Hooks are the unsung heroes of panfish conquests. While slab seekers often credit glitzy gear, high-tech electronics, or their own mad fishing skills for making remarkable catches, few fish swing over the rail without first being firmly hooked on a trustworthy slice of well-sharpened steel.
In fact, using dull hooks or failing to match hook size and shape to your quarry, presentation, and the conditions at hand can cost you countless catches.
Fortunately for panfish fans, hook makers take their craft very seriously. Today’s anglers enjoy greater hook quality and variety than any generation in history. From classic Aberdeens and baitholders to cutting edge designs, the options are virtually endless, whether you’re after bull bluegills, jumbo yellow perch, or slab crappies.
To help you hook up with the right choices for your personal styles of fishing, we offer the following look at 10 top panfish hooks sure to provide the underpinnings for epic fish stories, whether you credit them or not.
Aberdeen hooks are among the most widely used panfish hooks on the planet, and for good reason.
Their light-wire construction makes them a fine choice for presenting live minnows and leeches. Plus, slim Aberdeens are equally adept at piercing the bony jaws of perch or bluegills, without tearing up the soft mouth tissues of crappies. As a bonus, the long shank engenders easy hook removal.
Aberdeen panfish hooks abound, with top picks including the time-tested Eagle Claw Aberdeen Lazer Sharp L214 and VMC’s 9146 Aberdeen. Both are forged from top-shelf steel and available in a variety of panfish-friendly sizes.
One of the more innovative Aberdeen variations is the Tru-Turn, which has a kinked shank that rotates the hook under pressure, thereby boosting hookup ratios. Coupled with other Aberdeen attributes, cam-action designs like that of the Tru-Turn 853ZS, for example, are good all-around picks for panfish.
Baitholder hooks such as Mustad’s 92641 Beak Baitholder are timeless panfish options. They’re characterized by a sliced shank…