Fish Hook Sizes – Bigger Is Not Always Better

Fish Hook Sizes – Bigger Is Not Always Better

Fish Hook Sizes -What Works Best?

Hello readers and fellow anglers. Every fisherman comes to that moment when it’s time to decide how to set up their rod and reel. Which hook you use is an important decision in this process.  How do anglers know which hook to use with such a diversity of fish hook sizes?

Know the targeted species!

Whether your deep sea fishing off the California coast or ice fishing a frozen Maine lake, it’s important to know what kind of fish you mean to catch. This will determine a range of hooks that will work well for your condition.

Big fish will eat small hooks

Fish Hook Sizes Can Matter With Tuna
Nice 30-35 LB Class Yellowfin Tuna

You’re not as likely to catch a small fish with a huge hook, big fish will eat small hooks. Generally speaking, it’s better to hook a fish with the largest size hook you can. At least it’s better for your chances of landing the fish. However, when fish get finicky or spooky a smaller hook might just get them to bite.

When it comes to hooks, I have a few go-to brands.  I do prefer Owner’s Flyliner Black Chrome Ringed Hook (Size 1/0, 7-Pack)when fishing offshore.

This 30 lb Yellowfin tuna was caught when the fish had backed off and were very wary of the boat and the bait we presented. Now guess which hook it was caught on?

If you said the smaller hook, you were right. Notice the car charger added for perspective? It’s truly amazing that a hook this small landed the tuna above.

Fish Hook Sizes
The Smaller #2 Hook Landed The Yellowfin Above

Who’s catching fish?

If no one’s catching fish, it’s probably not the hook that matters. On the other hand, if you see people catching and you’re not, talk to them. Inspect their gear if they allow. What kind of hook are they using?

Circle hook design leads to hook sets in the lip or jaw of fish. The feature is extremely useful for larger fish like bluefin tuna. Many of these fish are lost due to hook sets deeper in their mouth. Their teeth are small but sharp and will wear through the line as it rubs across them. A hook set in the lip or mouth avoids such an issue by keeping the line away from the teeth.

Owner American Mutu Circle Hk 2/0 6P
is yet another top-notch hook for big game sportfishing.

Tie strong knots

Short and simple! It won’t matter what size hook you use if your knot is weak. Hooks can be relatively cheap or pretty expensive. It all adds up, and what’s worse, you’ll never know what you had on the line.

Be careful!

FB_IMG_1450930392117Fishing remains one of our valued outdoor activities. Fishing also involves hazards. Proper use and storage of hooks and lures will prevent personal injury or harm to others. welcomes any and all feedback.  What did you think? Did you learn anything? Is there a topic you’d like to see? Shout out and let me know. Don’t forget to like and share if you enjoyed.



  1. Norstad

    Hello, nice article you got there. I didn’t experience fishing first hand but I kinda view it enjoyable. The tuna that you caught sure is expensive. Congratulation on catching it. The call to action at the bottom of your page is really good. i consider doing the same thing with my site as well. 🙂

  2. Shawn

    Fish Hook Sizes? Well, I have a lot to learn regarding fishing. It makes sense that one must adjust hook sizes, depending upon the fish one seeks. The only fish I’ve ever caught were trout, pickerel, and pike. I only cut myself on one of them. I’m sure you know which one. Perhaps you could write about barbed and barbless hooks. I live in an area that won’t allow barbed hooks. Thanks for writing about hooks. Perhaps next time you can explain the bards so I may come back and read it.

    1. Geoff

      Hi Shawn, and thanks for the observations. It’s a good point you make about barbs. In ocean fishing we almost always use barbed hooks. I too though, have fished trout rivers requiring barbless hooks. This might go well in a post about responsible fishing practices. Thanks for the feedback and the idea provoking thoughts. Geoff.

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