Hook Size For Catfish

How do I know what size hook I should be using when fishing for Catfish?

What size hook you should use depends basically on what size fish you want to catch.  In general, when you are going after small cats, use a small hook.  When you want to catch the big boys, go for a bigger hook.

That’s all neat and simple, but it’s actually much more complicated than that.  You also have to consider the water conditions, the setup of your rig and what kind of bait you are using.

For somebody just getting into catfishing, I would say this – start small and work your way up.  The reason I say this is that you will often catch bigger fish with a small hook, but you rarely ever catch a small fish with a big hook.  That means that if you use a small hook, you’ll definitely catch some little cats, and who knows, maybe one of the big ones will come along too!

You want a small hook that’s not too small, and a size 8 is often considered a good starter.  Size 6 is also good.  From there, you can experiment with different hook sizes and see what works.  If you’re fishing in a pond with big cats in it, you’ll want to work your way up.  Just like everything in fishing, it all depends.

After you get used to using a regular hook, you can go fancy with a treble hook (three pronged hook) or a circle hook.  These are popular ways of catching cats, and they make it easier to put the bait on there.  Circle hooks are good for catching big cats, because they’re bigger and heavier.


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

2 Responses to “Hook Size For Catfish”

  1. Kel says:

    Hey Dan,

    I caught a catfish a week ago and had the unfortunate experience of the hook going in his mouth and the tip coming out a few centimeters from his eye! How in the world is the best way to get it out and fast. My boyfriend and I got it out but I don’t think it was quick enough. I am not sure of the hook size. I don’t even know how the fish even did it!
    Thanks so much.

  2. Adam Horrell says:

    what i do when this happens i use a decent pair of wire cutters and cut the barb off. you can always replace the hook and the fish can be let go to live a normal life

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