I had an interesting conversation with a North American Fishing Club Life Member from Missouri yesterday. The caller had issues with a comment made on North American Fisherman TV about hook-up rates.
In the time we talked, we covered everything from the angle of the line tie, to improving the designed of weed guards (must avoid the centerline of the hook, per the caller), to the problems with today’s popular short-shank treble hooks (resulting angle of the hook point is incorrect under pressure of a hook set).
And you know what? The guy made sense, even when arguing for the placement of hooks might be best on the top of crankbaits (places hooks in the roof of the mouth, he theorized)!
I am fresh off a tournament where a single additional fish would have had a big impact on prize money, so this conversation found fertile ground for consideration. After all, the little things do make a difference.
For example, which hook is best for fishing live bait? A straight shank? An eye up hook (hook eye bends away from hook point)? An eye down (hook eye bends inward)?
I haven’t thoroughly tested each hook, but can tell you I don’t like the fact that the eye up design, unless snelled, tends to discourage hook penetration under pressure. I also don’t like the eye down design because it reduces access to the hook. Yes, I fish straight shank hooks now.
Majoring in minor matters? Maybe. But I sure hate missing a bite! —Steve