Hook Details Part Twowith Marc Marcantonio, Page 2

Hook Details Part Twowith Marc Marcantonio, Page 2


Winter 2022


ooking back, if there is one thing I have learned

in my life that has helped me be successful in

fishing it would be paying attention to detail. My father was a successful wrestling and golf coach;

so, growing up he mentored me to analyze and learn from

mistakes to not repeat them. Twenty-five years of Army

service reinforced what my father taught.

So, when it comes to catching bass, while many focus

on their successes, I tend to dwell on the failures. I am

driven by what went wrong, and how to prevent repeat

occurrences (see last issue’s Hook Details, The Willamette

Train Wreck).

Any time I get a strike and my hook comes back without

the bass, I analyze why, and what could have improved the


If you have ever been around competitors at a

tournament weigh-in, you have heard the woeful stories

of the “ones that got away.” The difference between losing

anglers and the champion can be as simple as choosing the

wrong hook.

Given any situation and lure, there is a particular hook

that will be better than the rest. The trick is to understand

hook qualities and be able to apply them in the proper


In this article, I will review four of my favorite hooks

for various soft plastics and explain why. Focus on the

explanation, not necessarily the hook model itself, and you

will learn how to apply the features and principles in all your

hook decisions.

Have you ever wondered why some hooks have round bends, and others don’t?

Round bend hooks excel for use with bulky soft plastic lures and trailers that are eaten by bass as they sink through the water column. They do not excel when fishing a lure right on the bottom. For bottom-oriented lures an old school O’Shaugnessy bend is easier for a bass to pick from the bottom and quickly get hooked. It will result in landing more bass as it is harder for the bass to dislodge during the fight.


A typical professional quality pitching or flipping jig likely has a round bend hook. Since these are often paired with a bulky plastic or pork trailer, the larger bend ensures enough of the hook is uncovered to quickly penetrate the jaw of a bass unimpeded. Bass typically strike these jigs in mid- column as the lure sinks, or is hopped off the bottom, so they are easily and completely engulfed.

However, when a jig is dragged on the bottom, they are not as easily or completely engulfed by bass. By studying how bass eat prey tight to the bottom, I realized a round bend hurt my chances for a solid hookup. This would be confirmed when a bass would eat my football jig dragged on the bottom, rush to the surface shaking her head, and throw my jig back to me as she swam away.

By pouring my own lead football jigs and experimenting with different hook styles, I found a significant improvement