The hook is an essential part of any bass fishing rig. Hook design is often overlooked, as using the right hooks for your presentation will improve your catch ratio and put more fish in the boat.
While there are some versatile bass fishing hooks, many models are designed for specific techniques and presentations. This guide will discuss the best hooks for bass fishing and discuss the correct hook models for different types of lures and fishing styles.
Table of Contents
Main Hook Designs
Common Bass Hooks
Main Hook Designs
Extra-Wide Gap (EWG) Hooks
EWG hooks are one of the most common bass fishing hook styles. These designs feature a wide gap between the hook and the shank. EWG hooks also bend near the eye loop, which keeps your bait from sliding off.
These are the typical hooks anglers use for wider soft plastic baits, such as Senkos, Bandito Bugs, and some creature baits. However, EWG hooks don’t have an offset design, meaning the hook point is in-line with the eye.
While offset hooks improve your hook-up ratios, EWG hooks are the most versatile. If you can only choose one hook design, this is the one to go with.
Light-Wire EWG Hooks
Not all EWG hooks have a bulky design. Light-wire EWG hooks have the same shape as the standard designs but have a thinner profile. This thin wire makes these hooks lighter and also improves hook-set penetration.
Thinner wire material allows the hook to easily slide through soft plastic baits and into the mouth of a bass. Light-wire EWG hooks are ideal for fishing in colder waters because, at lower temperatures, bass have tougher jaws that are more difficult to penetrate.
Since Light-wire hooks don’t weigh as much as traditional EWG hooks, they can usually be fished with a lighter line and cast farther. You can adjust the fall rate with these hooks as lighter presentations sink slower through the water.
The main benefit of using offset hooks is the improved hook-up ratio. Offset hooks have space between the hook point and eye loop, giving it more space in the fish’s mouth.
When fishing with hooks that don’t have an offset, using a “side-swing hook-set” technique is the best way to catch fish consistently. However, you can set the hook from any direction with offset designs.
These hooks are ideal for fishing Carolina rigs, soft plastic jerkbaits, soft plastic stick worms, and other similar baits. The one limitation of offset hooks is that they’re not designed for flipping into heavy cover.
Common Bass Hooks
Straight Shank Hooks
Straight shank hooks are the most versatile for pitching, flipping, and casting texas rigs. Generally, straight shank hooks are ideal for fishing around heavy cover and thick vegetation.
These hooks have extremely high hook-up ratios. Regardless of your rod angle, the tip is positioned to hook the bass.
This design is simple and efficient. Since straight shank hooks don’t have a bend near the eye, some models make it difficult to keep your bait in place. However, some models have tiny barbs that prevent soft plastics from sliding off.
Round Bend Offset Hook
Round bend offset hooks feature a bend behind the eye and an offset tip design. These hooks are typically used when fishing thinner baits, such as finesse worms and soft plastic lizards.
The offset design improves hook-up ratios, and the small gap creates a discrete profile. We love these hooks when fishing long soft plastics, such as the 10” Mondo Worm.
Wide Gap Offset Hooks
Wide gap offset hooks have the combined qualities of an EWG hook and offset hook. When using a “side-swing hook-set,” you’ll get excellent hook-up ratios.
You should always carry a few of these hooks when fishing Carolina rigs, creature baits, and plastic worms. These hooks are hard to beat when fishing big, heavy, soft plastics.
We recommend size 3/0, 4/0, and 5/0 models, depending on the size of your bait.
Grip Pin Swim Hooks
The best hooks for swimming baits are Grip Pin Swim Hooks. This is an original design for Mustad, who designed this model specifically for craw-style baits, and soft plastic swim baits.
A shorter design improves your presentation’s swimming action, and the gap size is ideal for most lure sizes. Grip Pin Swim Hooks move through grass easier and don’t add any unnecessary weight.
Many brands make hooks designed explicitly for flipping and pitching into heavy cover. These models create a better presentation than EWG hooks and have a large enough gap for tube baits, brush hogs, and creature baits.
If you primarily fish close to the bank, it’s worth investing in a set of flipping hooks. These designs significantly improve hook-up ratios and make your presentation weedless without an added weed guard.
As the name suggests, frog hooks are specifically designed for fishing soft plastic topwater frogs. These designs feature a screw behind the eye of the hook for securely attaching rubber frog lures.
This screw design eliminates the need to slide the hook through the frog's body, which tends to reduce swimming action. When fishing baits such as rage toads, 4/0 sizes are best, but most frogs will perform best with 6/0 hooks.
Drop Shot Hooks
The drop shot hook is designed explicitly for nose-hooking baits. While the shape may look simple, it’s designed to keep your bait perpendicularly to the line.
Light wire material is typically used, as drop shot rigs are lightweight finesse presentations. One drawback is drop shot hooks aren’t weedless.
Tube Bait Hooks
Tube bait hooks are another common technique-specific design. The wide gap is specifically designed for fishing soft plastic tubes, and the slight offset design improves kook-up ratios.
Most tube bait hooks also have a keeper positioned below the eye, which prevents your bait from coming loose.
Bass Hook FAQs
Size - Typically, 3/0 and 4/0 hooks are best for bass fishing. However, smaller 2/0 hooks are ideal for finesse situations. Larger 5/0 hooks are also suitable for fishing larger soft plastics such as 6”+ worms and Bandito Bugs.
Brands - Regarding hook brands, some manufacturers are better than others. If you’re only going to use one brand, we find Gamakatsu has the best materials and the sharpest points. Some brands such as Trokar and Eagle Claw are also known to make hooks that rust quickly.
Weedless - Most soft plastic hooks have a weedless design. Soft plastics are typically fished near the shore, around plenty of vegetation. While some hooks have wire “hook-guards” that protect the hook, most models are designed to be buried inside soft plastic baits.