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Species Small trout Large trout Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Walleyes Small catfish Large catfish Pickerel/Northern pike

Hook Size Range and Style No. 6 to 14 fine wire

No. 1/0 to 6 baitholding No. 4/0 to 2 baitholding No. 2/0 to 4 baitholding No. 3/0 to 2 baitholding No. 1/0 to 4 baitholding No. 5/0 to 1/0 baitholding No. 4/0 to 1/0 baitholding

It pays to carry an assortment of hook sizes at all times, even if you know you're going to be fishing for just one species of one particular size range that day, because you may discover that you need a larger or smaller size to hook fish, or to fish with a different bait. I often change to a larger hook size if I discover that many of the fish I'm catching are swallowing the hook.

Here's an extreme example of the advantage of bringing a variety of hooks. I was in the Florida Keys with some business associates to fish for tarpon early one spring, and we woke up that first morning to discover that no mullet (a preferred forage fish for tarpon) was available at area tackle shops. So there we were, geared up with heavy-duty tarpon rods and reels to do battle with these 100-pound-and-up fish, stuck at the dock. Luckily, one of us had brought an emergency tackle box with him, including a selection of (comparatively) small baithooks. We fashioned some handlines and drifted in the shallows, using tiny pieces of shrimp, to fish for pinfisha type of saltwater panfish, also preferred tarpon foragethat we could use as bait. We did this every morning for the three days we were there. If it wasn't for my companion's foresight in bringing a supply of extra hooks in various sizes, we wouldn't have been able to fish at all effectively for tarpon.

Interestingly enough, the tarpon weren't in a very cooperative mood on that trip (although I did have a big one on for a short time), but everyone had a blast trying to catch, without a rod or a reel, a day's supply of those 6-inch pinfish every morning. Those small hooks saved the trip in more ways than one.

Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

This is a great collection of delicious fish and shell fish recipes that you will love.

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