Last month while fishing in the FLW Outdoors Texas
Tournament Trail championship tournament on Lake Ray
Hubbard, I learned a valuable lesson about hooks.
On Saturday and then again on Sunday, I lost fish
during the tournament that looking back, probably
cost me placing high enough to earn a check in the
tournament. It wasn't until I returned home, thinking
back on what I could have done differently in order
to place higher that I realized one of my errors.
I was using the wrong hook for the type of fishing
I was doing.
I had been fishing with Zoom finesse worms rigged
Texas style on light line using a light wire Gamakatsu
E.W.G. hook (Gamakatsu).
This combination worked great, but only for a while.
When the bite changed due to a strong cold front that
had moved through on Thursday, I changed my tactics,
but failed to switch to a stronger hook. This oversight
on my part resulted in the two fish I lost coming
unhooked when the light wire hook bent enough for
the fish to get loose and get away.
The fish I had found during practice, moved out into
deeper water after the cold front moved through. I
added a heavier weight to my line and pegged it about
two feet above the bait creating what we call a Mojo
rig or small Carolina rig. Since I was still using
light line (10# P-Line, P-Line)
I didn't think to change the hook.
When Carolina rigging, it is important to use a stronger
wire hook that won't bend when setting the hook. You
see, when you detect a bite on a Carolina rig presentation,
you need to reel up the slack in your line and set
the hook with a large sweeping motion in order to
properly hook the fish. When using a light wire hook,
like I was using, there is a greater probability that
the hook will bend allowing the fish to get away.
I should have switched to a G-Lock hook made by Gamakatsu.
It is a stronger hook that is designed to keep your
soft plastic bait up on the hook by the unique bend
in the hook just below the eye of the hook. It is
a great hook for Carolina rigging that will rarely
ever bend on the hookset.
The folks at Gamakatsu have gone to great lengths
to design and manufacture hooks for all types of fishing
applications. It is up to the fisherman to know which
hook is best suited for the different applications
I have had great success with Gamakatsu hooks for
many years. Even before receiving a product sponsorship
from Gamakatsu, I bought their hooks because I believed
them to be the best on the market. At first I wanted
to blame the hook for bending, but after looking into
it further, the problem was not the hook, it was the
hooker. I hope you can learn from my mistake; I surely
have. In the future, I'll pay closer attention to
this often overlooked important part of the fishing
Until next time, enjoy the great outdoors.
For more information or to contact Tom, visit him
at Fishing Pro Staff.