage of the Boss Kat Sticky Web is it retains the scent even when the seen bait is gone. The webbing has sufficient nooks and crannies to carry some stank on it, it doesn’t matter what. Bear in mind to take an outdated towel to dry off the webbing earlier than rebaiting so it’ll keep on longer. With dimension 2, 4 and 6 hooks you’ll be good to go for a pleasant vary of enjoyable, eating-size catfish.
Why it Made the Minimize
The design of the Boss Kat circle hook helps anglers of all talent ranges to have enjoyable and ensures hookups to place fish within the boat or on the financial institution.
- A number of sizes
- Purple hook helps appeal to catfish
- Confirmed observe document
- Nice for veteran or novice anglers
- Sharp level secures constant hookups
- Versatile for different species, too
The Boss Kat Super Boss is available in 4 sizes — 1/0, 3/0, 5/0, 8/0 — and is designed for optimum hookups with chunks or reside bait. The purpose is curved to particularly dig right into a catfish’s mouth because the hook slides alongside. All you must do is sweep and raise the rod, and start reeling. I’ve used circle hooks for years for various sized catfish and so they’re nice, so long as you keep in mind to be affected person and never yank on the rod.
Why it Made the Minimize
Eagle Claw is a confirmed title in fishing with a long time of success. The Kahle design is understood to freshwater and saltwater anglers as a reliable, go-to hook.
- Exaggerated design helps hookups
- Sturdy sufficient to deal with huge catfish
- Sticky sharp hook level
- Accessible in 15 sizes and 5 finishes
- Sharp level drives deep right into a catfish’s mouth
- Design helps preserve the fish safe whereas reeling
- Could also be swallowed, leading to deep hooking
In case you’re in search of a legend, that is it. The Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp L141 Kahle hook has been examined and confirmed dependable for many years in freshwater and saltwater. It’s presumably the perfect reside bait hook obtainable, designed to permit frisky shad, croakers or different baits to swim freely earlier than getting snarfed by a catfish, flounder or different species. The barbed, needle hook level drives laborious into lips or cartilage and hangs on. In case you’re utilizing different bait, you’ll be able to slide on hen livers or hearts, shad chunks, guts, heads or nightcrawlers. It even works with stinkbait. Keep in mind that it might be swallowed extra deeply, so take note of your float for any bites.
Why it Made the Minimize
This straightforward, traditional hook that works in freshwater or saltwater simply holds bait and retains fish safe on trotlines, yo-yo rigs and limb strains.
- Solid, robust wire hook
- Lengthy shank holds small or massive bait
- Ringed eye
- Handles presentation for any bait
- Mustad’s hook factors are recognized for sharpness
- Three finishes and 17 sizes together with Measurement 14 and 9/0
- Some fashionable sizes difficult to seek out
The primary time I ever went catfishing with Billy Blakely on Reelfoot Lake, the veteran Blue Financial institution Resort information mentioned we had been going to run his yo-yo rigs. I mentioned, “Sounds cool!” and questioned what the heck a yo-yo rig was. We pulled as much as a cypress on the legendary northwest Tennessee Lake and I noticed a steel reel resembling a yo-yo affixed to a bobbing limb. Blakely netted a croaking catfish, eliminated it from the straight-shanked hook and rebaited it with a bit of nightcrawler. After visiting a number of dozen rigs, we had a cooler of every thing from 10-inch squealers to a few cats within the 5- to 6-pound vary. The Mustad O’Shaughnessy hook is a traditional and never missed by veteran anglers who know that it really works.
How We Made Our Picks
I’ve fished for catfish for greater than 40 years in ponds, creeks, lakes and on the mighty Mississippi and Tennessee rivers with prime guides. Some had been sponsored by firms; some had been simply good ol’ boy catmen. All of them had one factor in widespread: they didn’t skimp on hooks or good bait. I’ve put all these years of expertise and good recommendation into my making my picks.
Q: What attracts catfish essentially the most?
Catfish most frequently are drawn to baits that entice their myriad style buds. These embody blood equivalent to from hen livers or blood baits, the secretions of shad fillets, blood or guts, stinkbaits with blood, anise or different flavors, cured baits equivalent to these constituted of soured cheese or corn, or one thing so simple as chunks of low cost hotdogs scented with garlic. Catfish could also be drawn to an space with smelly cat meals or chum equivalent to floor shad or soured grain together with corn, milo, soybeans or wheat.
Q: Are circle hooks higher for catfish?
Sure, circle hooks slide alongside a fish’s mouth and hook within the nook of the jaw because of strain from the fish swimming away with the bait. They’re higher for angler success, and higher for catfish as a result of they’re much less apt to be swallowed.
Q: What sort of hooks can be utilized for catfish?
The preferred hooks for catfishing embody Kahle, circle, O’Shaughnessy and treble hooks. The latter are used primarily with stinkbait or punchbait to carry the pasty bait on the hook. The opposite sorts are used with reside bait or chunks.
Q: Do you set the hook when catfishing?
Whether or not or not you set the hook when catfishing is decided by the kind of hook used. In case you are utilizing a Kahle, O’Shaughnessy, or treble hook then you could set it. In case you are utilizing a circle hook, then it’s finest to only let the hook work as its designed to. If you really feel a chunk, merely reel and the hook will work itself into the nook of the cat’s mouth.
Catfishing is a superb exercise irrespective of the way you’re going after Mr. Whiskers. Whether or not you’re trolling, casting, working jug strains or yo-yo rigs, cruising a trotline, at a pond with hen livers and wide-eyed youngsters, or under a hydro dam in search of an enormous, every thing has to work collectively. Drag must be set correctly, the road must be the right dimension, knots should be safe, and the hook must be the appropriate one for the duty.