Understanding Fishing Hooks Part 3 - Hook Points and Barbs | Louisiana Fishing Blog

Understanding Fishing Hooks Part 3 – Hook Points and Barbs

In Part 3 I go over the point of a hook and hook barbs.

If you need, refer to Understanding Fishing Hooks Part 1  and Part 2.

For Part Three, I am going to go over hook points and barbs. These minor details are important to know for differing tackle and target fish species.

Hook Point

The point of a hook is an oft overlooked characteristic. Hook points are more than just the pointy end of the hook, they are pointy in different ways. Because they are pointy in different ways they can serve different purposes.

There are a lot of different types of hook points. There are:

  • spear points
  • knife edge points
  • hollow points
  • rolled points
  • needle points
  • and more

There are so many different types and applications that I am just going to give you the nitty gritty for inshore fishing.

You don’t want a knife edge point. A knife edge point is literally shaped like a double sided knife and is designed to maximize tearing/piercing through a fish’s mouth. This is great for some fish species that have really hard mouths, like a jack crevalle, but not so much redfish and certainly not speckled trout.

needle point hook fishing inshore marsh saltwater

A needle point is everything you need for the inshore waters of Louisiana.

A knife edge point can be a poor choice in inshore fishing. This is because as the fish fights that knife edge is wiggling back and forth, tearing more flesh and making the entry hole larger. If the entry hole gets too big the hook can be thrown out.

This is why I recommend using a needle point. It’s great for piercing and once it’s through to the other side of the fish’s mouth it won’t cause any additional damage.

hook goes all the way through the fishs mouth

If the hook is large enough you want it to go through to the other side so the barb works most effectively.

Hook Barbs

Hook barbs are pretty straight forward. They are simply an up-curved portion of the hook facing in the opposite direction that the hook penetrated. The barb keeps the fish from throwing the hook, but it can also be used to keep bait on the hook, especially bait that is flimsier and softens in the water, such as dead shrimp.

You really only need one barb behind the hook point. Having two is unnecessary, it just makes unhooking the fish that much more difficult. If you get in a really good, fast-paced bite you can depress the barb with a set of pliers so unhooking fish is faster and easier.

flattened hook bard

Flatten the barb so unhooking fish is easier. Just understand that fish can come off the line easier, too! They key is to keep pressure on the fish during the fight.

As far as selection goes…

Most hook manufacturers have this figured out for you. They aren’t going to put barbs on the shank of a swim hook and they aren’t going to put a knife edge where it doesn’t belong. For the most part, when you purchase a hook for a specific application you will have everything you need. However, this is all still good information to retain for when you need hooks for specific uses.

Got input?

Head on over to Louisiana Fishing Reports and tell us what kind of hooks you like to use and why. Registration is free and the site is accessible on your smartphone!

About the Author Devin Denman

Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.

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