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Best Hooks for Trout

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Trout are among the trickiest to catch because they’re quite wary of stuff in the water. This means you need specialized equipment for this type of fish.

When it comes to hooks, you probably want to go with the smallest hook size. A large hook isn’t suitable because trout can see it and will avoid it.

However, there are more factors you should consider when buying one for trout. Take a few minutes to read the guide below as we discuss the type, hook size, and bait that’s best for these hooks.

What are the Best Hooks for Trout?

Single Hooks

Most experienced trout anglers will tell you to release the fish after catching it, as you should. However, releasing it doesn’t guarantee it will survive.

It has the best chances of surviving if you use a single hook. However, even this depends on how long the trout was out of water.

Barbless single hooks are even better because the fish tends to release itself in the net. They hold very well for a while, giving you enough time to put the fish in the net.

Single hook lures are also quite useful, with jigs being possibly the simplest to use. Jigs are easy to cast with an ultralight bait caster and spinning rod.

However, someone might tell you jigs are more suitable for panfish or bass. While that’s true, you’ll also see many trout anglers use them as well.

Single hook jig heads are among the most effective, although relatively recent.

Double Hooks

Double hooks aren’t as common among anglers because there’s rarely ever an occasion to use them. Instead, they’re typically used with large flies and power baits.

While you can use a double hook for trout fishing, it’s generally not recommended. It’s possible to catch trout with it, but it’s just too complicated to use.

A double hook would make it too difficult to release the fish without hurting it. Even if you manage to get the hook out without hurting the fish too badly, it would probably take too long.

Another thing to factor in is the size of a double hook. As we said, trout are quite wary of what’s in the water, and a double hook is easy to notice.

Barbless Hooks

As we mentioned, barbless hooks work pretty well for trout fishing. You can buy them like this or simply remove the bard to make a barbless hook yourself.

Barbless hooks are meant to cause less damage to the fish. This is particularly useful if you’re fishing on a lake or river that works on a catch-and-release system.

Any other hook would make it tricky to release the fish without hurting it and in a timely manner. Some waters allow nothing else than barbless hooks.

As said, you can make a barbless hook by flattening the barb on your regular hook using fishing pliers. Simply squeeze the barb until it’s flat against the hook wire to get a smooth surface.

Making one by yourself is simple but won’t give you a perfect barbless hook.

Treble Hooks

Treble hooks are commonly found on spinners and lures that have one attached. It consists of three hooks joined and molded into a single eye where you attach the line.

The first thing you should know is that a treble hook will do quite some damage to your fish. Getting it out is tricky, so try to at least get a barbless one.

Nonetheless, many people love using a treble hook for trout fishing. It’s a good choice for catch-and-release systems, but only if you go for a barbless one, or else you’ll kill the fish when removing it.

Again, you can buy a barbless treble hook for trout fishing or make one yourself by flattening the barbs.

Hook Size for Trout: Numbers vs. the Aughts

The kind of hook and size you’ll use are among the first things you should consider. However, the question of hook size is slightly more complicated to answer without further research.

The hook size depends on several factors, but most notably on the size of the trout that you’re trying to catch. Another thing we should mention is that there are several ways to size a hook.

These are important things to consider when looking for the perfect fishing hooks for trout fishing. As we said, trout can spot pretty much anything in the water, so getting the hook size right is quite critical.

Number sizing is considered the normal scale since the hooks are sized from one up. The size goes down as the numbers go up, so number one is the largest. The smallest one is usually number sixteen.

Aught hooks are listed as 3/0 or 4/0, with a 4/0 hook being larger. In most cases, these are too large for trout fishing anyway.

Trout Hook Sharpness

Sharpness is one of the things most people overlook quite often. Although most fishing hooks look rather sharp, you might want to invest in a hook sharpener.

Many people lose trout due to a dull hook. This is where a sharpener can come in place, so make sure to have one in your box.

It allows you to sharpen your hooks quickly before throwing them in the water. This increases your chances of catching trout, but also for keeping it.

Some fishing hooks look sharp, although they aren’t. This is especially the case if you store them all together in your tackle box where they toss and turn, losing their sharpness along the way.

Trout Hook Gauges

Hook gauge is also a measurement, but one that refers to the thickness of the wire. Gauges are measured with a number X scale, meaning that you’ll see 1X, 2X, 3X, and more.

The X, in this case, refers to a multiple, which means that a2X wire is two times as strong as one. The higher the number gets, the thicker the wire will be.

Again, a larger size and a thicker wire make your hook more visible. For this reason, try to go for a lower gauge. Larger gauges are meant for big fish and aren’t very practical for trout.

Baiting Your Hook

Once you pick the right hook size for fishing trout, it’s time to decide how you’ll bait your hook. Concealing it is always crucial because trout won’t ever bite the hook itself.

How you bait the hook changes based on the particular bait type you use. For example, if you’re using worms, it’s often best to hook them a few times.

This way, they’re secured in place and hiding the hook underneath so that the fish doesn’t see it.

Things like salmon eggs and corn work the same way. Try to load up a few so that the hook underneath is no longer visible.

The same goes for the rest of the bait you might want to use. You’re good to go as long as the bait is suitable for trout and you’ve hidden the hook.

Trout Hooks For Baits

At this point, we learned that the fish for trout fishing should be sharp, small, and durable. However, the hook size depends on the size of the fish.

This means that going for a small hook means you’ll catch small trout. This can be a problem when fishing in a stocked pond because you’ll end up catching a lot of young fish.

For this reason, go for a slightly bigger hook and bait, as these should deter the smallest fish. However, there’s also the bait to think about. Some bait is difficult to use on the smallest fishing hooks, while others are more versatile.

Either way, these are essential details to think about before casting, so let’s get into more details.

Salmon Eggs & Corn

Small bait like corn and salmon eggs require a small hook. Many experienced anglers use size hook #12, but you can definitely test a few others to see what works for you, depending on the fish size.

When it comes to salmon eggs, you should remember that they float. This is important because you’ll have to present it the same way, or the fish will know it’s not right.

Use a small hook on a light line to keep the setup as light as possible. Well-presented salmon egg bait should work every time because trout have an instinct to eat these.

Many people enjoy fishing upstream near the end of fast run-in water. This is where the water starts to slow down, and trout comes out of the shadows.

Both corn and salmon eggs are perfect for catch-and-release setups because they allow you to release the fish without touching it. If you have to touch it, make sure to wet your hands first.


Nightcrawlers or worms are also quite popular because of how easily you can catch trout as well as any other fish. You can go for a bigger size hook, but make sure it’s not bigger than size #8, depending on the size of the fish.

Best hooks for trout fishing with worms and nightcrawlers often have a few barbs. This helps the bait to stay on, especially if you’ll stack a few on the hook.

Again, it’s important to conceal the hook so that it’s not visible. As we said, trout can easily notice when something doesn’t seem right, so your bait won’t work if the hook itself is seen under.

All in all, nightcrawlers are perfect for trout fishing as long as you pick the right hook. You can play around with the sizes, but make sure to stick between sizes #8 to #14 since these are the best for trout.


You should always go for a single hook if you’re interested in fishing with artificial bait. Power baits are efficient and easy to use, precisely why most people love them for this fish.

They come securely packaged and readily made, so all you have to do is attach some to your hook. Trout loves these, especially if you go for a specifically-made power bait for trout.

As we said, single hooks are often best for most freshwater fish, including trout. Size hook #10 may work very well for power bait, but again, you can play around and test a few other sizes.

Don’t forget to conceal the hook so that the fish doesn’t see any of its parts. Stack the power bait so that no hook is visible, and we’re sure you’ll go home with a catch.

Final Thoughts on Best Hooks for Trout

At this point, you probably have an idea of the best hooks for trout fishing. This wary fish knows when something is out to get it, so it’s essential to play smart.

Choose the right hook type, but also focus on the size. As we said, the size depends on the lure you’ll use and the size of the fish itself.

Hopefully, this guide helped you understand how to pick the best hooks for trout fishing. Of course, you can always play around with the sizes, types, and baits, but keep in mind that trout is smart.

Investigate the waters, find out the fish size, and maybe even ask some anglers nearby about the hook and bait they’re using. All this information should be enough for you to catch the trout you’re after.