Best Catfish Hooks: Epic Top 3 Treble vs Circle vs J Hook

Choosing the Best Catfish Hooks

There are few things about fishing to really know, but none that are more important than the best types of hooks you use when it comes to catfishing. While quite obtainable, catfish are rather tough to catch at times, and some weigh so much that taking it out of the water can be a real work on its own.

They also come in diverse varieties, the 3 most popular types of catfish being the blue catfish, flathead catfish, and the channel catfish. The best hooks to use for catfish fishing will differ depending on the method you use to catch the fish on a given day. In this article, we will outline the best catfish hooks that will be useful for your favorite fishing trip.

Fishing hooks have been used for millennium of years. According to the records, history indicates that people used fish hooks even back in 7000BC. With the passage of time, the elements and material in the development of fishing hooks changed. Stone, Wood, shells, bones, iron, bronze, and other types of materials were used in making hooks; and people still use non-metallic hooks in some parts of the world today. After the sixteenth century, a fishing hook made with steel first appeared in some parts of the world and then significantly grew popular for professional use.


vector illustration of a set of the best catfishing hooks Copyright:


Best Catfish Hooks

Catfish anglers need to use a certain type of hook that is designed to improve their chances of catching them and maximize their performance. To be successful in catfish fishing, you must understand some of the basic styles of hooks available to you. From Circle hooks to J Hooks to Treble hooks, understanding when to select and use each of them can make a difference in getting a bite or landing some fish. The following are the details on some of the most common catfish hooks:


Treble Hooks:

These hooks are very popular for catfish fishing since they are excellent hooks to use for catfish dough bait. The treble hooks come in various sizes, with size number 12 and number 14 being the most common sizes to use in catfish fishing. This hook can be easily hidden in a ball of dough bait and still fished for the hungry catfish. These hooks are normally used in lures fishing, attached to a lure that mimics the prey of the expected fish, which is generally in the form of small colored fish, no matter the type of lures you are using; treble hooks is your best option to ensure the fish will not escape.

The disadvantage of this hook is that it can damage the fish. Therefore, if you are just fishing for sport or fun and you hope to release the fish, this lures is not the best. The mouth of the fish can be destroyed especially if it struggled too much. But you can be certain that treble hook can surely do the job.


Circle Hooks:

This hook is a circular line with a sharp tip. The circle hook shape often guarantees that the hooking point will simply hook to an open surface, which is usually found at the corner of the fish’s mouth. Catfish are recognized by their tough mouth and tough hide. The fish will put your circle hooks to the test. Circular hooks are a great tool for catching catfish. The hooks are designed to reduce the possibility of fish swallowing it; they are made to hooks fish in the corner of the mouth.

Ideal for large baits and large fish, these hooks are made for up to 50 lb. test leaders and ready to hook big fish. Setting up the hook with a circle hook is not necessary as  you can simply reel and keep the line tight for a hookup. The fish will often hook themselves so you normally don’t need much of a hook set. Another benefit of circular hooks is that it is often not swallowed by fish, which significantly increases the fish mortality rate. Circle hooks are a Good Choice.



These hooks are most effective when the fisherman shakes the rod as soon as the fish bite the line, which eventually hooks the fish. They are similar to a letter J in shape and are mainly used with natural live baits. The mortality rate of fish hooked in the throat and gut is up to 16%, while the mortality rate of those hooked in the mouth is non-existent.

J-shaped hooks are hooks that many fishermen mention when they discuss fishing hooks. The hook look like letter J, so the name J-hook. The fishing line is passed through the eye of the hook and then tied to the right knot. J-shaped hooks come in barb-less and barbed styles for fishermen who love to practice catch and release. It must match the size of the line class with the fishing tackle, and the kind of bait used.


Catfish hooks for dough bait

Catfishing with dough balls? You need to look at factors special to this kind of soft stink bait. Special treble hooks are made for just such baits. Read all about how to make catfish dough baits here at


Choosing the best hook size for catfishing

Most folks feel confused when it comes to selecting the correct hook size. The following are some tips that can be useful in determining the right hook size for your bait. In fact, hooks play an important role in catfishing and are certainly one of the most important freshwater fishing equipment.

Treble hooks in the right size choice for channel catfish are number 2, 4, 6 and 8. The smaller the number, the bigger the hook, therefore the number 2 hook is much larger than the number 8 hooks. The number 4 or 6 size is the best all-around hook size when fishing numbers of channel catfish with prepared bait. The size 12 from the Eagle Claw showcase above are the smaller treble hooks. Smaller hooks have always been my favorite personally. You can catch any size fish with a smaller hook but hard to catch smaller and mid size fish with the over sized hooks.

Overlooked Benefits of Smaller Hooks

What you want to be sure of is that your smaller hooks are of the very best quality, and therefore strong. I have caught 20 lb musky while fishing with the smallest hooks. Same goes for trout fishing. The smaller the better, but of top quality.

The size of the fish, the type of baits, the size of the fishing line, and the size of the hook is the first thing that fishing aficionados consider when they buy hooks. However, the “fisherman” alone knows the best size of hook that could be best for his fishing expedition. This comes with experience. Fish with what you are confident with and what meets your goals and over all set up. If your fishing where channels average 1-3 lbs then you do not need bigger hooks. However if you take a trip to catch the giant Po River wels catfish then take along the whoppers!

Conclusion: Final tip for catfishing hooks:

Lastly, like I just mentioned when fishing for catfish, your hooks need to be the best you can buy, strong and sharp because flimsy hooks of any size can be easily pulled or straightened out by a large catfish. Medium size circle hooks, sized treble hooks, and j-shape hooks are the recommended type of hooks for most. Also, don’t forget to bring the basic kit like pliers and a knife for unhooking the fish. Sometimes fish can be quite slippery and some good fish gloves never hurt either.

best fishing hooks catch more fish