Hooks are the most important piece of equipment you will use to catch fish. Having the right hook is more important than your rod, reel, tackle or even your line. If you don’t have a lot of money, buy cheap rods and reels but don’t skimp on your hooks.
Having the best hooks for trout can make a huge difference. You might have everything properly rigged, but if don’t have the right hook, you will end up going home empty-handed.
For trout, I would go with the smallest hook size as possible. Normally I would pick a size 10 hook that is about the half the size of a quarter. Use size 14 to size 8 hooks for trout.
Don’t use anything bigger than a size 8 hook because trout are really finicky and if the hook is too big, they won’t bite. Size 8 to 10 hooks are for bluegill, sunfish, and other panfish. Downsize hook and bait size if fish are stealing the bait.
High-quality hooks have sharp durable points. Good hooks are also strong that can flex without breaking or becoming bend. Trout hooks range in price from a dollar for a dozen to a dollar a piece.
Most of the time, you get what you pay for. Gamakatsu, Mustad & Owner are some of the best hook brands that are easy to find. Eagle Claw is one of the most affordable brands, but their hooks are definitely lower quality.
I will use cheaper branded hooks for catching bait or just to have fun with my kids. But when I am fishing for trout, I will use the best trout hooks money can buy.
Best Trout Hooks For Baits
The best hooks for trout should be small, sharp and durable. The size should be dependent on the target fish size. In clear water, you should use the lightest test-lb. line. It is because trout can be very wary of anything that looks fishy. Get it? Fishy?
However, going with a smaller hook means you will land a lot of small trout. If you are fishing in a stocked pond, you need to avoid smaller younger fish. For that, use a slightly bigger bait and hook. The bigger size will deter the small fish.
Here are top 5 trout hooks you can buy.
1. Gamakatsu Trout Worm Hook
2. Gamakatsu Octopus Hook-Pack of 25
3. Gamakatsu Circle Offset Point Octopus Hook-Pack of 25 (Black)
- Closed Eye
- Forged Steel
- Off-set point
- Made in Japan
4. Gamakatsu Black Octopus Hook, 100 Pack
5. Gamakatsu Red Octopus Hook, 100 Pack
Salmon Eggs & Corn
For corn and salmon, go with a single hook – Gamakatsu Single Egg Hook Size #12 or Eagle Claw Salmon Egg Up Eye Offset Fishing Hook size #12.
For nightcrawlers, you can go with Eagle Claw 181 Down Eye Baitholder Hook size 8 to 14 depending on how big the nightcrawlers are.
For powerbait, you can go with either a single hook or treble hook. If you are fishing for a larger fish, go with the Gamakatsu Trout Worm Hook size 12 or up to 8.
For treble hooks, you can go with Eagle Claw 374F-12 2X Treble Regular Shank Curved Point Hook size 12, 14 or 16.
How to Choose The Right Hook Type & Size For Trout Fishing?
Choosing the best hooks for trout fishing is very important if you want to land a picky trout. It is also one of the most important tackle decisions you need to make. The wrong hook can and will work against you.
When choosing the best trout hooks, you need to keep in mind that brown trout especially the wild ones are very finicky when it comes it bait presentation. That is why you need to pick the smaller hook size available. But choosing too small can lead to hook loss and easy tear.
So, what is the best size hook for trout?
There are two main factors that determine what size hook you should use for trout fishing.
- The size of the trout in the local rivers or lakes.
- The size of your bait.
Small bait and hook size are ideal for small trout. Increase or decrease the size depending on the environment and how big or small the fish is. Normally, use size 14 to size 8 hooks for trout.
Trout Hook Buying Guide
A fishing hook for trout is fundamentally the same as other fishing hooks for freshwater and saltwater fishing. It is also described and considered in the same manner.
To describe each part of the hook, there are a number of common terms that are widely used by anglers.
This is where the fishing line is tied.
From the eye to the starting point of the bend, the length between is called the shank.
The bend on the hook.
The sharp pointy thingy.
Behind the point is another sharp pointy thingy sticking out, that is called the barb.
- Hook Offset
You will also hear the term hook offset. Hook offset is when the hook point is not parallel to the shank.
- Hook Gap
The hook gap is another important feature. This is the distance between the shank and the point.
- Hook Gauge
The hook gauge refers to the thickness of the wire used to make the hook. A thicker beefier hook has a thicker gauge. Thicker hooks are mostly used with live baits.
- Hook Sizes
Hook size is not universal. Each manufacturer has its own sizes. For example, a Gamakatsu A dot hook is not the same size as the Mustad or Owner A dot hook.
Additionally, different types of hooks have different sizes. There are two sizes of hooks that you need to be aware of. They are numbers and aughts. Numbers are smaller than Aughts.
For the aughts, the larger the number, the bigger the hook. For number sizes, the larger the number, the smaller the hook sizes.
For example, an aught size hook will have something like 4/0 written on the description. The first number indicates the size. 5/0 is bigger than 4/0. For number sizes, number 1 is bigger than number 12.
Types Of Hooks
I’ve seen a lot of angler fish with the same size, shape, and type of hook for all of their fishing lives. That’s not a good practice. The best approach is having a small variation in your tackle box.
For trout fishing, the majority of those will be single hooks. However, there are some places where a treble or a double hook may be favorable.
- Single Hooks
If you are bait fishing for trout, single hooks are the most popular. You can also find some trout fishing lures that come with single hooks. There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes available.
Some have short shanks, some are long. Some have straight point, and some come with offset point.
Having an offset point can definitely increase strike rate but it is easier for the fish to shake the hook off once hooked. If you are planning to catch and release, always use single hooks.
They will generally cause less damage to the trout. Don’t ever use a double or a treble hook for catch and release because these hooks can cause a lot of damage to the trout, particularly in the eyes.
- Double Hooks
Join two single hooks at an angle and you will get a double hook. They have the same sizing as a single hook and are mostly used for tying certain types of heavy flies. They are also widely used with power baits.
- Treble Hooks
A treble hook has three hooks joined together at an angle. Like double hooks, treble hooks are used on all types of trolling and spinning lures. The smaller ones are used with power baits.
- Barbless Hooks
You can easily make a single hook into a barbless hook by removing the bard. Barbless hooks are used when you want to cause less damage to the trout. If you are fishing on a river or lake that operate on a catch and release system, you should always use a barbless hook.
In fact, there are some waters that will only allow barbless hooks. If you don’t intend to grill or take the fish home with you, it’s a good idea to use a hook like this.
You can de-barb a regular hook with strong fishing pliers by flattening out the barb. All you need to do is simply squeeze down the barb of the hook. Make sure it is flat against the hook wire. It isn’t a perfect method, but a good trick to know if you are out of barbless hooks.
Check out this video and see how easy it is to de-barb a hook.
Determine The Correct Hook Size
Once you have grasped the idea of different hook sizes, it is time to pick a size and start fishing. The correct size of the hook will depend on the kind of trout that you are after. Whether it is brown trout, brook trout, or rainbow trout, they tend to be quite wary and aggressive. You can even lose your bait without catching them.
Try to make the hook as invisible as possible. Don’t cover the point. Try to put the bait in a way that won’t raise trout’s suspicion or else you will spend the whole day without catching a single fish.
Configuring Hooks Properly
Trout are fond of live bait, so it is important that you configure the hooks properly for maximum effect. For obtaining the best results, you could live or artificial worms with a set of gang hooks.
Worms are very effective in luring and catching trout.
Try JRW Gang Hooks Trout Fishing Hooks, they are durable and very effective. They also come in different sizes so that you can pick the right size for trout fishing.
A size 6″ and up to 8″ are preferable when you are fishing for rainbow trout. If you are fishing for bigger trout, a size 4″ to 2″ would be preferable.
Never forget that trout have excellent vision and they are very line shy. Any oddly exposed hook can scare them. They can also easily discern hooks when they see one.
The sizes I have mentioned above are useful in lowland lakes, especially where the water is not crystal clear and in some cases a bit murky. For really clear waters, go for hooks with a size 10 and upwards. The smaller the better. It is because, in clear water, they can see better and will be harder to catch.
Time For Some Fish
Fishing for trout is an enjoyable experience if you know what you are doing. And for that, it is important to have the right hook size if you want a better catch rate. Now, once you catch a trout, make sure to put them in ice as soon as possible.
Because trout contain a fair amount of oil and being exposed to direct sunlight for long will spoil them. The best way to enjoy this delicacy is to cook them fresh.
Wrap them in foil and bake them, simmer it with the right amount of lemon juice and you will have a tasty meal. Now all of this is possible when you get the best hooks for trout and have a proper rig setup to go along with.