Okay, you’re getting everything ready to take your paddle board out on the ocean to do a bit of saltwater fishing. But, you need to make sure that all your fishing gear is the proper stuff for the saltwater fish. If you’ve done this before, then it’s just a matter of stocking back up before heading out to fish from your SUP. But if you’re new to saltwater fishing, then let us help you get the right hooks for reeling in those fish from your board.
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Choosing The Right Hooks
Before you can buy your hooks, you need to know what size and shape bait you’re going to be using and fish you’re going to be trying to catch. Keep in mind that you’ll need small hooks when trying to catch fish with small mouths. Small pieces of bait, as well as live bait, are also typically best on small hooks, even when you’re trying to catch big fish.
Hook Size & Material
Fishing hooks all have a size, which is the measurement of the gap between the shank and the point. So, what size hooks are good for saltwater fishing? For ocean anglers, the hook sizes start at No. 32, which is tiny, and to all the way up to the large 19/0 size hook.
Keep in mind that from size 32 to 1, saltwater hook size increases while the number decreases. And from size 1/0 to 19/0, the hook size increases along with the number. Unfortunately, there is no standard in hook sizes, so one brand’s 3/0 may be larger than that of another brand.
Saltwater fishing hooks are going to be made of either stainless steel or high-carbon steel. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so pick the material that best meets your needs and fishing style.
- Stainless steel hooks are corrosion-resistant but brittle.
- High carbon steel hooks will rust but are more forgiving of bends and twists.
In order to sustain your hooks, they will require regular care an maintenance. You should always rinse your saltwater hooks with fresh water and coat them with light oil between uses to help extend their useful life. And you will regularly need to sharpen your fishing hooks with a file or hook sharpener.
Fishing Hook Shapes
As you shop for your fishing hooks, you’ll notice that you can buy them in a few different shapes. The best shape hooks for saltwater fishing really depends on your fishing style. Though it seems that J-hooks are the most common that we see among people doing SUP fishing on the ocean. Below we’ll break down the three shapes that you will come across as you shop for the best saltwater fishing hooks.
You can find a lot of different styles of J-hooks for all types of different saltwater fishing, which is why they’re the most commonly used by ocean anglers. As mentioned above, you should choose a size that matches the saltwater fishing bait you’re going to be using out there and the size of the fish you hope to catch. Keep in mind that some J-hook styles work better with certain fish species. For instance, anglers who fish for summer flounder prefer Kahle hooks due to the fish’s mouth closing horizontally. But long-shank saltwater fishing hooks are preferred by a lot of bait fisherman because they’re easy to get out of the fish’s mouth. Also note that some hooks work better with certain baits. For instance, O’Shaughnessy hooks are used by offshore anglers to rig ballyhoo baits.
Like the name implies, circle hooks have a shape that resembles a circle due to the point of the hook turning toward the shank. Anglers who are using live bait tend to use circle hooks since the shape prevent the hook from sticking in the fish’s gut. Anglers love circle hooks cause they’re almost foolproof. When the fish takes the bait and swims away, your link pulls that circle hook out of the stomach and up so that it catches in the fish’s jaw. Circle hooks are also perfect for catch-and-release fishing since they reduce the number of fish who die once released back into the water.
This type of hook looks quite different from the other as it basically has three hooks in one, with the hooks covering all sides. When the fish hits the bait on a treble hook, it snags that fish for you. If you’re interested in fishing with treble hooks, keep in mind that it generally takes a smaller size treble hook compared to a J-hook or circle hook for the same size fish. Some anglers also prefer treble hooks as a means of protecting their fingers.
Circle Hooks vs J-hooks
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