What Size Hooks for Striped Bass (and Types)

Best Hook Sizes for Striped Bass Feature Image

Striped bass are a popular and very striking game fish that can be found in many bodies of water throughout the world. To catch striped bass, you of course need the right gear, such as a strong rod and a reliable reel, but ensuring you have the right hooks can mean the difference in hooking a fish or losing it. 

There are many different types of hooks on the market today, each with their own unique characteristics and advantages. In this article, we will dive in and get a closer look at some of the best hooks for striped bass fishing and explain the differences between them so that you can choose the best option for your next fishing trip.

What Size Hook for Stripers?

Striped Bass
To catch striped bass, use the appropriate hook size depending on the fish size, bait, and fishing technique.

The appropriate hook size for striped bass, also known as stripers, varies depending on the size of the fish you are hoping to catch, the type of bait you are using, and the fishing technique you decide to go with. 

For larger stripers, a hook size of 8/0 to 10/0 is commonly used, while smaller hooks in the range of 2/0 to 5/0 are more suitable for smaller stripers. This size scale works for offset circle hooks, hooks on artificial lures, and

Circle hooks are extremely popular for striped bass recreational anglers to use because they often hook the fish in the corner of the mouth, which minimizes harm done to striped bass caught on the hook, and makes it easier and more humane to release them. 

Deciding on the size of the hook you use on your next fishing trip should be matched to the size of the bait and the size of the target fish to ensure the best chance of success. For chunk bait, live bait, or frozen bait, you want to ensure the hook is just large enough for the bait without being too large for the fish to take.

The Best Hook Type for Striper

Circle Hook
Circle hooks are designed to hook fish in the corner of the mouth, which can greatly reduce the mortality rate of released fish.

Circle Hooks for Bait Fishing

In some areas, the use of circle hooks is now mandatory when fishing for striped bass and other species. This is because circle hooks are designed to hook the fish in the corner of the mouth rather than deep in the throat or in the stomach and gut area, which can cause serious injury or a quick death to the fish. 

By using circle hooks, anglers of all experience levels can increase the chances of a safe and healthy release of any undersized or unwanted fish, helping to sustain the population for future generations. Additionally, using circle hooks can improve the angler’s chances of landing larger fish, as they tend to stay securely hooked in the mouth instead of being lost because of a weak hookset.

Other Types of Hooks for Lure Fishing

J Hook
J-hooks are widely used in surf fishing, particularly with baitfish-like lures.

Aside from the more popular circle hooks, there are a number of other types of hooks for bait and lure fishing for stripers. 

J-hooks are one of the most commonly used hooks for this type of fishing, especially when using lures that mimic baitfish. They come in various sizes, with larger sizes being suitable for bigger stripers. 

Treble hooks are also popular with many anglers and are often used on lures that imitate injured or dying baitfish. These hooks have three points and are highly effective at increasing the chances of hooking a fish. 

However, it is important to keep in mind that treble hooks can cause more harm to the fish than single or circle hooks. As such, anglers must be careful when handling and releasing fish caught on treble hooks.

The Best Brand of Striper Fishing Hooks

Mustad

Known for their strength and extreme sharpness, Mustad circle hooks are an outstanding brand for striped bass fishing. Since stripers are known to have a tough mouth, circle hooks need to be both durable and sharp in order to be useful on your next fishing trip, thanks to their sturdy shaft construction and chemically sharpened point. 

Gamakatsu

While somewhat lesser known than other brands, Gamakatsu fishing circle hooks are renowned for their exceptional quality and durability, making them an excellent choice for targeting striped bass. These deep hooking hooks are made with high-carbon steel for durability, which provides high amounts of strength and resists bending or breaking under the pressure of a large or highly active fish.

Owner

Owner brand circle hooks and are made from high-carbon steel, which provides high levels of strength and resistance to corrosion. This ensures that the hooks maintain their sharpness even after multiple catches of these thick-mouthed fish. Additionally, the unique cutting-point design with a wide hook gap allows for quick and easy penetration into the fish’s mouth.

VMC

VMC is a brand of fishing hooks known for their high-quality construction with premium materials and their high levels of strength. These inline circle hooks are made with a unique design and an extremely sharp point that allows them to penetrate the tough jaw of striped bass, providing a secure and reliable hookset.

Eagle Claw

Arguably one of the most well-known and respected names in the fishing industry to date, Eagle Claw brand hooks are a reliable choice for striper fishing. They offer a variety of fishing hook shapes and sizes, including the popular “Lazer Sharp” circle hook, which many anglers prefer when fishing for striped bass using natural baits or a tube and worm rig.

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AUTHOR
Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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