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11 Best Hooks for Catfish

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11 Best Hooks for Catfish - Finding the Perfect One for Your Needs

Whether you are a first-time or seasoned catfish angler, the best hooks for catching catfish will be different depending on what species of fish you are trying to catch. Before heading out on your next fishing trip it would benefit any angler to know about the different types of catfish and which ones they should use their favorite hook for. 

Since there are so many species of these strong fighting fish, this post will focus on the three most common varieties found in North America. The channel catfish is by far one of the most popular species throughout much of North America due to its availability and ease when it comes to being caught. These bottom dwellers have an average weight between 5-10 pounds but can grow up to 30 pounds or more. The best hooks for catching catfish in this category are the willow-leaf and octopus style but make sure to use a weight with them so you can get down to where they occupy most of their time.

Another popular species is known as blue or flathead cats that live throughout much of the Mississippi River basin, Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. These toothy fish are also bottom feeders and can grow up to 100 pounds, making them a prized catch for any angler. The best hooks for this species are either bait-holder or circle style because they allow these aquatic beasts to comfortably swallow your bait without feeling anything obstructing their way.

Lastly, you have the big-tooth catfish also known as the yellow or sand cats. These fish are found in most rivers, lakes, and reservoirs throughout much of the southern United States with their range extending northward to Ohio River Valley. They have a similar appearance to channel cats but can be best identified by their distinct teeth that resemble those belonging to an old-time butcher. These best catfish hooks are octopus or bait-holder styled and can be effective on both big-tooth cats and channel cats since they resemble the same prey items that these species feed upon.

These best hook recommendations work well with most baits used by catfish anglers including cut bait, live minnows, and nightcrawlers. It is best to choose a hook that works best with your chosen bait and then adjust the size of this best catfish hook accordingly for optimal results when it comes to catching these strong fish species.

For more information on best hooks for catfish here is our take of the 11 Best Catfish Hooks – Finding the Perfect One for Your Needs.

What are the best hooks to use for catfish?

Eagle Claw best catfish hooks

Eagle Claw catfish hooks are best for catching small and medium-sized catfish. They are designed to hold the fish firmly in place, without hurting them too much while you catch them. A downside is that they bend easily if hooked on a large or strong fish. Nevertheless, most reviewers say they have been extremely satisfied with these hooks overall.

Eagle Claw 139H-2/0 Baitholder catfish hook

Eagle Claw 139H Baitholder

The Eagle Claw 139H-2/0 Baitholder hook is perfect for catfish. The baitholder feature ensures that your catch stays on the hook, while the 2/0 size provides enough power to bring in a medium-sized fish.

Size: 2/0

Pack: 6 Piece 

Eagle Claw 186-2/0 Baitholder Hook

Eagle Claw 186-2/0 Baitholder Hook

The Eagle Claw 186-2/0 Baitholder Hook is a high-quality piece of equipment specially designed for catfish fishing. The hook is made of sturdy metal with a sharp point and two barbs, ensuring that your catch stays firmly on the hook. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just getting started, this hook will help you land some big cats.

Size 2/0

Gamakatsu Catfish hooks

Gamakatsu Catfish hooks are best for catching large catfish. They have a very sharp point and usually come with some sort of bait holding barbs, which help them securely hold on to the prey while you reel it in. These types of hooks may not be best if your main goal is to catch small or medium-sized fish though.

Gamakatsu 101529 Catfish Rig Circle Hook

This Gamakatsu 101529 Catfish Rig Circle Hook is perfect for catfish fishing. The hook is made with premium quality materials, ensuring your catch will be securely hooked. The sharp point makes landing fish a breeze, while the circle shape ensures you’ll get good contact with the fish’s mouth. Fishing has never been easier – or more fun – than with this Catfish Rig Circle Hook!

Size: 6/0

Gamakatsu 25 Pack EWG Offset Worm Hook

Gamakatsu 25 Pack EWG Offset Worm Hook

The Gamakatsu 25 Pack EWG Offset Worm Hook is a great choice for catfish anglers. The offset hook design makes it easy to set the hook, and the extra-wide gap ensures a secure connection with your bait.

Size: 5/0

Octopus circle hook for catfish

Octopus Circle Hooks are among the most popular circle hooks being used for catfish. You can choose a 2/0 octopus hook and go up to a 10/0 circle hook, and any size in this spectrum.

Gamakatsu 4X Strong Octopus Circle Hook

The Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hook is a must-have piece of equipment for catfish anglers. Featuring a wide design with a perfect amount of wire to set it securely on the fish’s jaw, this octopus circle hook is built for strength and durability.

Size: 8/0

Gamakatsu 356420 Big Cat Circle hook

Gamakatsu 356420 Big Cat Circle hook

Gamakatsu 356420 Big Catfish Circle hook is the perfect octopus circle hook for catfish. This hook is made with a sharp, durable point and a wide gap that makes it easy to snag big catfish. The black chrome finish ensures this hook will last long in the water.

Size: 10/0

Mustad Demon Circle in Line Wide Gap Hook

Mustad Demon Circle in Line Wide Gap Hook

If you’re fishing for catfish, you need to be using the Mustad Demon Circle in Line Wide Gap Hook. This hook is specifically designed to catch these powerful fish, and it’s made with premium quality materials for reliable, long-lasting performance.

Size: 3/0 – 11/0

Pack: 5 pieces

Offset circle hooks for catfish

Of all the circle hooks I’ve tried, there’s one that always does well – it’s the offset circle hook. Offset circle hooks are a great choice for catching bigger catfish. They help reduce human error and increase your chances of landing that big one!

Owner 5378 SSW Up Eye Offset Circle Hook

Owner 5378 SSW Up Eye Offset Circle Hook

The Owner 5378 SSW Up Eye Offset Circle Hook was designed with catfish in mind. The offset shank and specially designed eye help the hook set firmly in the fish’s mouth, giving you the best chance at a successful catch.

Size: 4/0 – 10/0

Mustad Classic 2 Extra Strong Kirbed Offset Point Duratin Circle Hook

*Warning: use this hook size when targeting monsters’ catfish…

Upgrade your catfish-fishing game with these extra-strong Mustad Classic 2 Kirbed Offset Point Duration Circle Hooks. These hooks are designed to provide a more secure grip on the fish, so you can reel ’em in with ease.

Size: 13/0

Pack: 25 pieces

VMC O'Shaughnessy Permasteel Treble Hook

VMC O'Shaughnessy Permasteel Treble Hook

You can fish with half as much pain, thanks to the VMC O’Shaughnessy PermaSteel Treble Hook. It features a low-profile shank that catfish just love because it slides in and out of their lips like butter. The hooks are extra sharp so they pierce fish without shredding them apart inside change pockets. And because this design is smaller than the average treble hook, you’ll find yourself waiting less time for bites off your line too!

Size: #6

Pack: 25 pieces

BIG WORM FISHING - Catfish Hooks Assortment

Amazon choice – not our first choice but it makes sense if you are new to catfishing and not sure the size of fish in your fishing spot.

Size: #1 – 8/0

Pack: 120 (15 each)

Best Hooks for Catfish Q&A's

Are circle hooks better for catfish?

YES! One of the main reasons why anglers choose them is because they reduce injury and mortality rates. The second is the anatomy of a circle hook make sure it will hook on the fish lip which makes it impossible for the fish to spit it out.

Are octopus hooks good for catfish?

YES! circles hooks aside, the octopus hooks are the most popular hooks for catfish. The best sizes would range from a 2/0 to a 5/0 circle hook.

What are catfish most attracted to?

Catfish love great live bait. Worms, Shad and Minnows, Stink Bait. 

Worms are a classic catfish bait and Shad and Minnows follow them. Stink Bait is another great option and it fits only catfish.

What size hook do I need for catfish?

When it comes to catfish Fishing Hook Sizes, Circle hooks are the most popular for catfish. The best sizes range from a 4/0 to 10/0 hook. And an octopus hook is another good option at around 2/0 to 5/0 depending on how big your bait is.

If you didn’t visit already, we have a catfish hook size chart.

For more fish types visit our full Hook size chart page