Jug and Rod and Reel Fishing for Catfish: What Hook?

What style and size of hook would you suggest for jug and/or rod and reel fishing for catfish? Gamakatsu is one of the better brands that I have access to right now. Thanks for the help Dan!!!

Most catfish anglers agree that it is not always necessary to use a large hook when fishing for even big cats. In fact, especially in wintertime when the waters tends to be cold and calm, it might even be best to use the smaller hooks. Cat don’t seem to be as easily enticed at this time, and it actually requires a lot of finesse to catch them. You see, in the winter, these fish seem to be more content to stay in one spot, deeper water and areas offering some cover. The larger fish are the ones that seem to fare the best, and they often feed on smaller fish that succumb to the elements, making them less likely to have to forage for food, since they often have a ready supply available. Still, cats will hit an enticing bait, if it is presented correctly. It is not that larger hooks will not get bites, it is just that you will lose a lot of fish when they feel your hook and drop bait. Smaller hooks help prevent that. In spring, you can move up in hook size to up to 6/0, particularly if you are going to be fishing flood areas where the fish tend to be so aggressive. Generally when you are jug fishing for catfish, use as small a hook as you can get away with, but allow for the larger sizes of catfish that are sometimes caught on jugs. It is not uncommon for thirty to fifty pound catfish to be brought in off juglines. Another reason to use slightly larger hooks is to prevent turtles and other small predators from stealing your bait. Also, Gamakatsu is a good brand of hook as are most other reputable hooks on the market.

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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