Hooks are the least understood yet one of the most important parts of bass fisherman's arsenal. The type of hook you use determines whether the day is a feast or famine. I think it's safe to say that a third of failed hookups are due to using the wrong hook. The hook you use is sometimes that extra edge you need to win tournaments or catch that new personal best. However, most people spend their time looking at fancy new baits, instead of what's important.
The Extra Wide Gap (EWG) hook is what most people use for their soft plastic, no matter the type. It has an offset bend, to keep plastics from sliding. It has an aggressive bend to hold thick plastics, and the hook point is parallel to the eye, so it is easy to get weedless texas rigs on soft plastics. It works great for larger, thicker baits, such as senkos, topwater toads, beavers, and most creatures, especially in thick brush.
However, there is a drawback to the construction of the EWG. It is the hook point, which is parallel to the eye. It makes the bait more weedless, because it allows for easy, weedless texas rigging, but it makes makes setting the hook hard, unless you are using a larger bait with a large hook. he reason behind this is simple: When a fish strikes, the hook point is not pointing at the mouth, but rather at the eye, so your hooks will miss the fish where you want to hit it. However, with a larger EWG (for larger baits), the fish will instead hit the plastic, and the hook point will penetrate the mouth.
Above: The features of the EWG, explained.
I try not to use the smaller sized EWG often because of that reason, unless there is no other alternative. The hook in larger sizes, such as 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, though, has very good hooksets, and I often use them with larger craws, senkos, topwater frogs, and creatures.
Above: For thinner worms, such as straight tailed finesse worms, use round bend hooks (top) for the best hooksets. As you can see, the EWG hook (bottom) point is in line with the eyelet, rather than sticking upwards, so the hookups on them won't be as great.
Round Bend Hooks
Round bend hooks, while not as popular in recent years as EWG hooks, are a vital part of your arsenal. They, like the EWG, have an offset bend, to prevent the plastic from sliding. But they lack the aggressive bend on the EWG, and their hook point sticks upwards. The upwards slant of the hook point is good and bad. The good part is that it is easier to get good hooksets on the round bend, which increases your catches. It's especially good for smaller plastics, where the fish can't bite down the plastic enough to expose the hook point on an EWG. But the bad part is that round bend hooks often snag easier, especially in dense mats of grass.
Above: The good, and the bad of round bend hooks.
Another negative trait of the round bend is that it lacks the aggressive bend of the EWG. The aggressive bend allows for thicker plastics, such as flukes and senkos, to slide down the shank so you can get a good hook set. Thus, for that reason, I don't use round bend for thicker baits. However, the hook setting advantage of the round bend is undeniable, especially when the fish aren't as feisty. I like to use the round bend for lizards, worms, and other thinner baits.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.