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Choosing the right fishing gear is essential to increase your success chance in the water. If you want to catch catfish, selecting an appropriate hook type is essential. Dozens of fishing hooks are available. But not all of them are good for catfishing.

What kind of hooks for catfish? Circle hooks, Kahle hooks, Treble hooks, J-hooks, Octopus hooks, and double action hooks are widely used for catfishing. However, choosing a particular hook type requires considering some essential factors, such as target catfish species, fishing technique, bait type, hook size, hook point, hook strength, etc.

What Kind Of Hooks For Catfish?

There are mainly six types of fishing hooks widely used for catfishing. Let’s learn each of them one by one.

What Kind Of Hooks For Catfish

Circle Hooks

This type of fishing hook is sharply curved back in a circular shape. It is one of the most widely used fishing hooks.

Why use circle hooks for catfish? Circle hooks are less likely to be shallowed. Hence, it will cause less damage to catfish.

They are designed to hook catfish in the corner of the fish mouth. This allows you to release the fish quickly. If you want to practice catch-and-release fishing, this hook is perfect.

Are circle hooks good for catfish? Whether you are a hardcore catfish angler or a new angler, circle hooks are perfect for all. After all, it requires minimal effort to set the hook.

Circle hooks are available in offset and inline designs. If you want to use large live or cut baits to catch and increase your hookup ratio, offset circle hooks are a great choice.

In contrast, inline circle hooks are good at lip-hooking fish. If you are using live-lining or chumming, using a non-offset circle hook is a must.

Kahle Hooks

This type of hook is pointed toward the hook’s eye with a long sweeping bend. A considerable gap exists in this fishing hook to accommodate larger baits.

Are you a live bait angler? Kahle hooks are better for you as they are made of thinner wire. This will cause minimal damage to live baits.

You can use various types of live bait, such as shiners, fathead minnows, shrimp, etc.

Anglers can utilize them in different setups and styles. For regular catfish, 4/0 Kahle hooks are good to go. But if the catfish weighs more than 10 pounds, 5/0 Kahle hooks are better.

Kahle hooks are available in offset, non-offset, and weedless options. If you use soft plastics or live bait, offset Kahle hooks can improve the hook setup ratio.

You can use weedless Kahle hooks to avoid snagging issues when catfishing in weeds or heavy cover at the bottom of the water.

Treble Hooks

This kind of hook has three points attached to one shank. They are widely used for predators.

Treble hooks are mainly made of high carbon steel material due to increased strength, higher tension, and strong puncture to hold fish tightly.

They come in various styles, such as extra-wide gap, round bend, short shank, standard shank, etc.

You can use them for catfishing, as catfish look like large-bodied apex predators. Anglers use both lures and live or dead bait with Treble hooks.

Treble hooks are the best choice if you want to stick to the catfish regardless of the fishing condition. Once catfish bite them, they will never be able to get it off.

But if the Treble hook is too small, large catfish may engulf it fully. It is more likely to cause gut-hooked issues and harm the catfish.

Anglers mainly use them with stink baits or dough baits. Some anglers also use square bills and lipless crankbaits.


This type of fishing hook has a shape like the letter J. It comes with a sharp point. J-hooks are mainly made of galvanized steel, alloy steel, or simile other hardened steel.

They are highly versatile and are the most commonly used hooks. Anglers mainly use them for catching giant catfish.

You will see an effective penetration of the hook through the thicker skin of the larger catfish. J-hooks work well with heavier lines and larger baits.

Fishermen mainly use J-hooks for active fishing methods as they continuously hold their fishing rod the whole time. They drag through fishing gear using their hands.

J-hooks can be an excellent choice for catfish. Their very sharp and strong point can go deeper into the fish. Once the giant mouth of the catfish bites it, it won’t slip out.

If you don’t want to return any catfish you catch, J-hooks are an excellent choice regardless of their size.

This kind of hook has a wider gap. Once your targeted catfish catches it, it stays inside the fish’s mouth.

Octopus Hooks

Don’t think Octopus hooks and circle hooks are the same. Though Octopus hooks have a circular shape, the real tip of the hook is curved at an identical angle to the hook’s eye.

They are less dramatic than circle hooks. People often call it short-shank hooks. Anglers use them for both freshwater and saltwater fishing scenarios.

Octopus fishing hooks are a better choice for natural presentations when you prefer to use lightweight and smaller hooks. Fishermen mainly use them with live or natural bait.

Are you targeting channel and flathead catfish? If so, Octopus hooks appear to be a perfect choice. Their razor-sharp tip will tug the fish deep inside once it bites it.

Fishermen who want to play catch and release games can use this jaw-hook fishing hook.

Besides, Octopus hooks are an excellent choice if you want to use drifting or sticking fishing techniques under a bobber. They can allow baitfish to swim freely.

Double-action Hooks

Do you want to use a more advanced level hook without worrying about the money? If so, double-action hooks are the best choice.

This kind of fishing hook has an extra-large gap, a razor-sharp point, and a closed loop in its eye. The ultra-sharp point can easily penetrate the catfish bone.

Securely setting hooks will be easygoing due to their wide gap construction. You can use them with both live and manufactured baits.

Double-action hooks are super thick to withstand the excessive force of larger fishing. You can easily give a tough fight with larger-sized catfish.

They are perfect for both catfishing and bass fishing, even if the bottom of the water has heavy covers.

What To Consider When Choosing A Particular Type Fishing Hook For Catfish?

An angler will have to consider various essential aspects when selecting a specific type of fishing hook.

You don’t want to overlook the target catfish species, fishing technique, bait type, hook size, hook point, hook strength, fishing location, location regulation, etc.

For instance, J-hooks and Octopus hooks are better for float fishing, whereas Treble hooks are good for trolling.

Likewise, cut baits work well with Circle hooks and Kahle hooks, whereas live baits are more appropriate for J-hooks and Octopus hooks.

If you want to catch catfish from various water depths, circle hooks and J-hooks are a good choice. Kahle hooks are perfect for submerged rocks or vegetation.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the right hook type, you have a lot of options to consider, as already mentioned above. Regardless of the hook you use, never bury it. Lightly hook the bait.

Another important thing is to avoid giving any forceful strikes at the catfish. Be patient and let the bait enter the catfish’s mouth naturally.

It is best to carry several types of fishing hooks as a single option may not always be favorable. Hopefully, you got a clear overview of “What kind of hooks for catfish?”

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