Bait hooks are some of the most common and most widely used fish hooks around. These hooks make great tube bait hooks, and can be well-suited to other soft, plastic bait, as well as live bait. This style of hook is specially designed to hold just about any type of bait in place on the shank. Note that many types of hooks can be used for bait, which can make it difficult to identify this specialized type of hook while shopping for fishing gear.

Soft bait hooks are available from a wide variety of manufactures, including Gamakatsu, Mustad, Eagle Claw and more. Manufactures often make more than one type of bait hook, or incorporate different design features into their hooks. For example, big river bait hooks are a specialized style of hook available from Gamakatsu. Each specific design can be used for different types of fishing. Learn more about bait hooks in the sections outlined below.

What are the characteristics of a bait hook?

A bait hook usually has a standard J-shape, like many other basic hooks. However, bait hooks have special barbs on the shafts of the hooks that help keep bait in place. These hooks are oftentimes referred to baitholders, due to this feature. The barbs keep rubber bait from sliding down and are also effective at keeping live bait, such as worms, from wriggling off the hook.

What are the types of bait hooks?

Baitholder hooks come in several different varieties. A bait hook is a popular design made by many different manufacturers, all of which include different features. Some of the most popular variations include:

  • Snelled bait hooks that come with a pre-tied line that allows the hook to be attached to a swivel or snap.
  • Saltwater hooks, which are sprayed with an anti-corrosive finish to withstand exposure to salt.
  • Big river bait hooks, which are similar to octopus hooks, but have a sharper angle in the bend. (These hooks usually do not feature barbs on the shank, but the large gap provides the necessary space for bait.)
  • Barbless hooks, which have no barb extending from the point, but still retain the barbs on the shank of the hook.

What kind of fishing can bait hooks be used for?

A baitholder hook is effective in both saltwater and freshwater. Gamakatsu live bait hooks are often designed for saltwater fishing, as many of this manufacturer’s designs feature corrosion-resistant finishes. Freshwater bait holders can be used for many different fishing techniques.

What types of fish can I catch with a bait hook?

The best live bait hooks can be used to catch a wide variety of fish. Saltwater bait hooks work particularly well for large species, such as tuna and other game fish. After you learn how to hook live bait saltwater fishing will be more enjoyable. In freshwater, these hooks are effective for fish such as:

How do I bait a bait hook?

A bait hook can be used with a variety of artificial and live bait, such as tube bait and worms. Learning what size hooks for live bait are needed is important before setting up your hook. These hooks can accommodate a wide range of bait sizes, so research which size your bait should be for the species of fish you want to catch. When using live bait, you typically want to hook the bait through the mouth so that it can swim freely. On a bait hook, you can slide the bait up the shank, so it is held in place by the barbs. When using a tube bait hook, you can set up your rig in numerous ways, such as a Texas Rig and other styles.

Bait hooks are often designed for specific types of fish, such as catfish. If you are wondering how to hook live bait for catfish, keep in mind that this species hunts based on smell. Nightcrawlers, crawfish and small fish work well for bait. Always hook live bait in a way that allows it to move freely.

What are the advantages of using bait hooks?

Mustad live bait hooks and other brands are easy to use. Because of the barbs on a soft bait hook, you are less likely to lose your bait when using this style. Not only is bait less likely to fall off on its own, fish have a harder time nibbling the bait off your hook without getting caught.

What are the cons of using bait hooks?

When using bait hooks, many anglers find it difficult to remove the hook from a fish’s mouth. The barbs on a bait holder hook can get caught in a fish’s mouth more easily than hooks with a single barb on the point. This can be frustrating, especially for beginners who are not skilled at removing hooks.

Who should consider using a bait hook?

Bait hooks are a good starter hook when teaching children how to fish. A baitholder hook usually has a simple design that will allow young or inexperienced fishermen to learn the basics of fishing with live or artificial bait. Because these hooks can be used for complex rigs, experienced fishermen often use them as a mainstay, as well.

How much does a bait hook cost?

Baitholder hooks can be expensive, depending on which size and quantity of hook you buy. As with any purchase, bait hooks will be cheaper when bought in bulk. For a pack of 100 hooks, expect to pay between $15 and $50. Certain types of hooks, such as big river bait hooks, can be priced differently. These hooks are typically available for $4 to $10 for a package of six to eight hooks.

Where can I find a bait hook?

When asking what hooks to use for live bait, this style is an excellent go-to. Bait hooks are a standard tool in most anglers’ tackle boxes, and it is always a good idea to have a few of these on hand. This style of hook is widely available in stores and online, from places such as Amazon. Top-rated hooks from Amazon include the following: