best hooks for catfish

How To Select The Right Catfish Hooks For The Job

Fishing for catfish can be one of the most exciting types of fishing you can do, but there really are some monster cats out there, so knowing how to select the right catfish hooks for the job is of major importance.

Depending on where you plan to fish, and whether you are out to catch basic table cats or huge monster cat, you will want to adjust the type of hook you plan to use.

The good news is that there are some outstanding quality products available to help you nail the catfish you are after. Keep an assortment with you while fishing, so you can change out the hooks to better fit the size of fish you are getting.

Smaller Fish Smaller Hooks

If you are fishing for table fish, and having a problem with the catfish taking your bait, running with it for a short distance before just simply dropping the bait, you might want to switch to a smaller hook like a 1/0 baitholder. This usually hangs in there a bit better, and will help you bring some table fare to the table for dinner. Of course, it is not as effective when you want to catch really big catfish.

Need To Cast Long Distances?

If you are in a position where you need to cast out a long distance, you can always use a 2/0 octopus. This hook will work very well with a balsa wood and lead float called a Livingston Float. When you cast with this rig, it will really get out there! So, for casting long distances, try the 2/0 octopus.

You’ll likely need a good catfishing reel for your catfishing rod as well.

When it comes to winter fishing for catfish, you really can get better results using smaller hooks too. Even when you are trying to catch big fish. Especially in the winter, when the water is cold and calm, the catfish tend to be finicky, and you have to try to get them out of the water without spooking them.

Too Big Might Mean No Fish

If you use anything bigger than a 2/0 hook, you will probably get bites, but the tendency is for the cat to spook and drop your hook like it was hot! This is particularly true in heavily fished waters, so no matter where you are fishing…lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. when getting bites is not the problem, just remember that you can always substitute a smaller, strong hook, and probably solve the problem.

In the springtime, when the fish are not so finicky, you can move up to some bigger hooks like a 6/0 baitholder hook. These are particularly good when there are flood water kinds of conditions present. During flood conditions, the fish tend to get very aggressive, and they really grab on to basically whatever is out there. You will miss some fish you could catch if you use the smaller hooks in flood conditions.

Another consideration is using the right size hook for whatever bait you are using. Generally speaking, bigger bait catches bigger fish; smaller bait catches smaller fish.

The best hook, in my opinion, for catching catfish using shad head for bait is a 1/0 or 2/0 L042.  For general use, you will most likely be satisfied with a 3/0 baitholder. While others will work well, it is best to consider this first.

Check out all of Pa’s Fishing Guide Hooks here.

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