Benefits of small & smaller hooks for tributary steelhead.

Posted on November 22nd, 2017

How big of a hook do you need to land a big Great Lakes tributary steelhead or brown trout? How about you don’t need or want to use a big hook, the smaller the better.


Why use the smallest hook for tributary drift-fishing? Here are a few really good reasons:

  • a small hook won’t weigh the roe bag or imitation egg, and soft-plastic grubs and flies un-naturally and will allow for a better “bait-drift” presentation, especially in slower moving water
  • if your hook brushes the bottom, small hooks are less likely to get caught up on debries (leaves, rocks, twigs & branches)
  • small hooks have a thinner diameter which are easier to gently, yet firmly drive it into a fish’s mouth
  • small hooks have small barbs which require less pressure to drive into a fish’s mouth.
  • lastly, small hooks are less visible in clear, slow drifts increasing the percentage of takes/hook-ups when used with a light, fluorocarbon leader.

How small should you go? Anywhere from a #10 -#16 hook should suffice for most smaller Great Lakes tributaries.

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