So you want to catch catfish? You came to the right place. Catfish have thicker mouths than most fish making them tough to catch with any old hook.
The toughness of their mouth, when paired with their size and strength, means you’ll need the right size of hook to catch them. There are special hooks for catching catfish.
These special hooks may take some trial and error to make sure you find the one that fits your needs best. We’re here to help you find the perfect hook to reel in those pesky catfish without any trouble.
Material of the Hook
The first thing to look out for when considering a hook to buy is the material. You want to make sure the hook will last you a long time and also be able to hold heavy catfish without bending or deforming. While choosing a material, make sure you consider where you will be fishing.
Popular material is stainless steel, but high carbon and alloys are also popular if you’re going to be fishing in saltwater.
Some other materials to consider would be:
Vanadium alloy: Vanadium alloy is a very desirable material for fish hooks because of its incredible strength and resistance to corrosion.
Teflon: Teflon is a great high-strength material to look for in a hook for fishing catfish. It allows for easy penetration, which is invaluable for catching tough-mouthed catfish.
Size of the Hook
As a general rule of thumb, the size of the hook to catch catfish should be according to the size of the bait or the catfish. The size can range from number 8 (for smaller catfish) to number 2 (for larger catfish).
But the size of the hook also varies by the type of hook, so it’s equally important to take into consideration the kind of hook you’re using.
Types of Hooks
Now that you know what material to look for, let’s discuss the types of hooks you can use to make sure your catfish don’t get away.
A three-pronged treble hook is perhaps the most common hook for catching catfish. If bought right, a treble hook is perfect for catching tough fish like catfish. Try to make sure you buy yours from a trusted supplier.
It is easy to buy cheap ones because of how common they are. Using a cheap hook may result in rusting and bending. In most cases, the three prongs may also fall apart altogether. Look for stainless steel or Teflon-coated hooks.
A number two hook is perfect for catching larger catfish. You can use a standard six hook or even an eight hook if you’re looking to catch smaller catfish.
A Kahle hook looks like a mix between a J hook and a circle hook. These hooks are perfect for holding live bait. A Kahle hook is perfect for catching medium-sized catfish.
Usually, a 3/0 or a 4/0 hook is perfect for catching medium-sized catfish.
Offset Circle Hook
In an offset circle hook, the hook end twists away from the eye. They curve away. One way to tell an offset hook apart is to lay it on a flat surface; if it cannot lay flat, then it is an offset hook.
While this may be a great hook to catch catfish, it is banned in most regions since it guts the fish’s mouth. Be careful if you use an offset circle hook. If taking part in a competition, make sure the competition allows them.
Non-Offset Circle Hook
Also known as an incline circle hook, a non-offset circle hook is a great hook to legally catch catfish and cause the least damage. They may look larger than other hooks, but they are the right size. A seven or eight-sized hook is perfect for catching large fish.
These hooks are safer for catching fish and do not gut hook the catfish.
A J hook is a standard for catching catfish. If you’re using a float, a J hook will lay the line better than a circle hook. They also hold the bait better than circle hooks.
A J hook, however, does not pierce the mouth of the fish easily and causes damage.
Octopus hooks are great for fishers who use live bait. They are rounder than Kahle hooks but resemble them in looks. Octopus hooks have room for live bait to move which is a great way to attract catfish.
Last but not least, Limerick hooks are great for fishing for channel cats. The hook has a smaller curve and ends in a sharp turn. These aren’t the most popular for catching catfish, though.
If you’re an angler looking for variety, a Limerick hook is worth the try.
So, now you know the types of hooks you can use to catch catfish as well as the appropriate sizes. Just remember, the material is important. A Teflon-coated hook will take you a long way. Circle hooks generally provide better performance when fishing for catfish.