When you hit the sporting goods store and stroll down the ice fishing tackle isle, you’ll notice a pattern. There’s A LOT of lures that are advertised as perch, crappie, WALLEYE, PIKE, etc. While I don’t doubt the fact that they will catch all said species, the fact of the matter is; they’re rarely really equipped for the task at hand.
What am I talking about??? THE HOOKS. They’re usually too small, too dull, too brittle, etc. Now I say USUALLY because there are some companies that pack their lineup with quality hooks. But to stay away from mentioning any company in particular, let’s just play it by lure…
I bought some jigging spoons this evening at my local store. I had a hot color from a lake we’ve been fishing for GIANT walleye. I took a hard look at the lure and sure enough…the hooks are just too small. I get it, if it’s going to be used for panfish it’s fitted with a universal hook. But what I’ve been told and found by experience is you’ll lose less fish if you size up with a QUALITY hook.
If I could buy one hook, and only one hook for replacing the majority of my stock tackle would be the #8 Treble hook from Gamakatsu. It’s the perfect size for one, and it’s LAZER SHARP to boot. Find a Gamakatsu hater, good luck. They’re a bit expensive but if you’re playing around with big fish you need a hook without excuses.
To save time, it really helps to have a special pair of pliers for removing and replacing hooks in a hurry. A split ring pliers is ideal, especially if you don’t have finger nails…
So before I put a lure on my line anymore, I’m sizing up with a better hook like Gamakatsu treble hooks more often than not. If you’re having troubles with hook sets and keeping fish on, than I highly suggest you take a look into this simple tip. I guarantee you, you’ll be glad you did in the long run!