Do sharp hooks matter when catfishing?

A buddy of mine has been fishing for catfish for quite a while (I’m a beginner) – anyway – he’s constantly sharpening his hooks – even brand new ones. Does it really make that much of a difference?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes! As a matter of fact, taking the time to sharpen your hooks (even the brand new one’s right out of the package) could actually increase the your chancing of hooking a catfish by up to 50%. The catfish is a very strong fish with an extremely slippery mouth. If the point of the hook doesn’t hit the back of the upper or lower jaw or the side of the mouth, in many cases, a hook will simply slip right out. To set a hook properly, you have to be able to get it deep enough to avoid this. Sharpening the hook will guarantee a good set. There’s a very simple technique that you can use to decide whether or not your hook is sharp enough for cat fishing. Drag the hook across the nail of your thumb, the point of the hook should be facing the direction you’re sliding it with a good 45 degree angle. If the hook bites into the nail, you’re fine. If it slides across the nail, you need to do some sharpening. Successful catfishers will test their hooks each and every time they reel in their lines. If the hook fails the test, you can sharpen it with a good hook file. Lightly hit three sides with the file and try the test again. Repeat until the hook actually grabs the nail.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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