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Tip #16 #16 Sharp Hooks Make the Difference

The last article closed with a promise of exploring the different types of hooks I use on Lake Michigan and the techniques I use to sharpen them. This is a somewhat controversial issue for most fishermen. Everyone has an opinion I can only state what works for me. One thing I believe all will agree on is a sharp hook will catch more fish. There are many types of sharpeners out there. I have tried most of them. A simple $4.00 file is the system I keep coming back to. Start with a check of the point by trying to stick the tip into you thumbnail. A hook that slides off your nail needs some work. Do not shortcut this process 10 hits and 9 fish is a good day 10 hits and 2 fish you wasted your time coming out on the lake. File three sides of the point and test again. New lures do not always have sharp hooks! After you have boated a fish check the hook for sharpness and that it didn't get bent out of shape. A word of caution if you loose the tip of the hook from repeated sharpening it’s time to replace it. This is the first step for any type of fishing and I guarantee it will improve your number of fish in the box. When you shop for hooks buy quality extra strong hooks. It should say 2x or 3x on the package. There are cheap hooks that bend easily and won't hold a sharp point look for the best. A recent trend is to use red hooks in theory this makes sense. I do not have an opinion on this. I will be testing this on some baits this season. Always replace hooks with the same size you removed or the action will change. This leads us to the big question single hooks verses trebles. My rule is this stay with the original manufactures recommendation, they do the testing and that's good enough for me. Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.